9 Great Places You've (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2013 Edition

Each year, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Great Places series highlights towns and cities that are working to create successful, sustainable communities. The 2013 choices are Arcata, Calif.; Ava, Mo.; Cumberland, Md.; Decorah, Iowa; Lander, Wyo.; Logan, Utah; Marfa, Texas; and Punta Gorda, Florida.

October/November 2013

By Kathryn Compton

Our annual Great Places series is an ongoing conversation about what makes communities work. Improvement is a process, and we like to give props to people who are doing what it takes to make their communities better.

The prime component of a town’s livability is individuals who care enough to work at the art of creating community. They take matters into their own hands to develop farmers markets, establish recycling projects, foster school gardens, support local businesses, collect signatures, make their voices known, and, over the months and years, build admirable, more sustainable communities with sensible local economies.

When MOTHER EARTH NEWS got its start in the 1970s, the vibe was all about getting “back to the land,” an idea that conjures images of rugged individuals marching off to carve out their place in the isolation of the wilderness. Today, community is the new paradigm, flowing from the realization that strength lies in numbers, and that security is woven by cooperative action, thoughtful compromise and shared vision. It is our pleasure to introduce nine communities that are striving to achieve just that.

Ava Missouri farmers market.

9 Great Places
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Arcata, California
Ava, Missouri
Decorah, Iowa
Cumberland, Maryland
Lander, Wyoming
Logan, Utah
Marfa, Texas
Punta Gorda, Florida

Check Out Our Great Places From Previous Years:
8 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2012 Edition
6 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2011 Edition
11 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2009 Edition
9 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, 2008 Edition
8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of, 2007 Edition
12 Great Places You've Never Heard Of, 2006 Edition

K.C. Compton is senior editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and formerly was Editor in Chief of our sister publications, The Herb Companion and GRIT. A huge fan of the food chain, from molecules to meals on the table, K.C. is passionate about the idea that most of what we need to be healthy can be found in the garden. Find her on .

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