Looking for Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of

Reader Contribution by Kc Compton
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We’re looking for a few great places.

Know of a great place to live, work or visit? Here’s your opportunity to contribute to our process as we develop our “2012 Great Places You‘ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of,” to be published in our October/November issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Here are links to our past installments and, as you can see, the great places mentioned are a mix of big, medium and pretty darned small towns. Some are better known, and some are quite tucked-away.

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 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

We’re looking for sustainable communities that are impressively fun and livable, and offer a high quality of life at an affordable cost. We’re aware of high-profile great places like Ashville, N.C.; Madison, Wis.; or Eugene, Ore., but we want to hear about some of the lesser-known jewels in our nation.

Our goal isn’t to convince all of our readers to quit their jobs and move to the Next Great Place, but to provide examples of how communities throughout the country are getting things right on multiple levels. Though some of these great places might have a strong reputation in their regions, they might not be appreciated as widely or as thoroughly as they deserve.

A great place can be defined in many ways, and we don’t expect perfection from any one place. We do believe many towns and cities stand out for their great qualities, such as a commitment to culture, sustainability and community, and we’d like to know about them. You have your own set of standards; some of ours include high-quality local food sources, and the policies and practices that support them; long-term stewardship of the economy and the ecology; a can-do, all-for-one/one-for-all spirit that creates strong social ties; and green spaces and recreation opportunities that are available to all members of the community.

The past several years have brought challenges to every corner of the country, yet in good times or in bad, strong communities like these thrive on values that come without a price tag: civic pride, a strong sense of place, and hope for the future. Use the comments function below for your suggestions, or send us an email to Letters@MotherEarthNews.com.

K.C. Comptonis senior editor at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, and formerly was Editor in Chief of our sister publications, The Herb Companion andGRIT. 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.

Photo: AP