You are here

ReNewport Community Visit Day - December 13
On Wednesday, Decemer 13th, 2017, all members of the Newport community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to...
Vermont Council on Rural Development Invites Community Applications for 2018 Climate Economy Model Communities Program
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) invites communities interested in charting a path to a more prosperous and self-sufficient future to participate in the 2018 Climate Economy Model...
Wheating: Why Vermont can and should lead climate change innovation
By Justin Wheating, President of NRG Systems, as seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/2017/november/09/wheating-why-vermont-can... I recently had the pleasure of...
Economy in rural parts of Vermont still hurting
By Ivan Shadis, as seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/11/08/economy-rural-parts-vermont-still-hurtin... A program to boost Vermont’s farm and forest industries is having some success,...
Town without a village gets Village Center designation: Nonprofit, other groups seek to create community 'from the ground up'
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in the Commons Online: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=27158&page=1 VERNON—Vernon has no village. In spite of that, the town received...
Pownal Business Network plans launch meeting, website
By Jim Therrian, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/pownal-business-network-plans-la... POWNAL — A new business support group called the Pownal Business...
The Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative Takes Shape - Next Step: Task Force Meetings on Nov 16
Citizens of Middlebury and surrounding towns gathered on October 26 as part of the Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative to prioritize action ideas that will guide the work of the program...
Broad Brook Grange enters a new era: New nonprofit plans to purchase historic building and transform it into a new town community center
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in the Commons Online: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=27104&page=1 GUILFORD—On a recent Sunday afternoon, about 60 people gathered to snack...
Lawmakers group to hold hearing at Statehouse for public feedback, new ideas on local economy
As seen in the Commons Online: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=27087&page=1 The Vermont House Rural Development Caucus will hold a public hearing at the Statehouse,...
Lyndon Task Force Hoping for Town Rec Department
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/lyndon-task-force-hoping-for-town-r... LYNDON — A task force formed in May, after the Community Visit process...
Group readies Middlebury for climate change economy
By John Flowers, as seen in the Addison Independent: http://addisonindependent.com/201710group-readies-middlebury-climate-cha... MIDDLEBURY — Advancing public transportation, hiring more local staff...
2017 Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit - Summary and Next Steps
Over 500 entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders attended the cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit - a 3-day national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont to gear up for the next...
Burke Community Visit Report - 2017
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Burke. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Revitalize Village Infrastructure; Expand...
Empower Pownal Report - 2017
Pownal was the first community to participate in VCRD's Climate Economy Model Community Program (CEMCP), named Empower Pownal. CEMCP is community-driven process with local leaders, VCRD, Green...
VT Rural Caucus invites testimony on the future of the rural economy
We are helping to organize a hearing for the Vermont Rural Caucus - a nonpartisan group of Vermont State Representatives. As the legislative session nears, the Caucus is seeking input about what...
Guilford groups leverage $400K to transform historic Grange Hall into community center
Press Release as seen in vtdigger.com: https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/03/guilford-groups-leverage-400k-transform-... GUILFORD, VT–Exciting things are happening in Guilford Center, and on Sunday,...
Community ‘Visits’ To Focus On City’s Future: Vermont Council On Rural Development To Host First Meeting In December
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/community-visits-to-focus-on-... NEWPORT CITY — Recommendations about downtown’s potential for economic...
Community Visits Produce Tangible Results: Child Care Center, Warming Shelter, Among Achievements
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/community-visits-produce-tang... The 2015 Community Visit process in the town of Craftsbury has led to...
NEK - Helping Towns Help Themselves: Community Visits to Brighton, Burke, Craftsbury, Lyndon, St. J
By Amy Ash Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/rural-development-council-foc... Teams from the Vermont Council on Rural Development have visited...
Vernon receives Village Center designation
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/09/29/vernon-receives-village-center-designati... An area in the Town of Vernon has been designated as a Vermont Village Center by the Vermont...
Our opinion: Time for other voices to be heard in Pownal
Editorial as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/our-opinion-time-for-other-voice... Well, we've heard from those Pownal residents pushing a libertarianistic...
Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative – Community Meeting Set for Oct 26
On Thursday, October 26, all members of the Middlebury community are invited to participate in the 2nd step of the Greater Middlebury Climate Economy Initiative. The session will be held from 6:30 to...
One Burke Process Passed to Citizen Task Forces: Infrastructure in W. Burke to be Major Focus
By Amy Ash Nison, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/one-burke-process-passed-to-c... BURKE — The One Burke community visioning process brought to town by...
Courtney Commentary: Put it in Reverse
By Elizabeth Courtney as seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/articles/put-it-in-reverse/ I recently heard Paul Hawken — the ecology of commerce and drawdown guru — speak about “...
Climate opportunity: Initiative seeks creative innovations in new economy
By Yvette Shi, as seen in the Addison Independent: http://www.addisonindependent.com/201709climate-opportunity-initiative-s... MIDDLEBURY — How does a community position itself to reap the benefits...
State aid 'helps pay the bills' for construction -- Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development sends more than $300,000 in tax credits to four projects in county
By Wendy Levy, as seen on The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=26856&page=1 By Wendy M. Levy/The Commons BRATTLEBORO—The Vermont Agency of Commerce and...
Vermont seizes climate change economic growth and resource renewal opportunities -- Accel-VT invites entrepreneurs from across North America to solve electric grid challenges and accelerate business growth in Vermont
BURLINGTON, Vt., Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- As national environmental protections are deregulated and challenges presented by climate change become more widely recognized, Vermont positions...
Middlebury residents concerned about climate change, but differ on what to do about it
By Lou Varricchio, as seen on True North Reports: http://truenorthreports.com/middlebury-residents-differ-on-response-to-c... MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — A meeting held Monday on “creating a climate economy”...
Conquering Climate Change One Business at a Time
By Terri Hallenbeck, as seen in Seven Days: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/conquering-climate-change-one-busine... When Paul Costello and his team of organizers started putting together a...
‘Climate economy’ initiative divides Pownal, Middlebury next
By Michael Bielawski, as seen in True North Reports: http://truenorthreports.com/climate-economy-initiative-coming-to-middlebury One community has become divided after the Vermont Council on Rural...
Editorial: How Middlebury's Climate Initiative will make you richer
By Angelo Lynn, as seen in the Addison Independent: http://www.addisonindependent.com/201709editorial-how-middleburys-cimate... A week from Monday, on Sept. 18, residents of the greater-Middlebury...
Burke Community Action Plan to Be Developed on September 19th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Burke Community Visit process on September 19th; all community members of the town are welcome to help line up action...
Fear of empowerment: In a Vermont town, goal of ‘climate economy’ draws support, resistance
By Evan Lawrence, as seen in the Hill Country Observer: http://www.hillcountryobserver.com/2017news/sept2017pownal.htm POWNAL, Vt. - This spring, the rural town of Pownal became the first in Vermont...
'Now or never': Family to open general store in Vernon
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/stories/now-or-never-family-to-open-general-stor... VERNON — Residents missing the community store need worry no longer....
VCRD Announces Middlebury as the next Climate Economy Model Community: Kick-off event and free community dinner September 18
As seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/2017/september/03/vcrd-names-middlebury-n... MIDDLEBURY - Vermont Council on Rural Development, joined by partners Efficiency...
Former Greensboro Garage to Become Food-Ag Center
By Sally Pollack as seen in Seven Days: https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/former-greensboro-garage-to-become-f... The big yellow building on Route 15 in Hardwick, the former Greensboro Garage,...
Green business summit aims to spur national investment
By Kevin O'Connor as seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/20/green-business-summit-aims-spur-national... Paul Costello doesn’t want to talk about the polarizing problem of climate...
Village Infrastructure, Traffic Safety, School Needs Top Priorities in Burke
By Amy Nixon, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/village-infrastructure-traffi... BURKE HOLLOW — More than 80 community members turned out Tuesday night for...
Robert Miller Commentary: Climate economy is an important opportunity
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/08/16/robert-miller-climate-economy-important-... Editor’s note: This commentary is by Robert Miller, of Shelburne, who is CEO of VSECU and a...
New 'Climate Action Commission' Seeks Jobs-Growing Solutions To Greenhouse Gas Problems
As seen and heard on Vermont Public Radio: http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-climate-action-commission-seeks-jobs-gro... Gov. Phil Scott’s newly minted Climate Action Commission held its first meeting...
Costello Commentary: Coming Together to Answer Climate Change
As seen in the Times-Argus: https://www.timesargus.com/articles/answering-the-climate-challenge/ This week saw yet another disturbing climate change report in the news—this one authored by U.S....
Catalysts of the Climate Economy summit set for Vermont
As seen in the Vermont Business Magazine Vermont will host the Catalysts of the Climate Economy (cc:econ), a three-day national innovation summit on September 6-8. Taking place at the University of...
Hawken to keynote national climate innovation summit
Montpelier, VT – Environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist and author Paul Hawken will be the keynote speaker at the Catalysts of the Climate Economy: National Innovation Summit, (cc:econ). The...
Nick Richardson Commentary: The climate and economy are intertwined
As seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/nick-richardson-the-climate-and-... The economy and our landscape in Vermont are intertwined. Recreation, tourism,...
Amid controversy, residents decide on five town projects
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/amid-controversy-residents-decid...POWNAL — About 120 town residents whittled down a list of proposed...
Pownal's opportunity to lead
By Ted Brady, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/pownals-opportunity-to-lead,514507 Rural economies across America are struggling to recover from the Great...
Pownal program not something to fear
As seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/pownal-program-not-something-to-... Some Pownal residents are highly suspicious of the intent of the Vermont Council on...
Some object to Pownal initiative, call for town vote
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/07/21/object-pownal-initiative-call-town-vote/ POWNAL — Vermont’s southwestern-most town in April became the first selected by a statewide program...
Burke Community to Set Priorities for Action on August 15
All members of the Burke Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the One Burke Community Visit. The meeting, to be held on Tuesday, August 15 6:30-9pm at the Burke Town School,...
Country Stores, a New England Institution, Are Going Dark: Across New England, classic rural general stores are on the decline amid new competition, but some are finding ways to fight back
By Jennifer Levitz, as seen in the Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/article_email/country-stores-a-new-england-instituti... For 203 years, the Francestown Village Store served its tiny New...
Community looks to unite around ‘One Burke’
By Alan Keays, as seen vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/07/12/community-looks-unite-around-one-burke/ BURKE — Uniting east and west, as well as the mountain resort and the village below, was...
Lyndonville Working On Downtown Rejuvenation
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/lyndonville-working-on-downto... LYNDONVILLE — A new committee is at work on trying to rejuvenate the downtown. The...
Empower Pownal Community Meeting – July 25
On Tuesday, July 25, all members of the Pownal community are invited to participate in the 2nd step of the Empower Pownal process. The session will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 PM at the American Legion...
Empowering Pownal: Meeting draws over 100
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/empowering-pownal-meeting-draws-... POWNAL — More than 100 residents turned out for the launch of Empower...
One Burke Community Visit Program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, all members of the Burke community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 20 federal...
Video ~ Vermont PBS "Profile of Vermont's Future" with Paul Costello
Vermont PBS aired their "Profile of Vermont's Future" special around the economic challenges facing Vermont and how communities are stepping up to advance their revitalization -- with moderator Fran...
Empower Pownal invites the full community to a free lunch and kick-off to set direction for the future
On Saturday June 24th all members of the Pownal community are invited to the Empower Pownal kick-off event at the American Legion. This event is kicks off a process for residents to identify and...
McGinnis Opinion: Seeing opportunity in climate fight
By Linda McGinnis as seen in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2017/06/08/opin... Vermont is made up of communities that care about each other and...
Paul Bruhn Awarded Vermont Council on Rural Development Lifetime Leadership Award
On Thursday, June 8th the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) presented its annual Vermont Lifetime Leadership Award to Paul Bruhn, the Executive Director of Preservation Trust of Vermont for...
ccecon: Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit
A 3-day innovation summit for creative entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders who are champions of progress toward future prosperity in the Climate Economy. Find out more and register at...
2017 cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit
Over 500 entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders attended the cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit - a 3-day national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont to gear up for the next...
Larry Williams Commentary: Vermont can lead the way in climate economy
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/06/02/larry-williams-vermont-can-lead-way-clim... As the numbers of people who participated in the climate march recently showed, Vermonters and...
Solar = Business and Job Opportunities for Vermont
Danielle Laberge has always dreamed of staying and working in Vermont, but after completing her studies in botany and ecology at Vassar College, many told her that she would need to leave her home...
Lyndon Community Visit Report - 2017
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Lyndon. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Support business growth and economic...
A New Framework for Design and Construction
New Frameworks is a natural design and construction firm with a central mission to help lead the transformation of our state and region into a climate-adaptive, sustainable place. New Frameworks...
First ‘climate economy’ town begins charting its course
As seen in vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/05/14/first-climate-economy-town-begins-charti... POWNAL — About 30 residents turned out last week to begin planning how to foster a healthy local...
First Climate Community initiative launched in Pownal
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/first-climate-community-initiati... POWNAL — The Vermont Council on Rural Development launched its first...
Pownal chosen as first climate economy model community
As seen in Business Vermont of the Rutland Herald/Times Argus: http://www.businessvermont.com/pownal-chosen-as-first-climate-economy-mo... POWNAL — Shannon Barsotti, Pownal Planning Commission...
Video ~ Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce: Rural Economic Development
Hear VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello's perspective about changes and progress in the state technologically, economically, and culturally as he  speaks with Tom Torti, President, Lake Champlain...
Local Economy, Downtown, Recreation Are Among Lyndon Priorities, School-Community Partnerships Focus, Too
By Amy Ash Nixon as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/local-economy-downtown-recrea... LYNDON — The three-part Lyndon Community Visit Process brought to town...
Dan Hoxworth: Fighting poverty and climate change through transportation efficiency
As seen in the vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/04/18/dan-hoxworth-fighting-poverty-climate-ch... Editor’s note: This commentary is by Dan Hoxworth, the executive director of Capstone...
Vernon halts fiber optic work
By Mike Faher, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/stories/vernon-halts-fiber-optic-work,504885 VERNON — Despite years of planning and research, it appears that a high-speed...
Retreat Farm presents multi-year plan
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/stories/retreat-farm-presents-multi-year-plan,50... BRATTLEBORO — The Retreat Farm recently unveiled a multi-year plan...
Lyndon’s Community Planning Meeting April 25
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/lyndon-s-community-planning-m... The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Lyndon...
First model climate economy town
By Jim Therrian, as seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/first-model-climate-economy-town... POWNAL — Pownal has been selected as the first Vermont town to receive...
Press Release: Pownal Selected as First Climate Economy Model Community
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) joined with partners Green Mountain Power and Efficiency Vermont to announce that the town of Pownal was selected as the first to participate in the...
Video ~ Paul Costello Keynote at the 72nd Annual Vermont Town Officers Education Conference
VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello gave the keynote address at the annual Town Officers Education Conference. Tune in to hear him talk about VCRD's Community Visit process in service to Vermont...
Clean Energy Jobs Attract Young Professionals to Vermont
Same Sun employee Jonathon Klos came to Vermont from Michigan to attend Green Mountain College. Instead of returning to Michigan, he stayed to take a job with Same Sun, a Rutland-based solar company...
Wheeled Hand Tools: Carbon Free Tools to Lever, Lift, and Move
Wheeled Hand Tool Systems, Inc. was founded in 1978 to create solutions that reduce human impact on the environment. Recognizing the significant emissions that small engines generate, developer Gerry...
Priorities Chosen for VT Rural Development Process in Lyndon
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/priorities-chosen-for-vt-rura... LYNDONVILLE — The community planning process initiated by Vermont Council on Rural...
Action Alert: ANR is seeking input on best use of the $18M VW settlement comes coming to Vermont
You may have heard in the news last year that Volkwagen (VW) violated the Clean Air Act with sales of vehicles that were equipped with devices designed to defeat emission controls. In order to remedy...
It's More Than a Job
Danielle Bombardier, has found an opportunity for employment and growth in the expansion of renewable energy projects in Vermont. Originally drawn to the work by the potential for advancement,...
VCRD 2017 Work Plan
VCRD serves as a convener, catalyst, and leader for Vermont to build and advance policies to support the working landscape, economic innovation, and strong communities! Here's our work plan for 2017...
VTrans and ACCD award economic development grants to Brighton, St Albans and Windsor
As seen in the Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/march/vtrans-and-accd-award-economic-deve... Note that VCRD wrapped up our Brighton Community Visit process in January 2017...
YMCA partnership is a win for Bennington
As seen in the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/stories/ymca-partnership-is-a-win-for-be... The town has known about its need for improved recreational programs since at least...
Model Communities FAQ's
Climate Economy Model Communities Program – Frequently Asked Questions - Updated March 15 1. Can more than one town join together in one application? Possibly. VCRD finds organizing at the town...
Bennington to contract with Berkshire YMCA
By Jim Therrien, as seen in the Berkshire Eagle: http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/vermont-town-to-contract-with-berk... Jacobs and Hurd said the impetus for the effort dates to the 2012...
Vermont Electrician is Part of the Climate Economy Solution
Nearly 18,000 Vermonters work in fields related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, which is over 4% of Vermont’s workforce. These jobs include electricians installing solar panels, carpenters...
Commentary ~ Jon Copans: Modelling a local and vibrant climate economy
As seen in the vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/03/06/jon-copans-modelling-local-vibrant-clima... With a national political conversation that seems to become more divisive and fragmented with...
Climate Economy Action Team
The Vermont Climate Economy Action Team, the leadership team of the VT Climate Economy Partnership, is dedicated to advancing initiatives to expand distributed energy generation and efficiency in...
Lyndon Community to Set Priorities for Action on April 4
Rescheduled again!! New date: April 4th, 6:30-9pm @ Lyndon Town School All members of the Lyndon Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’...
Climate Economy Model Communities Program Launched: Vermont Communities are Invited to Apply
As seen in the Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/february/scott-vcrd-utilities-look-develo... The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) joined with Governor Phil Scott...
Officials, Residents Begin Community Visioning Process
As seen in the Caledonian Record, by BY AMY ASH NIXON Staff Writer: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/vt-council-on-rural-developme... LYNDONVILLE — The first leg of a process aimed at...
Climate Economy Model Communities Program
The Vermont Climate Economy Model Communities Program is designed to help communities build and implement priority actions that increase economic vitality and affordability in a time of climate...
Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces Program Impacts on Vermont’s Economy and Communities
As seen on vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2017/02/09/working-lands-enterprise-board-announces... Press Release: Working Lands Enterprise Board Contact: Noelle SevoianNoelle.Sevoian@vermont.gov...
Creating bright futures for Maine’s rural economies relies on collaboration of ideas
As seen in the Bangor Daily News: https://bangordailynews.com/2017/02/10/homestead/creating-bright-futures... BANGOR, Maine ― Communities throughout rural Maine are up against no shortage of...
Rural Development Council Coming To Lyndon
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/rural-development-council-com... LYNDON CENTER — The entire community is invited to take part in a forum focused on...
Town offers land to ease purchase of Grange: Creation of community center was 'top priority' in community visioning process
By Wendy Levy, The Commons. As seen on: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=16488&page=1#... GUILFORD—Members of the nonprofit Broad Brook Community Center recently got...
Opinion: Maine needs a leader to step up for rural communities
As seen in the Bangor Daily News: https://bangordailynews.com/2017/02/04/opinion/editorials/maine-needs-a-... Maine’s rural communities are struggling. They face a declining population, especially...
What Maine can learn from Vermont about revitalizing rural communities
As seen in Revitalizing News: https://revitalizationnews.com/article/maine-can-learn-vermont-revitaliz... Maine is the most rural state in the United States, but it doesn’t have an organization...
Maine’s efforts to help rural towns didn’t work. Here’s what it can learn from Vermont
As seen in the Bangor Daily News: http://bangordailynews.com/2017/02/02/mainefocus/maines-efforts-to-help-... Maine is the most rural state in the country, but it doesn’t have an organization...
Lyndon Community Visit Day ~ February 16, 2017
On Thursday, February 16th, 2017, all members of the Lyndon community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 25...
Brighton Community Visit Report - 2017
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Brighton. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Advance a Brighton Recreation Program;...
Jon Copans named director of VCRD's Climate Economy Model Communities Program
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announced today that Jon Copans has joined the organization as Director of its Climate Economy Model Communities Program. The Program, starting in 2017...
Community Profiles
UVM's Center for Rural Studies prepares Community Profiles for us to share with our Visiting Resourse Team members in advance of our Community Visit processes. These profiles, compiled from US Census...
Brighton Community Action Plan to Be Developed on December 8th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Brighton Community Visit process on December 8th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans...
Vermont Climate Economy Action Team Convened
As seen in vermontbiz.com: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/november/vermont-climate-economy-action-t... A new working group has formed to advance Vermont’s Climate Economy. Founded by the Vermont...
Center For The Agricultural Economy Leads Effort To Acquire Big Yellow Barn
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/features/business/center-for-the-agricul... HARDWICK — The Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE), working with a consortium of...
VCRD Job Opening: Climate Economy Model Communities Program Director
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is seeking a “Climate Economy Model Communities Program Director” to help Vermont communities advance economic opportunities while reducing their local carbon...
Brighton Community to Set Priorities for Action on November 3rd
All members of the Brighton Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Brighton. The meeting, to be...
Vernon eyes Vermont Yankee property
By Mike Faher, as seen on vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2016/10/14/vernon-eyes-vy-property/ VERNON — Town officials see an “amazing opportunity” in potential reuse of Vermont Yankee property,...
A cup of cheer: Vernon's Community Café debuts in Town Hall lobby
By Wendy M. Levy, as seen in The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=15690&page=1#... VERNON—A group of locals trying to open a community café are so intent on...
The Right House
Harry Hunt Architects is a Stowe Vermont-based architectural firm that designs modern low carbon homes that stay true to the spirit of Vermont. Projects may include renovations or new construction,...
Vernon committee finds 'interim' space for community store
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_30410266/vernon-committee-finds-in... VERNON — A committee exploring the prospects for opening a community...
Brighton brainstorming session Oct. 4: Event about the future of Brighton Town, Economy, and School also includes free community dinner
By Robin Smith, as seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/news/local/brighton-brainstorming-session-encouraged-on-oct/article_9dca428b-fe04-5ace-972b-cebf74124bcf.html...
Brighton / Island Pond Community Visit Program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
On October 4th 2016, all members of the Brighton/Island Pond community are invited to kick off the Brighton Community Visit process, an opportunity for residents to actively participate in examining...
Paul Costello Commentary: Vernon is building its future
All Vermonters know that the town has taken a hard blow with the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee. The closure has had direct economic impacts on jobs, employee relocations, declining home values,...
Vernon Community Visit Report - 2016
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Vernon. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas and built task forces to take action to: Develop the...
Vernon's power production future debated
By Mike Faher, vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/09/14/vernons-power-production-future-debated/ VERNON - As residents try to imagine Vernon's energy future, some say the former nuclear town...
Manchester River Walk: Showcasing the natural beauty
In 2013, VCRD ran a Community Visit process in Manchester. One of the priorities chosen by the town was to "Redevelop the Riverside and Open a Riverwalk." We're so happy to see this story sharing the...
To Fill Void Left By Vermont Yankee, Vernon Looks For New Energy Projects
As heard on Vermont Public Radio. Listen to the story here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/fill-void-left-vermont-yankee-vernon-looks-n... Energy leaders from across the state met in Vernon this week...
Brighton Community Visit Day Schedule ~ October 4th, 2016
On Tuesday, October 4th 2016, all members of the Brighton community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 20...
Residents say they want a community store
As seen on The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=15418&page=1#... VERNON—Is a general store in the town’s future? At least 175 residents think so, according to...
Business incubator, fiber optics eyed for Vernon’s future
By Mike Faher, as seen on vtdigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2016/08/29/business-incubator-fiber-optics-eyed-ver... VERNON — In a basement meeting room just a short walk from the front gate of...
Innovating and Manufacturing New Solar Technologies - In Vermont!
AllEarth Renewables has developed an award-winning solar tracking system right here in the Green Mountains which produces up to 45% more energy than typical fixed solar systems. Distributed nation-...
Helping Neighbors Reduce Carbon Footprint and Invest in Resilient Community
Front Porch Forum (FPF) is a free community-building platform that now serves every town in Vermont.* This service helps residents communicate with their neighbors, connecting people to their...
Vermont gets $1.2 million in federal aid for northern border communities
As seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/august/vermont-gets-12-million-federal-ai... As part of a continuing effort to bolster economic development in Northern Vermont,...
Replacing Mobile Homes in Vermont: Saving Fuel, Saving Money
Many mobile home residents in Vermont are faced with a significant challenge; while their incomes are often low, their energy costs are high. Since 2013, Efficiency Vermont and the VT Housing and...
Carbon tax one issue dividing gubernatorial hopefuls in debate
By Adam Federman, as seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/07/20/carbon-tax-one-issue-dividing-gubernatori... RUTLAND — Can Vermont meet its own economic needs and still effectively address...
Local Publisher with a Global Mission
Green Writers Press (GWP) is a Vermont-based global publisher with a mission to help foster a sustainable environment through the words and the images they publish. Dede Cummings, the founder and...
Candidates for governor square off in Rutland
By Gordon Dritschilo, as seen in the Times Argus: http://timesargus.com/article/20160720/THISJUSTIN/160729969 RUTLAND — It was sometimes hard to draw distinctions between Vermont’s gubernatorial...
Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum
Join us for a forum with ALL 5 candidates discussing "Vermont's Economic Future in a Time of Climate Change." Come to the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, or watch it live on Vermont PBS either on TV or...
Empowering Energy Efficiency, One Loan at a Time
VSECU is a not for profit, cooperative credit union that is committed to finding opportunities within both its operations and its business products to promote environmentally sound choices for its...
Online Learning, Global Programs, Farm Enhancements, and Nationwide Leadership: Innovation Thrives in Food Systems Education at Vermont’s Higher Ed Schools
This summer Vermont’s colleges and universities are buzzing with inventive and hands-on learning that drives global food system solutions. The seven members of the Vermont Higher Education Food...
Video - Vernon Sets Priorities for the Future of the Community
As seen on BCTV: http://www.brattleborotv.org/vernon-community-visit-step-2-prioritize  Members of the Vernon Community come together to review action ideas, set prioirities for the future, and sign...
Community Visit draws to a close; final meeting will set task forces
By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/ci_30087408/moving-forward-momentum-vernon-commu... VERNON >> The Community Visit process is coming to a close in one sense. But...
Audio ~ WKVT radio podcast: Vitalizing Vernon
Jenna Whitson and Art Miller update the Vernon Community Visit process in advance of the July 7th meeting.
Vernon Community Action Plan to Be Developed on July 7
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its third, and last, major session in the Vernon Community Visit process on July 7th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action...
Vernon's Community Visit tackles what's next: Residents to vote on action items
By Chris Mays, as seen in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_29988302/vernons-community-visit-t... VERNON — Sound the bells for round two. Vernon's Community Visit —...
Video ~ Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum: July 19, 2016
The Vermont Council on Rural Development, with sponsoring partners Vermont PBS and Northfield Savings Bank, presented the Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum: Vermont's Economic Future in a Time...
Collaborators For Community Improvement Gather To Celebrate Progress: Committees Developed Through Community Visit Process Give Update
As seen in the Caledonian Record: http://www.caledonianrecord.com/ ST. JOHNSBURY – A flame of volunteerism sparked in St. Johnsbury last spring continues to burn in the name of community betterment...
A Different Kind of Fuel Dealer
The Energy Co-op is a 15-year-old full service fuel dealer serving 2,500 members and customers in northwestern and central Vermont. The Co-op delivers heating oil, kerosene, and wood pellets and...
Vernon Community to Set Priorities for Action on June 8th
All members of the Vernon Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Vernon. The meeting, to be held...
Community: Swanton on the Move
From the May 2016 newsletter of the Vermont Arts Council The arts are alive and growing in this small Franklin County town. In the first two months of 2015, the Vermont Council on Rural Development...
Food waste used for energy at Blue Spruce Farm
Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, Vermont is known for the many gallons of milk that its cows produce each year to produce Cabot Cheddar Cheese at a plant located just 9 miles from the farm. However,...
St. Johnsbury Celebrates Process: May 26, 2016
All members of the St. Johnsbury community are invited to the One-Year Follow up to the 2015 St. J Community Visit Process on Thursday, May 26th, 5-6:30 at the St. Johnsbury School Auditorium. Join...
Morrisville Food Co-op Breaks Ground
Congratulations MOCO (Morrisville Co-op) on kicking off their building renovation project. In 2011, VCRD facilitated a Community Visit process in Morrisville that built a local task force to "Develop...
Planning for tomorrow: Vernon Community Visit process begins
Kick-off event expected to get the ball rolling By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer. As seen here: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_29885903/planning-tomorrow-vernon-... VERNON >> Life...
Vernon Community Visit program invites the full community together to set direction for the future
All members of the Vernon community are invited to come together on May 18th to kick off the Vernon Community Visit process, an opportunity for residents to actively participate in examining issues,...
Generating Clean Energy on Underutilized Land
Burlington-based Encore Renewable Energy is a leading integrated clean energy company specializing in commercial, industrial, and community-scale solar PV systems and 21st century solutions for...
Video ~ BCTV Open Studio: Vernon Community Visit Day
As seen on BCTV: http://www.brattleborotv.org/bctv-open-studio/open-studio-vernon-communi... Host Chris Lenois sits down with VT Council on Rural Development Community and Policy Manager Jenna...
Costello: The Vermont Climate Economy Partnership
by Paul Costello, Executive Director, Vermont Council on Rural Development At the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) we get to work with rural towns throughout Vermont where we rally...
Vernon Community Visit Day Schedule ~ May 18th, 2016
On Wednesday, May 18th 2016, all members of the Vernon community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of over 20 federal...
Vernon gas plant project on hold after losing fuel supply
By Mike Faher, as seen in vtdigger: https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/21/vernon-gas-plant-project-on-hold/ VERNON — After more than a year of intense planning and debate, the Vernon natural gas plant...
2016 Community Quotes and Policy Work
VCRD serves as a convener, catalyst, and leader for Vermont to build and advance policies to support the working landscape, economic innovation, and strong communities! This snapshot shares quotes...
Post-Vermont Yankee grant program questioned in Vernon
By Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_29787299/post-vermont-yankee-grant... VERNON >> Frustrated Planning Commission members wondered about the success of...
Hardwick Community Visit Report - 2016
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Hardwick. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Open a Recreational Center and Expand...
Two Weeks, Seven Schools: Students Invited to Vermont to Discover the Future of Food
As seen in Vermont Business Magazine: http://vermontbiz.com/news/april/two-weeks-eight-schools-students-invite... For Immediate Release: April 4, 2016 Contact: Paul Costello, Vermont Council on...
House approves $900,000 for ‘Working Lands’ grant program
As seen in vtdigger, by Mike Faher: https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/01/house-approves-900000-for-working-lands-... BRATTLEBORO — The state House wants to pump more cash into Vermont’s working lands....
Notes from Montpelier: Legislature working to reduce spending growth
As seen in the Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/localeditorials/ci_29692425/notes-from-montpelie... As expected, long hours were spent on the Floor of the House this week as we worked our way...
Write a letter to your local paper in support of WLEF funding for FY 2017
Write a letter to your local newspaper. (A list of papers with their email addresses is below.) Send your letter by email, and only send it to one paper at a time. Do not cc (or bcc) multiple...
2016 Summit Highlights Video
Talented students from the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College interviewed Summit speakers and participants to capture the spirit of the Summit in video. Their showing of a first draft at the...
Grant to aid Vernon’s post-Vermont Yankee plan
As seen in the vtdigger.org: BRATTLEBORO — Since late 2014, state officials have awarded more than $3.6 million from an economic development fund set up to ease the pain of Vermont Yankee’s closure...
Work the land
As seen in the Times Argus: http://tablet.olivesoftware.com/olive/Tablet/BarreTimesArgus/SharedArtic... There’s money in Vermont’s woods. More than that, there’s a way of life. The Vermont Working...
2016 Climate Economy Summit Report
Over 420 participants came together on February 22, 2016 for VCRD’s 2nd Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS to ACTION. Participants reviewed PROGRESS FOR VERMONT, the report and action plan of the Vermont...
Join the Climate Economy Partnership
It is time for action to advance Vermont's climate economy. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) invites both individuals and organizations/businesses to join the Vermont Climate Economy...
Video ~ 2016 Climate Economy Summit
VCRD Summit Highlights Talented students from the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College interviewed Summit speakers and participants to capture the spirit of the Summit in video. Their showing...
Working Lands Committee Releases Year-Long Report and New Mapping Tool
As seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/03/01/working-lands-committee-releases-year-lon... On Thursday, February 25th, the Forestry Committee of the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB)...
Tech help for job hunters renewed
As seen in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160229/NEWS01/160229640/0/NEWS05 MONTPELIER — Job seekers who are computer-challenged have a new technology tool at their fingertips...
Editorial: Rising tides
As seen in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160225/OPINION01/160229804 A report out this week found that sea levels are rising more rapidly than at any time since the era of...
Summit Explores Vermont's Climate Economy
By Steve Zind, VPR. Listen here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/summit-explores-vermonts-climate-economy More than 400 participants attended the second annual Vermont Climate Economy Summit held Monday...
Gathering asks: Could Vermont benefit from climate change?
By Mark Johnson, vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/22/gathering-asks-could-vermont-benefit-from... RANDOLPH — Vermont is poised to benefit economically while also helping the world cope with...
Optimism on Vermont’s ‘climate economy’
By Gregory Dennis, Addison County Independent: http://www.addisonindependent.com/ When confronted with the latest piece of bad news about climate change – record-high temperatures, devastating...
Audio ~ Can Vermont adapt to climate change?
In the midst of one of the warmest winters in memory, how can Vermont adapt to the new realities of climate change? Paul Costello of the Vermont Council on Rural Development has been exploring this...
VCRD Summit focuses on growing Vt’s green jobs
As seen at Mountain Times: http://mountaintimes.info/vcrd-summit-focuses-on-growing-vts-green-jobs/ RANDOLPH – Strategies for keeping Vermont in the forefront of stimulating the growth of green jobs...
Conference Held On Implementing A Climate Economy In Vermont
Listen to the audio of the Pat Bradley story on WAMC: http://wamc.org/post/conference-held-implementing-climate-economy-vermon... Hundreds of people gathered in Randolph, Vermont Monday to discuss...
Hundreds gather in Randolph for economic climate summit
See the story on WCAX: http://www.wcax.com/story/31285216/hundreds-gather-in-randolph-for-econo... RANDOLPH, Vt. - Lawmakers and business leaders are fighting climate change and looking to help...
Communities lead in climate economy effort
By Andy Clark, Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20160224/NEWS01/160229839 RANDOLPH — Vermont’s climate economy is a pace-setter for the nation, in large part because of work being done...
Leahy to Open Vermont Climate Economy Summit Monday, February 22
As seen at: http://www.vermontbiz.com/event/february/leahy-open-vermont-climate-econ... Senator Patrick Leahy to be opening speaker at the Vermont Climate Economy Summit, sponsored by the Vermont...
Video ~ Hardwick Community Visit Vote: Feb 15, 2016
As seen on: http://hctv.us/2016/02/hardwick-community-visit-vote-feb-15-2016/ The VT Council on Rural Development returns to Hardwick to follow up on ideas generated in a series of forums on...
Today’s Summit: Growing Vermont’s Green Jobs
Contact: Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director, 802-223-5763, pcostello@vtrural.org EDITORS: Note, a complete Summit packet, including participants and bios, is available at http://vtrural.org/...
Living Economically
By Laurie Caswell Burke, Wind Ridge columnist | As seen at Shelburne News: http://www.shelburnenews.com/2016/02/18/living-economically/ Miss the Paris Climate Summit? Here’s an opportunity much...
VPR's Vermont Edition: A Warm Winter's Impact On the State Economy
Listen to the conversation here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/warm-winters-impact-state-economy#stream/0 In this segment of VPR's Vermont Edition, Jane Lindholm talks with Parker Riehle, president of...
Video ~ Working Lands Enterprise Initiative helps VT working lands businesses thrive
A 6 min. overview of the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative - A State of Vermont sponsored grant program for working lands businesses looking to advance to their next stage. Featuring four grantees...
Working Lands end-of-year report points to success stories
As seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/02/05/working-lands-end-of-year-report-points-t... A state investment fund credited with helping a growing group of businesses and farms was put on...
Video ~ On the Waterfront: VT Climate Change Initiative and Upcoming Climate Summit
As seen on: https://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/vt-climate-change-initiative-and-... Host Melinda Moulton speaks with Jenna Whitson, Community and Policy Senior Associate with Vermont Council on...
Video ~ City Room with Steven Pappas
As seen on: http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T05132&video=264383 Steven Pappas interviews Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director and Rob Miller, VT State Employees Credit Union President about...
VT Tech offers “living labs” for climate change solutions
With 100% of their degrees earned through applied, hand-on education, Vermont Tech students learn by doing. This experiential learning is central to the school’s renewable energy and climate change...
Times Argus Editorial: Building Blocks
As seen at: http://timesargus.com/article/20160205/OPINION01/160209789/0/SEARCH About a year ago, the Vermont Council on Rural Development held a daylong summit in Randolph to discuss the economic...
Video ~ Vermont’s Working Forests: Challenges and Opportunities
As seen on: http://middleburycommunitytv.org/2016/02/04/forestry-forum-at-the-vermon... From the Forestry Forum at the Vermont Folklife Center, panelists discuss challenges and opportunities of...
New report helps Vt. businesses take on climate change
MONTPELIER, Vt. (watch the clip at: http://www.wcax.com/story/31119960/new-report-helps-vt-businesses-take-o...) A new report aims to help businesses and nonprofits take on climate change. The 24-...
New Report Says Vermont Businesses Are Key 'In Age Of Climate Change'
By Steve Zind. Listen to the story at VPR: http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-report-says-vermont-businesses-are-key-age-climate-change#stream/0 Vermont’s economy has always been influenced by larger...
Bold New Strategy Proposed for Vermont’s Economy
Contact: Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director, 223-5763, pcostello@vtrural.org MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC) is proposing a bold new vision and strategy for...
Opinion: Sooner or later, a new economy
Over the past year, as the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (of which I was a member), listened to the collective wisdom of the state’s communities, entrepreneurs and policy leaders, one thing...
Hardwick Community to Set Priorities for Action on February 15th
All members of the Hardwick Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Hardwick. The meeting, to be...
Progress for Vermont: Report and Action Plan of the VT Climate Change Economy Council
Progress for Vermont is the final report and action plan of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC) which was founded in February 2015 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. This...
Calley Hastings Opinion: Support Working Lands Enterprise Fund
As seen in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2016/01/26/opinion-support-working-lands-enterprise-fund/79366596/ Eight years ago when I started Fat...
Lessons from Students: Making the Most of Vermont’s Food Web
Written by Vicky Tebbets Students from around the country plunged into a whirlwind tour of Vermont last June with one goal: immersion in Vermont’s food systems. For 21 intensive days they traveled...
National Clean Energy Innovator to Keynote Vermont’s Climate Economy Summit
MONTPELIER, VT – Danny Kennedy, an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues, will keynote Ideas to Action: the Summit on Vermont’s Climate Economy on February 22 at...
Chris Brooks: Support Working Lands Enterprise Fund
As seen in the vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2016/01/21/chris-brooks-support-working-lands-enterprise-fund/ Editor’s note: This commentary is by Chris Brooks, who is the CEO and president of...
To the editor: Montpelier should support Working Lands Enterprise program
As seen in the Chester Telegraph: http://chestertelegraph.org/2016/01/19/to-the-editor-montpelier-should-support-working-lands-enterprise-program/ We are writing in support of the Working Lands...
Remote Sensors Keep Turbines Running
Wind power nationally is growing at a rate of roughly 30% a year, but it remains a major capital expense. Perhaps more importantly, wind turbine repair and upkeep costs are high and downtime means...
Getting There and Parking
The Summit is taking place in Judd Hall at Vermont Technical College, 124 Admin Drive, Randolph Center, VT 05061. Take I-89 to Exit 4. On the exit ramps, watch for signs to VTC, which will send you...
2016 Climate Economy Summit Speakers
Keynote Speaker: Danny Kennedy Danny Kennedy, an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. Click here to find out more.   Other Speakers, Facilitators, Moderators,...
2016 Climate Economy Summit Outreach Sponsors
Thanks to the following organizations and businesses who signed on as "Outreach Sponsors" and actively shared the Summit information through their networks: Brattleboro Development Credit...
2016 Climate Economy Summit Financial Sponsors
The Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS TO ACTION is made possible by the generous support of: The Alchemist American Flatbread Burlington Hearth Burlington Electric Department Butternut Mountain Farm...
Register for the 2016 Climate Economy Summit
Help define and advance strategies to make VT a national leader in climate economy business development, innovation, and job creation for the future.
Barre Company Develops Power Breakthrough
A key factor in harnessing renewable energy is how efficiently the DC power can be converted to AC power for homes and businesses. A Vermont company, SBE Inc. in Barre, focused on a single component...
Hardwick Community Visit Day ~ January 20th, 2016
On Wednesday, January 20th 2016, all members of the Hardwick community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of over 20...
Craftsbury Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Craftsbury. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Advance Craftsbury Land Protection;...
Storage Adds Reliability to Renewable Energy
Vermont's Northern Reliability Inc. (NRI) builds custom energy storage solutions to fit any application. As a result, the Waitsfield based company is making it possible to have reliable electricity...
New Series Features Vermont’s Climate Economy Innovators
MONTPELIER VT – Today’s innovative Vermont businesses are growing the state’s climate change economy. Examples range from manufacturers of super insulated panels for new buildings to engineers that...
VCRD In Action - Programs and Initiatives Through 2015
In addition to work in communities through Community Visits, Creative Communities, the Digital Economy Project, e-Vermont, and Broadband Facilitation (shown on map) VCRD also brings people together...
Little spray nozzle produces big benefits
Few of us think about how a better nozzle could reduce the entire spray can industry’s environmental impact. Yet at Bethel’s family-owned Ultramotive Corporation, that’s just what happened. Its...
Insulated panels help reduce energy use
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) make up one of the most sustainable, energy-efficient construction methods in the residential and light commercial building industry today. Essentially, these are...
From Forum Participants: Ideas to Advance Vermont’s Climate Economy
In 2015, we held 3 Climate Economy Forums with Vermonters across the state to gather their best ideas for ways to advance Vermont’s climate economy. Over 150 participants joined us in Rutland (August...
Video ~ What’s Next for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy?
Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state’s economy. VCRD...
VT Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS TO ACTION ~ Feb 22, 2016
The Vermont Climate Economy Summit IDEAS TO ACTION, held February 22, 2016 at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph, brought together over 400 participants - innovative business, non‐profit, and...
Lowering the price on large scale solar
Nathaniel Vandal is the co-founder of Green Peak Solar, a Waitsfield, Vermont-based company focusing on developing large-scale solar energy systems for utilities, towns, school districts, and...
Donohue Commentary: Climate change is a business opportunity
Commentary by Mike Donohue, as seen on: http://burlingtonfreepress.vt.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=18fb873f2 Today at 7 p.m., Burlington’s Mayor Miro Weinberger and the Vermont Council on...
Audio: Climate Economy Forum planned in Burlington
By Pat Bradley, WAMC Radio, as seen on: http://wamc.org/post/climate-economy-forum-planned-burlington#stream/0 Listen to the story here: http://cpa.ds.npr.org/wamc/audio/2015/10/patb10-27climate-...
Craftsbury Community Action Plan to Be Developed on Nov 17
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Craftsbury Community Visit process on November 17th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action...
Northern Vermont Climate Economy Forum October 29
MONTPELIER, VT – A regional forum focusing on the opportunity to create jobs while developing innovative solutions to stem the impact of climate change will take place at Contois Auditorium in...
Share a Climate Innovator Story
Vermont’s climate change innovators are finding practical ways to reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate risk, and stimulate green economic development within the Green Mountain state and beyond....
Committee looks at changing government structures
By Erin Mansfield as seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/10/14/committee-looks-at-changing-government-st... The Legislature’s committee on government restructuring met for the first time...
Opinion: Beyond panels and turbines
By Gov. Peter Shumlin, as seen in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2015/10/15/opin... When we talk about renewable energy, the focus is often on...
Video ~ On the Waterfront: "What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy" Upcoming Regional Forum
Host Melinda Moulton speaks with Jenna Whitson, VCRD's Community and Policy Senior Associate, about the upcoming October 29th public forum "What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy?" It will be a...
Cutting fossil fuel use with compost heat
Enosburg Falls, VT - Most people know about composting—the natural recycling process that converts food scraps, leaves, and manures into soil building compost and mulch. What is less known is that...
‘Working Lands’ supporters lobby for funding
By Mike Faher, as seen in the vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/10/11/working-lands-supporters-lobby-for-fundin... BRATTLEBORO – Creamy goat-milk caramels have become a big business for...
Cell service, food insecurity, affordable housing raised as issues of import in Craftsbury
By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland, Caledonian Record. As seen on: http://caledonianrecord.com/ CRAFTSBURY COMMON -- Residents here lauded community assets while figuring out how to tackle challenges...
Efficiency help needed, energy advocates say
By Mike Faher as seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/10/08/efficiency-help-needed-energy-advocates-say/ BRATTLEBORO – From urine recycling to shiitake mushrooms to electrically-assisted...
Brattleboro Forum Weighs Economic Impact, Opportunity Of Climate Change
As seen on http://digital.vpr.net/post/brattleboro-forum-weighs-economic-impact-opp... The Vermont Council on Rural Development wants the state to become a leader in growing the green economy as...
Energy innovation + preservation = downtown revitalization
Stevens & Associates, P.C., an architectural and engineering firm, has a passion for walkable environments and mixed use buildings. Their work focuses on urban revitalization and the repurposing...
What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy? Burlington Forum to Identify Next Steps - October 29 2015
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our...
Climate Change Innovator Stories
Vermont’s climate change innovators are finding practical ways to reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate risk, and stimulate green economic development within the Green Mountain state and beyond....
Manchester gets $580K to improve busy road
As seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20150930/THISJUSTIN/709309907 MANCHESTER — Manchester will receive a grant of $580,000 from the Vermont Agency of Transportation...
Biking innovations drive this nonprofit
VBike is a nonprofit organization dedicated to shifting the bike culture in Vermont towards a more inclusive, fun, and transportation-oriented future. By promoting exciting innovations like...
Craftsbury Outdoor Center finds innovative heating solution for net-zero lodge
Tucked behind a secluded lake in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center is an outdoor-lovers’ dream that offers year round recreation opportunities including Nordic skiing,...
‘Climate Change Economy’ talks coming to Brattleboro
By Mike Faher, http://vtdigger.org/2015/09/30/climate-change-economy-talks-coming-to-br... BRATTLEBORO – For years, local officials and energy-efficiency advocates have been working to nurture and...
Public support for conserving land in Vermont
Gil Livingston, President of the Vermont Land Trust, shares his perspective about the increase in public support for land conservation in their Fall 2015 newsletter.
Craftsbury Community to Set Priorities for Action on October 20th
All members of the Craftsbury Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Craftsbury. The meeting, to...
Grinold: Climate change and our local economy
by Adam Grinold, Executive Director, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation On October 6, Southern Vermont will host the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Regional Public Forum on...
Cutting carbon one board at a time
ShackletonThomas is a Bridgewater, Vermont based company that specializes in making fine handmade furniture, pottery and accessories. For the past 25 years, ShackletonThomas has made a commitment to...
SunCommon saves Vermonters $$ by repowering
As a former medic, police officer, non-profit manager, legislative director and values-led business executive - Duane Peterson has always been dedicated to organizing people to take meaningful action...
Improving Vermont's digital economy
Aired on WCAX: http://www.wcax.com/story/26609277/improving-vermonts-digital-economy Watch the video here: http://www.wcax.com/story/26609277/improving-vermonts-digital-economy?au... WCAX.COM Local...
Brattleboro Forum to Explore Next Steps for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state...
What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy? Brattleboro Forum to Identify Next Steps - October 6 2015
Area businesses and nonprofits are addressing climate change - both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are a growing part of our state's economy. What are your experiences? Do...
Craftsbury Community Visit Day - September 22 2015
On Tuesday, September 22nd 2015, all members of the Craftsbury community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal...
Christopher Louras: Rutland taking leadership in Vermont’s climate economy
As seen in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/09/02/christopher-louras-rutland-taking-leaders... Editor’s note: This commentary is by Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras. On Aug. 26 I co-hosted (...
Paul Gallo: Business owner is driving force in Rutland renaissance
By Helen Whyte, September 2015 issue of the Battenkill Business Journal People who have not visited Rutland in the past few years may be surprised by recent changes - near zero downtown vacancy rate...
Group solicits local input on global issue of climate change
By Kevin O'Connor, vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/08/30/group-solicits-local-input-on-global-issu... A new Vermont Climate Change Economy Council is asking the public how the state can...
Stewardship pays off for Butternut Mountain Farm
In the over 40 years they’ve been in business, Butternut Mountain has built a reputation as a leader in Vermont’s maple industry. The company is also taking the lead in other ways – demonstrating...
Forum airs out solar issues
By Gordon Dritschilo as seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/ The tension surrounding renewable energy development was captured in an exchange Wednesday night at the Paramount...
Panels Around Vermont Will Brainstorm Climate Change's Economic Opportunities
As seen on VPR. Listen at: http://digital.vpr.net/post/panels-around-vermont-will-brainstorm-climat... The public is invited to a panel discussion on Wednesday evening at Rutland’s Paramount Theatre...
Opinion: Climate change economy
Editorial as seen in the Rutland Herald: http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20150825/OPINION01/708259959/1038 Vermonters will gather Wednesday evening at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland to chart...
Climate Change Economy Council seeks public input
By Kevin O'Conner as seen on vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/08/16/climate-change-economy-council-seeks-publ... A new Vermont Climate Change Economy Council — composed of two-dozen business,...
Final Report of the NEK Collaborative "Ideas for the Future of the NEK" Forum Series
The “Ideas for the Future of the NEK” forum series was produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development for the NEK Collaborative to gather ideas and set directions for work to advance the...
Video ~ PEG-TV show about the Climate Economy Forum in Rutland, August 26th
A public forum in Rutland on August 26th 2015 (7-9pm, Paramount Theatre) will discuss "What’s Next For VT’s Climate Change Economy?" Host Tom Donahue interviews Paul Costello (Executive Director,...
Landfill methane powers WEC’s generators
For ten years now, Washington Electric Co-op has been generating power from the stuff that Vermonters throw away. Their system channels methane gas from deep within the Coventry landfill to fuel the...
Rutland Forum to Explore Next Steps for Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state...
Climate Change Economy Forum ~ Rutland 8/26/16
Public Forum in Rutland to consider what's next for Vermont Climate Change Economy: When: August 26th, 7-9 pmWhere: Paramount Theatre, 30 Center St. Rutland, VTPanelists: Joe Fusco, Casella; Betsy...
New York Post names Killington one of top five summer ski towns in U.S.
We were so pleased to see that the New York Post recently named Killington one of “Five ski towns that are worth visiting in summer,” (the only resort in the northeast!!) alongside the Western resort...
Transportation, Housing, Wages Biggest Impediments To Economic Stability Citizens Brainstorm Ideas For A Healthy Economy At Forum
By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland Staff Writer, Barton Chronicle: http://caledonianrecord.com/ HARDWICK -- There are multitudes of services and funding sources available to people in the rural and...
Upcoming Forums Focus on Stimulating Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Area businesses and nonprofits are increasingly involved with climate change--both its challenges and opportunities. Their creative solutions are becoming a growing part of our state...
St. Johnsbury Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in St. Johnsbury. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 5 priority areas for future action: Improve Community Communications...
Students Traverse Vermont on Food Systems Tour
By Leon Thompson Vermont Correspondent, Lancaster Farming: http://www.lancasterfarming.com/news/northeedition/Students-Traverse-Vermont-on-Food-Systems-Tour#.VcuoOfm2KW5 ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Long...
Video ~ Course allows students to explore Vt. food systems
As broadcasted by WCAX-TV, June 10, 2015: http://www.wcax.com/story/29288672/course-allows-students-to-explore-vt-food-systems A group of college and grad students is taking a first-of-its-kind...
Video ~ Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Grant Awards Ceremony
The 2015 Working Lands Grants were announced at Maple Wind Farm in Richmond in May 2015. Here are a couple videos of the event.
Field Day: The Summer Study Tour Blog
Check out the Summer Study Tour Blog by Ivars Balkits, the media fellow of the Vermont Summer Study Tour. An adventurer by nature with a background in agriculture and ecology, Ivars currently hails...
What's Next for VT's Climate Change Economy? Join the Statewide Conversation!
In February 2015, VCRD launched the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council, a group of business and policy leaders who will convene over the course of 2015 to frame a bold platform of action to...
Media Invited to Visit with Students on Statewide Farm and Food Summer Study Tour
Members of the press are invited to connect with student leaders from across the nation on tour in Vermont from May 31 – June 20. The Vermont Food Systems Summer Study Tour invites students to move...
The NEK Collaborative and VCRD invite NEK Residents to set Directions for the Future of the Region
Northeast Kingdom leaders, organizations and citizens are invited to share their ideas for action that can boost opportunities, support the economy and advance the quality of life in the Kingdom....
Farm and Food Student Leaders to Arrive in Vermont for Whirlwind Study Tour
Leaders from across the nation who are studying how communities source, grow, process, purchase, and contemplate food will soon arrive in the Green Mountain State for the inaugural three-week Vermont...
Folks Sought To Focus On Town's Future: Community Vision Process Continues
By Taylor Reed, Caledonian Record: http://caledonianrecord.com/ ST. JOHNSBURY -- Community collaboration continues following the start of an initiative that brings residents together for the sake of...
St. Johnsbury Dedicates Task Forces to Priority Challenges; Resource Meeting June 4th
Through the Community Visit process St. Johnsbury community members have decided to build new initiatives to: Improve Community Communications and Promote a Positive Town Image Develop a Warming...
Renters 101 offers training
From the Bennington Banner: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/community/ci_28115453/renters-101-offers... BENNINGTON >> Bennington Renters 101 recently offered a free training for Bennington...
Beyond Basics: Feast Your Eyes, Heart, and Mind on Vermont Food and Farm Education
By Vicky Tebbetts, Published in Food Solutions New England A quiet revolution is astir in Vermont. Food systems education, practical agricultural experience, entrepreneurship, and inspiration have...
Vermont: America’s Food Relocalization Laboratory
By Steve Holt, Civil Eats: http://civileats.com/2015/05/12/vermont-americas-food-relocalization-lab... If most Americans were to rank the nation’s most influential states, chances are Vermont would...
Swanton Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Swanton. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 5 priority areas for future action: Expand Outdoor Recreation Opportunities...
St. Johnsbury to Set Priorities For Action on May 12th 2015
On Tuesday, May 12th 2015, all members of the St. Johnsbury community are invited to come out to the St. Johnsbury School from 6:30-9:00pm to set direction for the future of the town. On April 8th,...
Passion, energy at VCRD visit: Seventy gather, begin to build social capital
By MATTHEW PREEDOM, St. Albans Messenger: http://www.samessenger.com/ SWANTON — The smiles were wide and the energy high Wednesday at the third and final community visit from the Vermont Council on...
Testimony to Senate Appropriations: April 7, 2015
Madam Chair and Members of the Vermont Senate Appropriations Committee: I am Paul Costello, Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. I’m here to speak as the coordinator for...
Commentary: The 21st Century Global Food System: This Summer, Vermont is its Classroom
For nearly a half century, Sterling College has emphasized a "working hands-working minds" approach to education that views agriculture through the lens of environmental stewardship. This college,...
Hardening Against Disaster by Going Digital
By Dale McKay, Daily Yonder: http://www.dailyyonder.com/hardening-against-disaster-going-digital/2015/04/06/7790#.VSLAXw4NMRA.facebook When tropical storm Irene wiped out a month’s worth of timber...
Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change - 2015
The Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change brought together over 400 innovative business, non‐profit, and community leaders, elected officials, public policy...
New England Culinary Institute Joins the Vermont Higher Ed Food Systems Consortium
Montpelier’s New England Culinary Institute (NECI) has joined Vermont’s education and agriculture leaders as part of the Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium. A visionary for Vermont’s...
‘Maple Fest” brings community together
By Josh Ogorman, Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150322/THISJUSTIN/703229951 CABOT — What a sweet way to foster a tighter community. Several hundred people turned out at Cabot...
A call for action
By Steve Pappas, Times Argus: www.timesargus.com A summit at Vermont Technical College on Wednesday showed exactly how far Vermont has progressed when it comes to climate change, but also how far we...
2015 - Community Leaders of St. Albans
On Wednesday , February 18th the Vermont Council on Rural Development  presented the Vermont Community Leadership Award to the community leader who have led the renaissance of downtown St. Albans...
Living Economically: Ramp it up with Vermontivate, the game that inspires behavior change and fun
By Laurie Caswell Burke, published in the Shelburne News: http://shelburnenews.com/?p=20752 Last month I joined 400 Vermonters from around the state to participate in the Vermont Council on Rural...
VCRD Annual Reports
Here is a link to VCRD's 2016 annual report as well as those from the past few years: 2016 Annual Report 2015 Annual Report 2014 Annual Report 2013 Annual Report 2011 Annual Report 2010...
Follow Up Materials: 2015 Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change
On February 18th 2015 more than 400 people gathered at Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center VT for the Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change. Innovative...
The Vermont Climate Change Economy Council - 2015
VCRD strives to create a centrist dialogue that frames solutions to build Vermont’s prosperity and that grow and attract entrepreneurs who confront rather than just adapt to climate change. The...
Swanton gets fix on future: Meeting selects 4 ideas for community action
By Elodie Reed, St. Albans Messenger: http://www.samessenger.com/community-swanton-gets-fix-on-future/ SWANTON — For a town looking to come together as a community to better itself, Swanton seems...
Letter to the editor: Working lands program worthwhile
A Page 1 article in Sunday’s Times Argus (“Serving notice”) notes that the Vermont food system is currently undergoing unprecedented growth, “from $6.9 billion to $8.6 billion between 2007 and 2012,...
St. Johnsbury Community Visit Day - April 8th 2015
On Wednesday, April 8th 2015, all members of the St. Johnsbury community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal...
And now is the time to watch Swanton grow
St. Albans Town has Walmart and two growth districts open for development. St. Albans City is in the homestretch in its effort to rebuild its downtown through a $41 million building project. Now,...
Opinion: A crisis and an opportunity
Published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150308/OPINION06/703089979 By Brian Shupe, Executive Director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council Many people have raised...
Video ~ Climate Economy Summit
This video captured sessions at the Summit on “Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change” held at the Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center on February 18, 2015. [Video by...
Notes from Montpelier: Revenue shortfall will require tough decisions
Editorial published in the Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/localeditorials/ci_27621782/notes-from-montpelie... It's hard to believe that Town Meeting is here. I look forward to...
Opinion: Moving forward on climate change
By Bill Laberge, owner of Grassroots Solar, and published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150301/OPINION06/703019960/1014 Despite the thermometer suggesting otherwise, the...
With Front Porch Forum, Internet Goes Local
By Dale Mackey, Daily Yonder: http://www.dailyyonder.com/front-porch-forum-internet-goes-local/2015/02... A Vermont-based social media platform helps residents communicate with neighbors. In the...
VCRD Awards its Annual Vermont Community Leadership Award and a new Community Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award
MONTPELIER, VT – On Wednesday , February 18th the Vermont Council on Rural Development  presented the Vermont Community Leadership Award to the community leader who have led the renaissance of...
Vt. discusses ways to turn climate change into economic opportunities
Visit WCAX to view the video: http://www.wcax.com/story/28141188/vt-discusses-ways-to-turn-climate-cha... WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports- RANDOLPH, Vt. - Most government officials...
Getting There and Parking
The Summit is taking place at Vermont Technical College, 124 Admin Drive, Randolph Center, VT 05061. For directions, here's a link to the google maps page. There's plenty of parking in the VTC lots...
Summit to tackle climate change, economy
This week’s Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change isn’t about the debate over climate change, organizers say. Instead, it’s about how to use climate change to...
Video ~ Paul Costello and Ted Brady on City Room
This 28 minute program gives a good overview of the Climate Economy Summit and Initiative. City Room with Steve Pappas: Paul Costello and Ted Brady of Vermont Council on Rural Development from...
Nate Freeman: Vermont’s climate questions
By Nate Freeman. Published in vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2015/02/15/nate-freeman-vermonts-climate-questions/ Editor’s note: This commentary is by Nate Freeman, who is director of...
Fusco Commentary: Benefitting Vermont’s economy by rewarding innovative climate solutions
by Joe Fusco I’m not here to argue with you about climate change. I’m not here to convince you that it’s real, or that it’s not. I am here to convince you, politics aside, that there is a cascade of...
Swanton Community to Set Priorities for Action on March 5th
All members of the Swanton Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Swanton. The meeting, to be held on...
Townspeople seek help to create and cultivate community
By Alana Fichman/The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=11637&page=1#... VERNON—Some of the 44 people who assembled in the combined auditorium/cafeteria at...
Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium
The VT Higher Education Food Systems Consortium is designing new ways to collaborate, share students and resources and expand a plethora of elective opportunities for place-based food systems...
Climate Economy Summit Financial Sponsors
The Climate Economy Summit is made possible by the generous support of the National Life Group and all of our Sponsors: Bay and Paul Foundations Casella Waste Management...
Climate Economy Summit Outreach Sponsors
Thanks to the following organizations and businesses who signed on as "Outreach Sponsors" and actively shared the Summit information through their networks: Bolton Valley Building a Local Economy (...
Vernon considers 'community visit'
By Michael Faher, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_27422043/vernon-considers-communit... VERNON >> What should Vernon's future look like? It's a big question,...
Summer Study Tour: Savoring the flavors of Vermont farm and food education
Published in VtDigger.org: https://vtdigger.org/2015/02/01/summer-study-tour-savoring-flavors-vermo... Leaders from education and agriculture are collaborating on an innovative “movable feast” of...
Digital tools having big impact on Vermont farms
In one way or other, Vermont farmers have always been drawn to new technologies, from innovations in horse-drawn plows to devices that bring them essential weather updates. Today, rapid advancements...
Allison Hooper Opinion: Connect people, places and food
Published in the Burlington Free Press: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/opinion/my-turn/2015/01/22/opin... In Paris during my junior year of college, I spent the summer working on an...
Swanton Community Visit Day - January 28th
On Wednesday, January 28th, all members of the Swanton community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state,...
Southern Vt. town revisits fluoridation
By Patrick McArdle, Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20150121/NEWS03/701219903 BENNINGTON — Voters in Bennington will be asked in March to weigh in on whether they want the town’s...
Cambridge Community Visit Report - 2014
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Cambridge. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Plan and Develop a Senior Living...
Founder of World’s Largest Solar Company to Keynote Vermont’s Climate Change Economy Summit
MONTPELIER, VT –Jigar Shah, one of the today’s leading cleantech champions, will keynote the Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change on February 18 at Vermont...
Vermont Council on Rural Development hires Community and Policy Senior Associate
January 12, 2015, Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announced today that Jenna Whitson has joined the organization as the Community and Policy Senior Associate. Jenna...
Swanton residents will have their say: VCRD visit aims to prioritize wants and needs
By MICHELLE MONROE, St. Albans Messenger SWANTON — The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) this month will make a community visit here. Among the issues certain to face discussion are hopes...
Summit on "Creating Prosperity & Opportunity Confronting Climate Change"
The Summit on Creating Prosperity & Opportunity Confronting Climate Change, held February 18, 2015 at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph brought together over 400 scientists, innovative...
Summit Agenda
--> Click Here for the full Summit Program (pdf) with names of speakers, moderators, facilitators, and more details about the day. ----------------------------------- Agenda At-A-Glance Summit...
Climate Economy Summit Speakers
Keynote Speaker: Jigar Shah, Founder SunEdison Other Speakers, Facilitators, Moderators, and Panelists: Bob Ackland, Steep ManagementPeter Adamczyk, Vermont Energy Investment CorporationMarie Audet...
Ron Miller Commentary: Upcoming Conference Promotes “Climate Change Economy”
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is holding a major statewide conference, “Creating Prosperity & Opportunity Confronting Climate Change,” in Randolph on February 18. The gathering will...
Vermont Climate Economy Initiative
From Green Energy Times: http://www.greenenergytimes.net/2014/12/15/vermont-climate-economy-initi... The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is kicking off its new Climate Change Economy...
Planning and Implementing a Wi-Fi zone for your Town
Click Here to Dowload a PDF version of this document Through both the Vermont Digital Economy Project (VDEP) and its predecessor, e-Vermont, we have worked to implement free Wi-Fi zones and hotspots...
Creating and Managing a Municipal Website
Click Here to Download a PDF Version of This Guide This article was written with insight from Tess Gauthier, Project Coordinator from the Snelling Center for Government and based on a presentation...
Wired in Waterbury: Free Internet access
By Matt Mientka | Waterbury Record Waterbury now has the largest downtown free Wi-Fi coverage in Vermont. The public Wi-Fi network, completed this month, encompasses Stowe and Main streets and...
e-Vermont Toolkits
e-Vermont built resources for communities & individuals who want to make better use of broadband tools in a variety of sectors. These toolkits present resources created in the course of...
Agenda for “Creating Prosperity & Opportunity Confronting Climate Change” Summit
8:00 Registration, Coffee and Muffins 9:00 Welcome, Talk by Governor Shumlin, Conference Opening Plenary Governor Peter Shumlin 9:20 Climate Science Fishbowl: “How will Regional...
Organizational Assessment of Digital Tools
Click Here to Download a PDF Version of This Assessment Use this assessment to help you to think about what tools you are using, how you are using them, and what you could do to make your usage more...
Costello: Digital innovation brings new vitality to rural Vermont
When we think of Vermont, we picture our beautiful working landscape, our lakes and mountains, and our dynamic community centers. Our past is crucial to who we are and to the character and identity...
February Summit to Kick Off New Focus on Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT –The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is kicking off its new Climate Change Economy Initiative with the Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate...
Vermont Digital Economy Project: Online Report
The Vermont Digital Economy Project was created by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to address vulnerabilities of Vermont business and communities that are not fully utilizing online tools....
New Report Highlights Potential for Vermont’s Digital Economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Bridging the digital divide and expanding the innovative use of online tools will remain critical for Vermont if it wants to continue building resilience into our communities, keep...
Vermont Digital Economy Project Guides
Through our work, we have helped organizations and towns with our knowledge and experience. We want to make it as easy as possible for any community to continue the work we did, and so we have...
6 Steps to Evaluate and Optimize Your Organization's Use of Digital Tools
Click Here to Download a PDF Version of This Guide Digital tools have the potential to revolutionize the operation of any organization, while at the same time befuddling even the most tech-savvy...
Allison Hooper Commentary: Terroir grows from working lands
By Allison Hooper, co-founder of Vermont Creamery In Paris during my junior year of college, I spent the summer working on an organic farm. The French know where their food comes from, and they are...
Letter to the editor: Fund working lands program
Published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20141209/OPINION02/712099926 The Working Lands Enterprise Fund, an innovative and imaginative idea, was created in 2012 by Act 142....
Vermont's Digital Stories - Final Report of VCRD's Vermont Digital Economy Project
VCRD launched the Vermont Digital Economy Project to offer free support to speed flood recovery, spur economic development and job growth, and improve community resilience to disasters. The project...
Rutland's Wonderfeet Children's Museum Expands, Hopes To Become A Destination
By Vermont Public Radio: http://digital.vpr.net/post/rutlands-wonderfeet-childrens-museum-expands... VCRD comment: The idea for the creation of a children's museum in Rutland, was sparked during...
New report highlights potential for Vermont’s digital economy
MONTPELIER, VT –Bridging the digital divide and expanding the innovative use of online tools will remain critical for Vermont if it wants to continue building resilience into our communities, keep...
Montpelier farmers market has multiple winter homes
Published in the Times Argus: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20141202/THISJUSTIN/312029999 MONTPELIER — The Capital City Farmers Market is kicking off its winter season Saturday with a new...
Vermont Council on Rural Development’s summit on ‘Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change’
The Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Summit on “Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change” on February 18, 2015 will bring together scientists, innovative business, non-...
Community Visits
Cambridge Community Action Plan to Be Developed on December 1
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major sessions in the Cambridge Community Visit process on December 1st; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans...
Guilford studies future of Broad Brook Grange
By Michael Fahar, Brattleboro Reformer: http://www.reformer.com/ci_26940824/guilford-studies-future-broad-brook-... GUILFORD >> At a recent Guilford Selectboard meeting, there was much debate...
February Summit to Kick Off New Focus on Vermont’s Climate Change Economy
MONTPELIER, VT –The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is kicking off its new Climate Change Economy Initiative with the Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate...
Susan Alexander Commentary: Working Lands Grants lead to partnerships and growth
This commentary, by Susan Alexander, the founder of The Vermont Switchel Company in Cabot, was published on VtDigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2014/11/26/susan-alexander-working-lands-grants-lead......
New Initiative to Advance Vermont’s “Climate Economy”
Can Vermont be a national leader in incubating small businesses that answer climate change? The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) thinks so. The organization is announcing a new initiative...
The Vermont Climate Economy Initiative
Climate change is the defining issue of our time. We, as a people, are faced with an unprecedented environmental challenge, and must identify strategies to reduce energy use and carbon emissions....
Climate Change Economy Initiative
VCRD is spearheading efforts identified by the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council's report "Progress for Vermont" which outlines a bold action plan to create jobs and boost prosperity while...
Climate Change Economy Initiative
New green push aims to grow Vt. jobs
By Kevin O'Connor, Times Argus - http://www.timesargus.com/article/20141026/THISJUSTIN/710269963 Can Vermont simultaneously jumpstart its job market and help stop global warming? That’s the goal of...
Irene's Silicon Lining: Has wiring Bethel changed it for good?
By Ken Picard: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/irenes-silicon-lining-has-wiring-beth... The noontime rush at Cockadoodle Pizza Café in Bethel is more like a steady trickle. Two construction...
How Organizations Can Use Online Tools To Collaborate
Almost all of the digital tools that we have discussed in previous articles have focused on how to reach to reach a wider audience. But it is also important to consider two-way communication methods...
The Right Training for the Right Job
This article was written by Tanja Hinterstoisser (Champlain College) and Daniel Connolly (University of Denver), who presented on this topic at our Vermont Connected Summit. Technology is one of...
Cambridge Community to Set Priorities for Action on October 27th
All members of the Cambridge Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Cambridge. The meeting, to be...
Video ~ Paul talks about Community Visits and other VCRD projects
Senator Bill Doyle interviews Paul Costello about VCRD programs including Community Visits, the Digital Economy Project, the Working Lands Initiative, the Higher Education Food Systems Consortium and...
Food And Farming Consortium's Pilot Course Will Sample From College Programs
By Steve Zind. Click here to listen to the story: http://digital.vpr.net/post/food-and-farming-consortiums-pilot-course-wi.... --------------- Last November, a group of Vermont colleges announced...
Send a Postcard to Governor Peter Shumlin and Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross
Send a postcard to Governor Peter Shumlin and Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross encouraging them to fund the Working Lands Enterprise Fund with $1.5 million for FY16 in their proposed budget. The...
VCRD job opening: Community and Policy Senior Associate
The "Community and Policy Senior Associate" position supports VCRD Community Visit programs, helps lead fund development to ensure program sustainability, and actively assists the Executive Director...
Connected Nonprofits
This article was written by Kate Jellema, Marlboro College Graduate & Professional Studies, who facilitated a discussion at our Vermont Connected Summit on how nonprofits can keep pace with...
Vermontivate! On Line For The Real World
This article was written by Kathryn Blume, Co-Founder of "Vermontivate!" and a panelist on our morning session called "Nonprofit Problem Solvers." The big question that started the whole thing off...
Audio ~ VT Connected Summit on the Mark Johnson Show
Mark Johnson interviewed 5 participants of the VT Connected Summit of September 23, 2014. Here are the links to the Show broken into 2 parts: http://markjohnsonshow.podbean.com/e/92314-vermont-...
Improving Vermont's digital economy
By Alexei Rubenstein, WCAX - http://www.wcax.com/story/26609277/improving-vermonts-digital-economy WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports- MONTPELIER, Vt. - In the wake of Tropical Storm...
Digital economy summit addresses Vermont’s ‘brand’
By Hilary Niles, VtDigger.org - http://vtdigger.org/2014/09/23/adapting-vermonts-brand-surfaces-digital-... Vermont is on the right track toward developing a digital economy and has more to do, Gov...
Got Tech? Industry Wants To Be Part of Vermont's Image
http://digital.vpr.net/post/got-tech-industry-wants-be-part-vermonts-image By Steve Zind, VPR - Vermont high tech companies say the state’s way of life is a powerful calling card for the kind of...
Conference Assesses Vermont’s Future Digital Economy
http://wamc.org/post/conference-assesses-vermont-s-future-digital-economy By Pat Bradley, WAMC Northeast Radio - A daylong conference was held at the statehouse in Montpelier Tuesday to highlight...
Close the digital divide
http://www.timesargus.com/article/20140925/OPINION01/709259945/1021 By Steve Pappas, Times Argus - A few hundred Vermonters made history at the State House this week. While a few of them were...
Summit addresses Vermont's digital economy
MONTPELIER -- Vermont is on the right track toward developing a digital economy and has more to do, Gov. Peter Shumlin told an audience at the Statehouse on Tuesday. Shumlin gave the keynote speech...
Got Tech? Industry Wants To Be Part of Vermont's Image
Vermont high tech companies say the state’s way of life is a powerful calling card for the kind of clean industry it hopes to attract, but they would like state officials to do more to market itself...
Cambridge Community Visit program invites the full community together
Cambridge community members will be coming together over the next few months to review challenges and opportunities before the town, set priorities, and advance action plans to ensure the future...
Choose an Unconference subject!
We purposfully left one of the afternoon sessions empty for our "unconference," where the attendees get to choose the subject that they will discuss. What do you feel is relevant to envisioning the...
State farm, business groups share $2.3 million in USDA grants
BURLINGTON, Vt. —During a visit to Burlington, the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $2.3 million in grants and loans intended to create jobs in rural Vermont....
Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Vermont nets $2.3 million for rural development
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) announced $2.3 million in funding for rural development in Vermont. The funding, under the new Farm...
USDA Announces Investments to Increase Economic Activity in Rural Areas and on Native Lands: Funds will help capitalize rural businesses and create jobs in economically distressed communities
Vermont Council on Rural Development has been awarded a Rural Business Opportunity Grant of $100,000 from USDA Rural Development to bring community leaders together to identify their towns' strengths...
Cambridge Community Visit Day - September 30
On Tuesday, September 30, all members of the Cambridge community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state,...
For Some Vermonters, A Lack Of Knowledge Is The Barrier To Getting Online
By Steve Zind. Listen to the story here: http://digital.vpr.net/post/some-vermonters-lack-knowledge-barrier-getti... ------------------ Much has been made of Vermont’s efforts to extend broadband...
6 Steps to Evaluate and Optimize Your Nonprofit's Use of Digital Tools
Digital tools have the potential to revolutionize the operation of any organization, while at the same time befuddling even the most tech-savvy people. As the Nonprofit Adviser for the Vermont...
Internet Intern Program Highlights Growing Need for Digital Skills Education
The following article was submitted by Martha Reid, Vermont State Librarian. Marty will be moderating the morning panel on “Digital Literacy for a Thriving Economy” in the “Digital Divide” track of...
Using The Internet To Connect With Vermont Neighbors
One of the many ways that the Vermont Digital Economy Project has worked to foster resilience and create community engagement in the past 18 months was by enabling Front Porch Forum to expand to each...
How One Vermont Teacher Educates Girls (and Boys) for a Digital World
  Betsy Calhoun, a business applications teacher at Lake Region Union High School in Orleans, Vermont, will take part in our “K-12 Goes Digital” panel at the Vermont Connected Summit. It was tough...
Workshops
A. Stories & Ideas. A1. K-12 Goes Digital Moderator: Peter Drescher, Vermont Dept. of Education Speakers: John Dawson, Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union; Jeff...
Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of the Vermont Digital Economy Summit at State House Sept. 23
Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of the Vermont Digital Economy a summit convening produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) will be held at the Vermont State House on...
The Value of Human Centered Design in Vermont
Participants at the Vermont Food Systems Hackathon used concepts from Human Centered Design to develop their ideas. One of the things that makes our summit unique is that by organizing our sessions...
Diverse Groups Will Use #VTStrong In Social Media To Encourage Vermonters To Volunteer
On Thursday, August 14th, VCRD’s Vermont Digital Economy Project facilitated a discussion with an impressive group of representatives from several nonprofit organizations that are part of Vermont...
Heart of Vermont Productions Helps Strengthen Flood-Damaged Communities
Pictured left to right: Rob O’Neil, Co-Founder of Heart of Vermont Productions, Sharon Combes-Farr, Vermont Digital Economy Project Director, and Scott O’Neil, Co-Founder of Heart of Vermont...
Does Your Nonprofit Need a CRM to Manage Its Contacts?
As an organization grows, sometimes using excel spreadsheets to keep track of donors, volunteers, and other contacts is not enough, and more powerful and complex tools for managing contacts become...
Call For Speakers For Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of Vermont’s Digital Economy
Thank you for your interest in being a speaker at our Summit. At this point, our call for speakers has been closed. You can find a list of speakers here, and our agenda here. Thanks, and see you at...
Description of the Day's Events
When you register, you’ll select the sessions you’d like to attend – no need to stay in the same track or topic area all day. You can see the full agenda here and the list of committed speakers and...
List of Speakers, Presenters, and Facilitators
Samantha Becker, Principal Research Scientist, Univ. of Washington Information School, U.S. Impact Study Samantha Becker is the Principal Research Scientist for the U.S. IMPACT Study, a research...
Meet Our Keynote Speaker: Julie Lenzer Kirk
We are extremely pleased that our Keynote Speaker is Julie Lenzer Kirk. At our summit, she’ll speak to us about “Infusing Innovation & an Entrepreneurial Mindset to Fuel Economic Growth.” “At...
Getting There & Parking
Check-in opens at 8:00 a.m. in the House Lobby with coffee and muffins available for conference participants in the Cafeteria. The Summit will start promptly at 9:00 in the House Chamber. With over...
VT Digital Economy Project
July 21, 2014 A look at how the VT Council on Rural Development has given local communities a technology boost following Tropical Storm Irene, including a conversation with Tess Gauthier of The...
Downtown Wi-Fi kickoff will be celebrated during Midnight Madness
by KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer BENNINGTON -- The town's annual Midnight Madness event will coincide with a celebration of the recent Wi-Fi project completed in the downtown. As part of the...
Google Ad Grants: Free Advertising For Nonprofits
One free tool that we have discussed before that can be very helpful for a nonprofit, no matter what its size, is Google for Nonprofits. In previous articles we’ve written about how nonprofits...
Wi-Fi Coverage Continues to Grow
Although we have been crossing the state to launch numerous Wi-Fi zones over the past few weeks, each town we’re in is so distinctive that every launch is a special experience. Last Thursday, we...
How One Vermont Supervisory Union is Integrating Digital Tools
  The Vermont Digital Economy Project has been very active in promoting digital skills-building through its Internet Intern program at 24 Vermont libraries and by making digital workforce training...
Bennington gets new Wi-Fi service
BENNINGTON, Vt. - Surfing the Internet in Bennington is getting a whole lot easier. A new Wi-Fi service is up and running downtown. The free access is part of an effort by Vermont's Council on Rural...
Towns Take Down Websites In Response to New Open Meeting Law
by Steph Machado MONTPELIER - Some towns are struggling to keep up with a new Vermont law. The updated Open Meeting Law was passed by the Legislature in May as an effort to make towns and cities...
Summit Schedule
Below is a brief outline of how the day will go on Tuesday, September 23, at the Vermont State House in Montpelier. For an at-a-glance agenda of all session topics, please click here to open a PDF...
Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of Vermont’s Digital Economy
Find the day's social media conversation (with some really great insights from the day) here, and download the summit program here. You can also find slides from each workshop here. Vermont ...
Barre To Launch New Wi-Fi Zone To Kick Off The “Barre Heritage Festival”
BARRE, VT - On July 23rd, from 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm, Barre, Vermont, will celebrate its public downtown Wi-Fi zone, which is free for residents and visitors alike. The zone was funded, developed, and...
Bennington’s downtown now a Wi-Fi zone
By Patrick McArdle BENNINGTON — It’s a digital world, and visitors and residents alike can now get free access to it through the public Wi-Fi zone in downtown Bennington. People using laptops,...
Working Lands Supporters
Thanks to the funders for their support of our Working Lands Initiative: Cabot Creamery Cooperative Castanea Foundation, Inc. Cellars at Jasper Hill David Blittersdorf Family Foundation Davis...
The creative economy
It's nice to see that the work we did with the Council on Culture and Innovation is still making news: From: http://www.stowetoday.com/stowe_reporter/opinion/weekly_editorial/article_c1c3fe14-0842-...
Bennington To Launch New Wi-Fi Zone at "Midnight Madness"
BENNINGTON, VT - On July 17th, from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Bennington, Vermont, will celebrate its public downtown Wi-Fi zone, which is free for residents and visitors alike. The zone was funded,...
Announcing the Summit, "Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of Vermont’s Digital Economy"
Find the Most Up To Date Information on the Summit by Clicking Here. As the Vermont Digital Economy Project winds to a close, we are happy to announce that its end will only be the beginning of...
How Towns Can Manage the New Open Meeting Law Changes
This article is written by Tess Gauthier, Project Manager at the Snelling Center for Government The Snelling Center for Government has created and redeveloped a total of 18 municipal websites...
Vermonters Raise their Voices in Support of Net Neutrality at Senator Leahy’s Hearing
For the past few months, the media has been awash with stories about net neutrality. Recently, these stories became particularly salient for Vermonters, when Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the...
How Nonprofits Can Use Video
By connecting compelling visuals to a story, a good video can inspire, inform, agitate, or promote an organization or cause. Just a few years ago, creating an inspiring video was out of reach for...
Free Digital Workforce Training Now Available through Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library!
Librarian Robert Coleburn at the Computer Center of the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington. Last year, we launched the cutting-edge Microsoft IT Academy Program ® (ITA) for any person who applies...
Wi-Fi and Broadband Spreading Through Vermont
by Alex Rose Waterbury, Vt.- Some people are attached to their phones, and connecting to Wi-Fi on your Smartphone, brings the internet to our fingertips. "Internet access is a basic need for...
Celebrating a Year of Wi-Fi Zone Launches
Almost exactly one year ago, in June 2013, the Vermont Digital Economy Project launched its first Wi-Fi zone in South Royalton, VT. Now, in June 2014, we have a lot to show for the past year’s work...
How Can Your Social Media Presence Help Or Hurt You In a Job Search?
Earlier this month, the Vermont Digital Economy Project organized a training for the Adult Outreach team at the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC). VSAC provides services to all adult...
Create Your Nonprofit Continuity Plan in 5 Simple Steps
You may have seen my previous article about Pat Corcoran, the founder of IBM’s Business Continuity & Resiliency Services Group and one of the world’s premier experts in business continuity....
Vergennes Community Visit Report - 2014
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Vergennes. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Improve Transportation & Parking;...
Farm, forestry projects share $1.1 million
By LISA RATHKE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MORETOWN — Vermont awarded $1.1 million to 37 farm and forestry projects around the state Tuesday in the second year it offered working lands grants. Among the...
Grants designed to expand Vermont’s diversified farm economy
From VTDigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2014/06/17/grants-designed-expand-vermonts-diversifi... The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative awarded 37 grants for agriculture and forestry projects Tuesday...
Working Lands Enterprise Board announces $1.1 million in grants to 37 Vermont entrepreneurs and providers
From Vermont Business Magazine: http://www.vermontbiz.com/news/june/working-lands-enterprise-board-annou... The Working Lands Enterprise Board announces this year’s grant recipients - 37 projects...
Waterbury To Launch New Wi-Fi Zone
WATERBURY, VT - On June 26th, at 7 pm, Waterbury, Vermont, will celebrate its new, free public downtown Wi-Fi zone, which was funded, developed, and implemented by the Vermont Digital Economy Project...
Costello Commentary: Vergennes on the Move
Vergennes — With all its assets, Vergennes epitomizes so much that Vermont communities statewide strive for: a strong village center, surrounded by a beautiful working landscape, strong, committed...
In the zone
By Miranda Orso  Free, public Wi-Fi in downtown Waterbury Parts of downtown Waterbury are now in the zone — a free public Wi-Fi zone. A new “wireless mesh network” of access points was recently...
Halifax gets a wifi spot
By CHRIS MAYS / Reformer Staff HALIFAX -- There will be wireless Internet access after a wifi hotspot was set up at the Halifax Town Garage located at 2044 Branch Road last week. "It's in place now...
Vergennes residents rank community priorities
Vergennes — Over 100 Vergennes residents gathered in a community meeting last week to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Vergennes Community Visit process and to set priorities for...
Vermont goat project links immigrants, farmers: New Americans look for meat they are used to eating in their home countries, and goat dairy farmers find a market for male kids
By Linda Rathke, Associated Press COLCHESTER, Vt. — A bunch of kids in a minivan are solving twin challenges in northern Vermont: refugees struggling to find the food of their homelands and farmers...
Working Lands Enterprise Board announces $300,000 to 19 working lands businesses
Vermont Business Magazine The Working Lands Enterprise Board announces this year’s grant recipients from its “Enterprise Investment” area awarding just under $300,000 of $1.2 million available to 19...
Time bank thriving after one year
BENNINGTON -- What started out as five people thinking a time bank would be a neat idea has grown over the past year to boast 84 members who have exchanged 343 hours between each other. Hour of Our...
Learning to Show Love Through Computers
This post was written by Tracy Staples, the program's Internet Intern at the Brown Public Library in Northfield, VT. I began working as an Internet Intern this past January after hearing that the...
IBM Disaster Prep Experts Assist Vermont Food Shelves
  Last Thursday, IBM consultants delivered a disaster preparedness for nonprofits workshop to food shelf managers from across Vermont to ensure that organizations caring for some of the state's most...
Cambridge To Launch New Wi-Fi Zone At “An Evening On Main Street”
CAMBRIDGE, VT - On June 19th, from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, Cambridge, Vermont, will celebrate the new, free public downtown Wi-Fi zone, which was funded, developed, and implemented by the Vermont Digital...
CCV Offers Microsoft IT Academy Digital Training Statewide
Microsoft Corporation is one of VCRD's partners in the Vermont Digital Economy Project. Through a generous in-kind donation of three discounted three-year licenses of their extensive catalog of...
How a Community Garden Went From Online to On-the-Ground
Small organizations are at the heart of most communities, and they are often born directly in response to a community’s need. This relationship only deepens once these organizations are established...
Vermont Digital Economy Project Measurable Outcomes
Our grant has made many great / positive impacts in the communities and organizations we serve. We have told many of these stories of this impact in our e-newsletter. Now, I am asking for help from...
VCRD and IBM partner for a more resilient Vermont
Final IBM disaster preparedness workshop with the Vermont FoodBank wraps up $150,000 IBM grant MONTPELIER - On Thursday, June 5th, IBM specialists will deliver a disaster preparedness workshop to...
Costello Commentary: Leveraging Vermont’s Working Landscape Assets
By Paul Costello, VCRD Executive Director Vermonters have always known that our working landscape is our greatest asset. It drives our economy, brings tourists from away, and sustains the wonderful...
5 Tips for Creating a Successful Municipal Website
This article was written with the help of Tess Gauthier, Project Manager at the Snelling Center for Government As part of the Vermont Digital Economy Project, our partners at the Snelling Center for...
Why It’s Important to Learn How to Teach Digital Skills
One of the most important services we are delivering is digital skills training. We’re doing that through both our Internet Intern program, a paid internship program that is now active in 24 Vermont...
Vergennes Community Visit Ends on a High Note
On Wednesday May 21, VCRD and a Community Visit Resource Team went back to Vergennes for our last session as facilitators of the Community Visit process. At this final visit, we kicked-off the Task...
What the End of Support for Windows XP Means for an Organization
After twelve years of support and plenty of advanced notice, on April 8th of this year, Microsoft officially ended its service support for the Windows XP operating system. As a result, organizations...
Video ~ New Wi-Fi zones popping up in Vt.
Caitlin Lovegrove, Outreach and Network Manager of VCRD's Digital Economy Project, and Chris Campbell of the Vermont Telecom Authority talk about new Wi-Fi zones being installed by the Vermont...
e-Vermont Community: Middlesex
e-Vermont initiatives in Middlesex were spearheaded by the Town Meeting Solutions Committee in conjunction with the Rumney School, town government, and other organizations. In one short year, the...
e-Vermont Community: Grand Isle
e-Vermont initiatives in Grand Isle County were spearheaded by the Lake Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce and a group of interested citizens representing town government, local businesses, non-...
e-Vermont Community: Canaan
e-Vermont initiatives in Canaan and Norton were spearheaded by representatives from the Towns of Norton and Canaan, the Essex North Supervisory Union, Alice M. Ward Memorial Library, and local...
e-Vermont Community: Cambridge
e-Vermont initiatives in Cambridge were spearheaded by a diverse cross-section of the community’s artists and businesses – Cambridge Artists and Entrepreneurs (CAE) – as well as representatives from...
e-Vermont Community: Bristol
e-Vermont Initiatives in Bristol were spearheaded by a small, but productive team representing town government, local businesses, library, non-profits, schools, and public access television. In one...
e-Vermont Community: Brighton
e-Vermont initiatives in Brighton were spearheaded by representatives from the North Country Supervisory Union, Brighton Elementary School, Town of Brighton, Island Pond Public Library, Island Pond...
e-Vermont Communities
From 2010-2012, e-Vermont partners worked with 24 rural Vermont communities to help them make best use of available broadband resources. In each town, VCRD Community Directors collaborated with local...
Webcasts
Webinars are a great tool for bringing an expert (virtually) into your house for instruction on an important topic. The e-Vermont Community Broadband Project webinars were recorded and can be viewed...
e-Vermont
About e-Vermont From 2010 to 2012, the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project helped rural towns realize the full potential of the Internet. e-Vermont worked locally to ensure best use of online...
What Rural Vermont Downtowns Can Do With Super-Fast Internet Bandwidth
I recently attended the 20th Annual Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference deep in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. This year’s conference had the theme of “Preservation and Community” and was...
Registration Form: VT Food Shelf Disaster Prepardness Workshop
Please fill out the following registration form to confirm your attendence at the Thursday, June 5 VT Food Shelf Disaster Prepardness Workshop. This information will act as guide for the facilitators...
Vermont Grown Travel App Open For Business
ViewBoost Co-Founders Doug and Roger Allbee at the launch of the app on May 7th at the Vermont Visitor Center in Williston.ViewBoost Kiosks at Vermont Visitor Centers contain the same information as...
Feeding More Vermonters Through Online Coordination
Vermont fruit and vegetable farmers produce hundreds of tons of edible, farm-fresh food, but often, not all of their production is sold. These leftover products are sometimes wasted, but through...
More Wi-Fi Projects Take Shape Thanks to Collaboration with the VTA
  One of the most exciting services that we are delivering through the Vermont Digital Economy Project is the installation of Wi-Fi zones and hotspots in communities throughout the state. Our goal...
Community Visit - One Year Later
by Anna Boarini - Staff Writer for the Manchester Journal MANCHESTER - A little over a year ago, on March 11, 2013, the first of three community forums fostered by the Vermont Council for Rural...
Wi-Fi in Downtown Windsor: Free Network Will Cover Center of Town
Windsor — A student sitting on a bench doing homework on a laptop. A businessman enjoying lunch outside a cafe while surfing the web on a tablet computer. A tourist scanning the Internet on a...
How An Online Game Helps Students Learn about Lake Champlain
Games have always been a great tool for teachers to engage students and make learning fun. For example, they have been used effectively to help students understand such diverse topics as historical...
IBM Experts Help Vermont 211 Structure New Website
  Part of the matching funds for our grant was graciously donated by IBM, which, through its Impact Grants program, allows expert consultants to conduct in-depth analysis and workshops with...
Richmond Vt's New Town Website Warns Townspeople of Severe Flooding
This article was written by Tess Gauthier, Project Coordinator at the Snelling Center for Government In the last newsletter, I provided an update of the Snelling Center for Government’s work on 15...
More than 100 Vergennes Residents Set Priorities to Advance the Community
Paul Costello, Executive Director of VCRD, facilitated the community discussion of more than 100 Vergennes residents on April 16th. Over the past few months, we’ve been writing about our Community...
Vergennes dedicates Task Forces to address priorities; Resource Meeting May 21 to build action steps
On April 16, over 100 Vergennes community members gathered in a community meeting to consider the ideas that were discussed through the Vergennes Community Visit process and to set priorities for...
Vermont's Smallest City Thinks Big
The citizens of Vergennes have set the top three priorities for their city, in an effort to take a big picture approach to planning for the future. More than 100 people turned out to a community...
Why It Takes a Community to Build a Wi-Fi Zone
  The most important part of creating a new downtown Wi-Fi zone is not the technology involved. Justin McCoart of Up and Running Computer Services, Kim Martin, Vice President of Cambridge Artists...
What Can We Learn from the UK’s Push for Digital Skill-Building?
The graphic above is used in the UK’s small business digital skills survey Vermont’s Digital Skills Roundtable was formed last year to discuss our readiness to fully utilize the power of the...
Scheduling Posts: A Time Management Tip for Using Facebook
“There’s only so much time in a day!” That’s a common response from my nonprofit clients when I advise them that their community organization should be posting on Facebook 3 to 5 times every week...
New Websites for 15 Vermont Towns
This article was written by Tess Gauthier, Project Coordinator at the Snelling Center for Government The Snelling Center for Government (SCG) is building local government capacity and better...
Wi-Fi could be part of downtown’s future
By David Delcore April 07, 2014 BARRE — You probably won’t be able to watch Netflix in City Hall Park, but surfing the Internet from your laptop, tablet or smartphone without doing a number on your...
Video ~ Info about the upcoming Vergennes Community Meeting Day
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is facilitating a Community Visit process in the City of Vergennes that helps area residents discuss, set, and then implement common goals for the future of...
Guilford looks at town plan, village center
By MIKE FAHER / Reformer Staff GUILFORD -- Last year, with help from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Guilford residents came together at two well-attended meetings to brainstorm ideas for...
Should Vermont Towns Use Facebook? Two Towns' Approaches
Our project has highlighted the role and power of social media, especially Facebook, in assisting both nonprofit organizations and small businesses in expanding audience, getting donations, and...
How Can Technology Affect Sustainability Practices?
This past Saturday at the ACORN Sustainable Living Expo, I presented with Michael Wood-Lewis, co-founder of Front Porch Forum, on the question of how technology interacts with community to create...
Rutland Area Food and Farm Link & VtSBDC Connect To Help Small Farms Increase their Web Marketing
by Nancy Shuttleworth, VtSBDC E-Commerce Business Advisor Rutland Area Food and Farm Link (RAFFL) is an enormous resource for Rutland County. The nonprofit organization offers workshops, answers...
Vergennes To Set New Community Priorities on April 16th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is facilitating a Community Visit process in the City of Vergennes that helps area residents discuss, set, and then implement common goals for the future of...
How to Reach Your Facebook Fans
Many organizations assume that when they post something to their organization’s Facebook page, everyone who has liked the page will see it. This is not the case. Just as your Facebook friends don’t...
iConnect Workshops: Helping Internet Beginners Get Connected
by Eric Sakai, Community College of Vermont A couple of years ago, my then-85-year-old mother called me from California in a panic to tell me, “They took away my inbox!” Email was the one internet...
Vermont Puts Spotlight on Need to Advance Digital Skills for Vermonters
Christine Friese, Vermont’s Assistant State Librarian, and Tess Gauthier of the Snelling Center for Government are members of the newly formed statewide Vermont Digital Skills Roundtable. Last...
How Our Wi-Fi Zones Are Being Used
Since we started this project, we have been working hard to implement Wi-Fi zones and Hotspots in towns across the state. We now have 17 active Zones and Hotspots (some of which are still in progress...
Social Media or Wordpress Expert? Civic Hacker? Local Organizations Need Your Help
The Vermont Digital Economy Project, a project of the Vermont Council on Rural Development is on the look out for a techies in southern Vermont willing to donate some time to help local nonprofits...
Bridport Creamery Is Open for Business
by Nancy Shuttleworth, VtSBDC E-commerce Business Advisor Online tools may not be at the start of every new business, but once a business is up and running, the importance of having an online...
How Vermont’s Emergency Managers Leverage Media for Emergency Outreach
Vermont's emergency managers have embraced social media and digital communications to keep Vermonters as informed as possible and recently added messages on Front Porch Forum to their outreach...
Vermont’s Cultural Emergency Preparedness and Response Planning
This Piano came from the famed Weston Playhouse in Weston, Vermont. It is Vermont’s oldest professional theater (est. 1935) and is a living testament to a community’s belief in the arts. On a snowy...
How One Library Is Building a Usable and Inclusive New Website
  Amy Grasmick, director of the Kimball Public Library, uses card-sorting to help create the navigation for the library’s new website. There is a term that developers refer to when building...
Vergennes Community Visit Day - March 18th
On Tuesday, March 18th, all members of the Vergennes community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state,...
The Community Visit Process Begins in Vergennes
One of the seminal programs of VCRD is our Community Visit Process. This process is an opportunity for all of the members of a town or city in Vermont to discuss the future of their community, and to...
Manchester’s Education Task Force Goes Digital
Last year, VCRD completed a 6-month Community Visit in the southern Vermont town of Manchester. This process helped Manchester residents whittle 22 issues and ideas about how to focus community...
The VCRD Website Got an Update!
Maybe you’ve noticed, but our website just got an overhaul. The old VCRD home page vs the new VCRD home page Throughout the Vermont Digital Economy Project, we have been working with nonprofits...
Who Does an Internet Intern Help?
This article was written by Christine Friese, Assistant State Librarian The Computers at Rutland Free Library get a lot of use, from people seeking Lauren's help to a troop of Boy Scouts! Lauren...
Advocates push for 'working landscapes' bill
BRATTLEBORO -- Former agriculture secretary Roger Allbee smiles when he talks about Vermont's farming renaissance in the last decade. He also beams when reviewing the industry's future. "The future...
Debevoise commentary: Support Vermont’s working lands
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Tom Debevoise, the owner of Upwey Farm in South Woodstock. He served as chairman of the Council on the Future of Vermont in 2008-09. Sometimes I have trouble getting...
"Madness" gets Main Street hopping
BENNINGTON -- Downtown retailers were open late for the "most important night of the year to be on Main Street" -- the third Thursday in July, known as Midnight Madness in Bennington. For nearly...
Stevens commentary: Working Lands initiative needs nurturing
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Will Stevens, an organic market gardener and independent state representative from Shoreham. Last month, Gov. Shumlin announced his priorities for the upcoming...
Press Release: New Working Landscape Coalition Pushing for Farm and Forest Funding
December 19, 2012 ~ The Vermont Council on Rural Development announced today that a new leadership team has formed to advance Vermont’s working landscape by supporting state investments through the...
Leonard Bull: Hope springs for Vermont agriculture
Last year, the Vermont Legislature created the Working Lands Enterprise Fund and seeded it with a small investment of $1 million. We are now seeing our seeds growing, as agricultural and forest...
Costello Commentary: Investing in Working Lands
Last year Act 142 established the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) and Fund. Act 142 was both the jobs bill of 2012 and the agriculture and forest products policy bill of the decade. It...
Video ~ Manchester 2020 Community Visit Day
Produced by Greater Northshire Access TV (GNAT), this video filmed during the Manchester 2020 Community Visit day dinner gives a great overview of the day, and includes interviews of visiting team...
Orton Commentary: Working Landscape
After 65 years of decline, Vermont's working landscape - farm and forest - is poised to reverse that trend with the help of two critical applications - and I don't mean manure and lime. The first...
Video ~ Front Page on GNAT-TV about the upcoming Manchester 2020 Community Visit Day
Andrew McKeever talks about the Manchester 2020 Community Visit event on March 11th. All community members are invited to share ideas. A series of forums will begin at 2:15 with a FREE community...
Manchester Community Visit
There was so much to reflect on following last week's Community Visit organized by a local group of community leaders and the Vermont Council on Rural Development that it's hard to know where to...
Community Visitors return
MANCHESTER, Andrew McKeever - The time is approaching for Community Visit, the sequel. Three weeks ago more than 300 area residents converged on four locations across town to take part in one or...
Manchester sets four community priorities
MANCHESTER — At the second public session for Manchester’s community visit, the community narrowed down a list of goals to four priorities for improving the town’s draw for tourists, economic future...
Community Visit sets four goals
MANCHESTER, by staff writer Brandon Canevari - After a three hour session, Manchester residents as well as some from surrounding towns narrowed the vision for the future of Manchester during the...
Mihaly Commentary: Changing the world
VtDigger.org editor’s note: This op-ed is by Marc Mihaly, the president and dean of Vermont Law School. He is an expert in land use, urban planning, and energy law and policy. Vermont Law School is...
Video ~ Speeches from the Working Lands Enterprise Grant Awardees press conference
May 2, 2013 ~ Close to $220,000 was awarded to 20 grantees representing sectors across agriculture, forestry and forest products industry. Here are some of the speeches from the press conference...
NEK Today and Tomorrow: Development drives discussion
By Hilary Niles, vtdigger.org: http://vtdigger.org/2013/06/17/nek-today-and-tomorrow-development-drives-discussion/ Bill Stenger found more money than he knew what to do with when he started...
Pellet company ups output with grant
Vermont Wood Pellet Company was among 16 companies and organizations to share more than $750,000 in grants from the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. The North Clarendon pellet mill received a $38,153...
Video ~ Vermont's Working Landscape: Keeping it Vital
VWLP’s video, Vermont’s Working Landscape: Keeping it Vital, looks at the difficulties facing our farm and forest economy as well as the opportunities the state can pursue to reverse alarming...
Vermont Working Landscape Partnership press conference, January 11, 2012
Several Vermont lawmakers and advocates announced the introduction of the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill on Wednesday morning in the Vermont statehouse. After a presentation to the...
Video on CAT-TV: Bennington Community Visit
Paul Costello and Joe Krawczyk talk about the upcoming community visit process that kicks on on March 15 in Bennington.
Video ~ Reps testify on H.496 before the House Appropriations Committee 3/27/12
   Vermont Reps. Carolyn Partridge and Will Stevens testify on H.496, the Working Landscape Enterprise Investment Bill, before the House Appropriations Committee.
Video ~ VT Working Lands Bill Signing Ceremony
May 15, 2012 - Chuck Ross, VT Agriculture Secretary, and Paul Costello, Executive Director of the VT Council on Rural Development, speak at the signing of the Working Lands Enterprise Investment...
VT Digital Economy Project - Builds Website for Potter's Angels Rescue
by Jenny Day Federal dollars are helping puppies right here in Vermont. Specifically - sprucing up the "Potter's Angels Shelter" website - to get more dogs adopted. The "Vermont Digital Economy...
Vt. Investments Put Landscapes to Work
By Amy Shollenberger, http://www.dailyyonder.com/vt-investments-put-landscapes-work/2014/02/13/7207 In a state that is mostly forests and farmland, the Working Lands Enterprise initiative helps...
Video ~ Vermont Countryside interview about the Working Landscape Initiative
A Vermont Countryside show featuring Representative Will Stevens and Paul Costello from the Working Landscape Partnership will be broadcast on public access TV in Vermont at the end of November and...
2013 Summit on the Future of Vermont's Working Landscape
The 2013 Summit on the Future of Vermont's Working Landscape, held December 17, 2013 at the Vermont Technical College, brought over 360 people together to celebrate the success of the Working Lands...
Joint town/school budget presentation to be held next week
BENNINGTON -- It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but for the first time the local school district and the Select Board will host a joint budget presentation. "Better informed" The...
Broadband Efforts in Vermont Communities
Here are some of the broadband efforts in Vermont communities that have happened or are still in progress. Ascutney Area The Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission, working with the...
New public Wi-Fi areas added in Vermont
MONTPELIER, VT. — The Vermont Council on Rural Development says there are more public access points for Wi-Fi that are part of the Vermont Digital Economy Project. Their installation team reports...
More Internet Access For Vermonters Across the State
Call it the polar vortex, an arctic blast, or just call it winter. Whatever its name, the recent spate of cold weather has been making a lot of headlines, and it’s made it tough to work on our Wi-Fi...
Grants allow agricultural businesses to expand
By Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Public Radio For Joe Buely, there was the matter of the potatoes. As Buely’s burgeoning soup-making operation took hold, the process of removing skin from spud was...
Long Road Leads To Opening Day Success for Vermont Start-up Business
This article was written by Patrick Ripley, Director of e-Commerce at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) After many patient months preparing, Blu-Bin, Vermont’s 3D Printing...
How We Can Help Farmers, at NOFA and Beyond
Digital tools have become essential to farmers. From Amanda Andrews at Tamarack Hollow Farm, who used Kickstarter.com to raising the necessary funds to move her farm off of a flood plain and is...
Why Everyone Should Take Advantage of Free Online Digital Training
Free digital skills training has been available in the Rutland area for the past several months, made possible by a generous donation from Microsoft to the Vermont Digital Economy Project. Two...
Community and Organization Facilitation
VCRD is often called on to provide organizational consultation and resource referral both at the community and agency level. Listed below are a sample of the organizational supports VCRD has provided...
Working Landscape Partnership Council: 2011-2012
The Vermont Council on Rural Development, which founded and led the Council on the Future of Vermont, followed up on its key findings by building the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership made up of...
Video ~ Summit on the Future of Vermont's Working Landscape
Thanks to Orca Media for filming the Summit sessions that took place in Judd Hall and making the video available online. The day is broken out into 4 videos: Part 1 ~ Introductions and welcoming...
Snapshot of Community Projects as a Result of a VCRD Community Visit
Snapshot of Community Projects as a Result of a VCRD Community Visit Almost all towns have built community spirit and engaged new volunteers. Projects have been advanced and accomplished ranging...
About the Community Visit Program
How does a Community Visit work? VCRD’s Community Visit program actively connects grassroots community building efforts in towns across Vermont with state-wide resources, expertise and opportunities...
Apply for a Nonprofit Digital Advancement Mini Grant
Update:  As of 6/12/2014, all funds allocated for mini-grants have been spent. The Vermont Digital Economy Project is pleased to announce the availability of Nonprofit Digital Advancement Mini...
Improving economic fortunes in the Route 30/100 corridor
TOWNSHEND -- With a limitless amount of ideas, town officials and business owners jumped at the chance to spark conversation regarding opportunities within the West River Valley. "It's going to take...
Thoughts about our working landscape
The experience and evolution of Vermont’s working landscape has been in my thinking recently, particularly as our communities work on issues of solar arrays, wind towers, and zoning regulations with...
Celebrating working lands
On Dec. 17, hundreds of Vermonters will come together at Vermont Technical Center to celebrate the success of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund and to identify actions to encourage policymakers to...
Video ~ Working lands group accepting grants to benefit farms
BURLINGTON, Vt. - The Working Lands Enterprise Board is accepting applications for grants. Winners will be people from the agriculture and forest sectors who are advancing entrepreneurism, business...
Gathering to celebrate, foster Vermont's rural renaissance
Randolph — On Dec. 17, hundreds of Vermonters will come together at Vermont Technical Center to celebrate the success of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund and to identify actions to encourage...
Letter: Vermont Working Lands Summit
To the Editor: On Dec. 17, hundreds of Vermonters will come together at Vermont Technical Center in Randolph to celebrate the success of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund and to identify actions to...
Video ~ Working on Vermont's working landscape
Visit this link to watch the news story on the WCAX website.
Leaders eye ‘working landscape’
By Kevin O'Connor, Times Argus: RANDOLPH — When Gov. Peter Shumlin was growing up a half-century ago, Vermont’s agricultural engine was fueled by milk: “If you had asked people outside the dairy...
Working Lands Summit Shows Return on Investment
RANDOLPH, VT -- Over 350 Vermonters gathered at Vermont Technical College on Tuesday for a day of celebration, learning, and reporting on the results of the Working Lands Enterprise Fund investments...
Can Vermont Forestry Be As Popular As Vermont Farming?
By Steve Zind, Vermont Public Radio Business owners, public officials, policy makers and advocates gathered Tuesday at a summit in Randolph Center to take stock of efforts to preserve the state’s...
VCRD honors Orly Munzing with Community Leadership Award
The Vermont Council on Rural Development has presented its 2013 Vermont Community Leadership Award to Orly Munzing, founder and executive director of Strolling of the Heifers. The award was...
Integrity of current use program vital to its success, stakeholders say
Without the state’s current use tax program, “Vermont probably wouldn’t have a working landscape,” says a former president of the Vermont Land Trust. Darby Bradley opened a panel discussion on the...
Vt. summit aims to seed ‘working landscape’
RANDOLPH — When Gov. Peter Shumlin was growing up a half-century ago, Vermont’s agricultural engine was fueled by milk: “If you had asked people outside the dairy industry then to get together and...
Stroll's Munzing gets community leadership award
BRATTLEBORO -- Strolling of the Heifers founder Orly Munzing this week received the 2013 Vermont Community Leadership Award from the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Munzing was honored at the...
A forum on the future of Vermont's working landscape points to progress, problems
The low-hanging jargon lifted quickly. By the end of the day Tuesday, the dozens of folk who gathered in Randolph to mull the future of Vermont’s rural economy had boiled the conundrum down to two...
$18K grant heading to Manchester
MANCHESTER - An $18,000 grant from the Vermont Agency of Transportation could result in a new sidewalk and improved crosswalks in downtown Manchester, according to a town official. "We're looking at...
New Webinar Series for Small Businesses on Google Adwords and Google Tools
The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) would like to announce a series of free webinars aimed at helping Vermont small business owners to better leverage online tools to help their...
Working Lands in Governor's Budget
Last week, Governor Shumlin delivered his budget address to the Vermont legislature, and in that address, he showed a renewed commitment to the Working Lands Enterprise Fund. Importantly, he stated...
How Farm and Forest Businesses Can Intersect with Technology
Author's Note: Since creating this flyer, Bruce Hennessey, of Maple Wind Farm, who is pictured in the flyer, has suffered the tragedy of one of his farm's barns burning to the ground. There is a...
What An Online Presence Can Do To Help Food Shelves Reach Vermonters In Need
The Woodstock Community Food Shelf board of directors: back row, left to right: Sally Gottlieb, Joan Williamson, Norm Youknot and Laura Kent; front row: Cassie Horner, Sheila Murray and Bev Regan...
Guilford Community Visit Report - 2013
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Guilford. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Develop a Small Business Incubation...
Exotic lumber sells: Farm to Plate meets innovative Forest to Table
A $100,000 grant from the Working Lands Enterprise Fund to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board will support the delivery of The Forest Viability Program. Participants will receive in-depth,...
Why Community Calendars are Important, and How Front Porch Forum Created One
Every community in Vermont now has access to its own online calendar, thanks to Front Porch Forum and the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Vermont Digital Econony Project. This just-released...
Securing the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape
By Jeremy Carter, The Bridge: http://www.montpelierbridge.com/2014/01/securing-the-future-of-vermonts-... On December 17, 2013, temperatures plummeted, snow plastered the streets and schools closed...
Using Digital Tools in Farm & Forest Businesses
Stepping up the use of digital tools can be a game-changer for small agricultural and forest products businesses. The integration of farm and forest mobile applications has been shown to save both...
How One Library Patron Found New Ways to Communicate With Her Family
This article was written by Domenic Laurenzi, an Internet Intern who works at  the Dailey Memorial Library in Derby and the Goodrich Library in Newport. He is currently pursuing his associate degree...
Battenkill Campground Rebounds After Irene
This article was written by Nancy Shuttleworth, E-Commerce Advisor at VtSBDC The Battenkill River is known as one of the best trout streams in the East, and visitors from far and near come to fish,...
Front Porch Forum on WKVT
Michale Wood-Lewis discusses Front Porch Forum, and how the Vermont Digital Economy Project helped its statewide expansion, on WKVT. You can find the original audio here.
Nonprofits Use Mobile Credit Card App to Boost Donations
Director Georgia Brehm and Assistant Director Linda Tucker from the Black River Academy Museum use Square and a tablet to take mobile donations. As fewer people carry cash or even use check books,...
Working Lands Enterprise Initiative
The 2012 Legislative session brought with it a renewed commitment to Vermonter’s values by passing the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, Act 142 (http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2012/Acts/ACT142....
Act 142: Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill
The Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill turned the recommendations in the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership’s Action Plan into legislative language for consideration by Vermont...
Working Lands Coalition
The Working Lands Coalition members have joined together to support farm, forest and value‐added development for the future by systematically encouraging significant additional public investment in...
Marlboro gets WiFi hotspot
By HOWARD WEISS-TISMAN / Reformer Staff MARLBORO -- Town residents who can’t get broadband, and who are frustrated with the slow pace of upgrading their service at home, now have an option when...
Vermont Working Landscape Partnership
Vermont Digital Economy Project
Happy Holidays and a Prosperous 2014 from the Vermont Digital Economy Project!
I can’t believe that my first blog article as director of the Vermont Digital Economy Project was nine months ago, and that the project is fast approaching its one-year mark. In this relatively...
How do your thoughts about Vermont's values, future challenges and priority issues apply to YOUR community?
How do your thoughts about Vermont's values, future challenges and priority issues apply to YOUR community? Town Rutland exists. It is the second largest city ("micropolis") in the state. We...
What should our priorities be as we work together to prepare Vermont for the future?
What should our priorities be as we work together to prepare Vermont for the future? Town Get the input of every single Vermonter, of every ethnic and social background. Of any job description....
What Challenges and Opportunities Do We See for Our Communities and State?
What Challenges and Opportunities Do We See for Our Communities and State? Town Using Rutland as an example: Rutland has become "Anywhere USA". Sprawl is taking its toll. Poverty is rampant in...
What Common Values do Vermonters Share?
What Common Values do Vermonters Share? Town First of all, everyone I know loves the state. My friends and I love it here and our opinions about the state have intensified positively as we've...
Programs
Sign Up for VT Alert, Vermont’s Emergency Notification System
Alerts like this one, can be emailed, texted, and sent by other methods. Just sign-up at www.vtalert.gov. The Digital Economy Project was created to support the use of digital tools for disaster...
How the Vermont Digital Economy Project Has Made an Impact in One Vermont Town
On a chilly Thursday evening in late November, members of the new downtown development group called Wilmington Works, town officials, state representatives, and Wilmington business owners gathered at...
Working Lands In Action
We are actively working to promote the growth of the WLEF fund through the Working Lands Coalition, which we convened to support continued public funding for farm and forest enterprises, with a goal...
Nonprofits in the White River Valley Get Website Upgrades
Juli Reiderer, Park House Exectutive Director, looks at her organization's new website An empowered organization is a successful organization. For a nonprofit to be successful, it must have control...
Vermont Clothing Company Stays Resilient with New Website
This article was written by Patrick Ripley, Director of e-Commerce at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC)   Rochester was one of many southern Vermont communities slammed by...
Guilford plans for future
GUILFORD (By MIKE FAHER) -- Having decided where they want to go, Guilford residents now will try to figure out how to get there. As the latest step in a planning process organized by the Vermont...
Policy Councils
Vermont Higher Education Food System Consortium
VCRD founded and is facilitating the Vermont Higher Education Food Systems Consortium. University of Vermont, Vermont State Colleges including Vermont Technical College, Sterling College, Green...
Support Us
VCRD works throughout Vermont, providing avenues for public discussion and action on issues important to Vermonters. Through program and policy initiatives, we are working to strengthen communities,...
Guilford Task Force Groups are Forming December 4th
At the “Guilford Community Meeting” on November 12, over 80 residents worked to consider key priorities for the future of Guilford. The priorities that residents identified include: Redevelop the...
Free Wi-Fi, new website for town
WILMINGTON- Thanks to a new website and a new free wireless Internet zone, Wilmington is moving forward in its quest to become a digitally efficient municipality.  The town now has “the Wilmington...
How a hackathon can transform your community
What started as an uphill battle in Burlington, Vermont on the National Day of Civic Hacking in June 2013, transversed into an understanding between local government, non-profits, the media, and the...
Use Your Facebook Page to Solicit Donations and Subscriptions Online
Here at the Vermont Council on Rural Development, we are in the process of asking for donations to fund our great ongoing work, including support for programs like our Community Visits Program and...
IBM Donates Expert Disaster Preparedness Consulting to Vermont Nonprofits
Earlier this month, two IBM specialists in business continuity and resiliency services conducted two Disaster Preparedness for Nonprofit Workshops in Vermont. The workshops were donated to the...
Wilmington to launch new website and Wi-Fi zone
WILMINGTON, VT - The town of Wilmington, Vermont will be celebrating the arrival of a free and public downtown Wi-Fi zone called “The Wilmington Connection,” as well as the launch the town’s new...
About the Working Landscape Partnership
Vermonters and visitors value our working landscape for all its scenic, cultural, economic, environmental and recreational benefits. However, if alarming trends are not reversed it will vanish within...
Food systems proposal crucial
Editorial by Emerson Lynn, St. Albans Messenger: http://www.samessenger.com/ Vermont is not flush with products or services that lend themselves to national brands of any significant scale. We have...
Vt. Aims To Become Food Systems Education Leader
by LISA RATHKE, Associated Press MONTPELIER -- Vermont, with its reputation for handcrafted premium cheeses, pure maple syrup and craft beers, now wants to become a national leader in food systems...
Vermont aims to become hub of food systems education
MONTPELIER (AP) -- Known for its commitment to local foods and its artisanal cheeses, maple syrup and even beer, Vermont now hopes to become a national hub for food systems education. On Thursday,...
Vermont aims to become hub of food systems education Six educational institutions have signed on to be part of the initiative
by Tim Johnson, Burlington Free Press MONTPELIER — Vermont’s leaders love to tout synergy, and a joint news conference Thursday morning announced another showcase example: an initiative that will...
Colleges Will Share Students To Boost Food & Ag Education
by Steve Zind, Vermont Public Radio A group of Vermont public and private higher learning institutions has announced a plan to share students and programs in an effort to boost the state’s image as...
Vermont Colleges to share resources in creating food systems degree
by John Herrick, vtdigger.org A consortium of Vermont colleges launched a plan Thursday to make the state “the destination for agricultural education.” The colleges announced an agreement to share...
New Consortium Will Make Vermont a Global Center of Food Systems Education
Vermont took a giant step today towards becoming a global center for food systems education. The leaders of six of Vermont’s higher education institutions were at the State House to sign a...
Take a Tour of Working Lands
1. Start your tour of Vermont's rural renaissance with this video of a few of the 2013 Working Lands Enterprise Fund grant awardees sharing their stories and vision. And update from...
Town looks at creating wi-fi 'hot spot' at Broad Brook Grange
By John Snyder/The Commons: http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site05/story.php?articleno=8797&page=1#.... GUILFORD—The Selectboard said it is on the fence about whether to invest in a public...
Conference Focuses on Financing Working Lands
Vermont Public Radio: http://digital.vpr.net/post/conference-focuses-financing-working-lands According to those working to improve farming and forestry opportunities in Vermont, the state is...
Sustainable Logging Business Improves Its Operations With Digital Tools
This article was written by Patrick Ripley, Director of e-Commerce at VtSBDC Unlike many Vermont business owners, when Bethel logger Carl Russell emerged from the rains of hurricane Irene in late...
In A Digital World, Some Towns Working Hard To Keep Up
By Katy Savage Virginia Lancaster started the Barnard Bulletin 20 years ago when she realized people in town were not prepared when it came time for Town Meeting. She mailed it free to every...
Town of Mendon Launches New Website with Help from Snelling Center
Citizens in the town of Mendon discuss what information they would like to see on a Municipal Website. Thanks to the Vermont Digital Economy Project and its partner, the Snelling Center, the Town of...
Building Inclusion Through Digital Literacy
This year, we were excited to be a part of Tech Jam, a technology-focused job fair that also serves to showcase how well Vermont is succeeding at creating and adopting to new technologies, from being...
Join the Working Landscape Partnership
It is time for action to ensure the future of Vermont’s working landscape. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) invites both individuals and organizations/businesses to join the Vermont...
Council on the Future of Vermont (2007-2009)
The Council on the Future of Vermont was a unique project for VCRD. At once a statewide public dialogue and a critical look at the state’s past and present, the Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV...
Discussing Technology and Open Data at the Woodstock Digital Media Festival
On November 1st, the Vermont Digital Economy Project will be facilitating a discussion at the Woodstock Digital Media Festival on open data, a subject that will be introduced during a presentation by...
Guilford Community Visit Creates Discussion Among Residents
It was humbling to be part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s visiting team for the Guilford Community Visit on October 15th. The Town of Guilford is a community just south of Brattleboro...
Internet Interns Fulfill A Need
This article was written by Donald de Voil, Internet Interns Coordinator at CCV In today's world, it can be impossible to apply for a job, fill out a government form, or complete other essential...
Request an Internet Intern for Your Library
This service will bring Vermont State College students to the local library for 6 hours a week as a resource to provide one-on-one digital literacy assistance to patrons. Students will be placed as...
Survey: Farm/Forest Businesses Use of Online Tools
PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday, October 28, we are no longer accepting new applications.   Thank you for your interest in receiving free advising through the Vermont Digital Economy Project. Are you...
Social Media Surgery Evaluation Form
Thank you for attending a Social Media Surgery. Please take a moment and fill out this short evaluation survey. Our goal is to provide you with the most informative and effective training possible....
Northeast Regional Rural Summit - 2010
USDA RD commissioned the Partners in Rural America (PRA) to build four regional ‘convenings’ to to share best regional and place-based practices and build strategic partnerships among state Rural...
2010 Summit on the Future of Vermont's Working Landscape
The Vermont Council for Rural Development sponsored the State House summit on December 10, 2010 of more than 300 people from agriculture, forestry, business, and public policy. The day highlighted...
Online forum connects Vermont residents in rural towns
MONTPELIER -- When Tropical Storm Irene flooded mountain valley towns in Vermont two years ago, some savvy residents turned to social media to rally for help and spread news. Their posts on Facebook...
Like the Food Shelf on Facebook
For The Woodstock Community Food Shelf  Remember back when Irene was imminent and you were wondering how long power and phone would stay connected? Somewhere in the midst of the storm, we here in...
Register for a Social Media Surgery
Interested in getting targeted advice on some aspect of your organization's social media strategy? Please RSVP with this survey so Netsquared can pair you with the right "surgeon" to meet your needs...
Nonprofit Digital Needs Assessment & Application for Services
PLEASE NOTE: As of Monday, October 28, we are no longer accepting new applications for services.   In order to properly address the specific needs of your nonprofit, we ask that you complete an...
Vermont Libraries Learn Social Media Strategies
This article was written by Christine Friese, Assistant State Librarian, Vermont Department of Libraries Recently, Library directors, trustees and staff from 10 public libraries, representatives...
Costello Commentary: Advancing the Vermont Forest Economy
In August, VCRD was honored to serve as a partner with the Windham Foundation to facilitate their thirty-fifth Grafton Conference. On the 50th year anniversary of the foundation, they wisely chose...
Art + Kids + Critters + Contests = Social Media Success
When discussing social media with nonprofits, the number one question I am asked is: “How can I get more people to like my organization’s Facebook Page?” There are a few basic first steps,...
Cities & Towns Learn How Digital Tools Create Community Resilience, In Good Times and Bad
Killington Resort was near its peak foliage color when it hosted more than 400 people at the Vermont League of Cities & Towns Town Fair 2013 on October 3rd On October 3rd, I had the great...
Is Vermont's Front Porch Forum Moderating Civil Discussion — or Censoring Free Speech?
Written by Kathryn Flagg of Seven Days: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/is-vermonts-front-porch-forum-moderat... Imagine this: A South Burlington resident posts an offhand remark on his...
VCRD Home
Summits and Convenings
History of VCRD's Summits From 1996 to 2003, VCRD Rural Summits were private retreats for state and federal officiates to elaborate common ‘action steps’ that would unite their efforts around topics...
Riverwalk work party set
MANCHESTER - The Manchester Riverwalk Association will be holding a Riverwalk Work Day on Sunday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting at the town green. This spring, after a visioning exercise...
Manchester Community Visit Day - March 11th
On Monday, March 11th, all members of the Manchester community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state,...
Manchester 2020 Community Meeting Day - April 11th
On Thursday, April 11th, all members of the Manchester community are invited to participate in the 2nd day of our Community Visit process. The session will be held from 6:30-9:15pm at the Burr &...
Video ~ Manchester 2020 Community Meeting Day, April 11 2013
Over 150 Manchester residents attended the Manchester Community Meeting on April 11th 2013 to select the top priorities for the town to advance through the process. This video is relevant to...
#VTStrong: Vermont Developing Detailed Plan to Use Social Media to Leverage Volunteers
Twenty Vermont emergency managers and their extended partners participated in a day-long session managed by consultants from IBM Interactive. On September 23rd, the Vermont Division of Emergency...
Bethel Emergency Management Volunteers Leverage Neighbors and Technology
A goal of our grant is to assist towns, business and nonprofits in using technology to be more prepared in the case of another disaster. This effort includes encouraging communities to learn to...
Guilford Community Visit Day - October 15th, 2013
On Tuesday, October 15th, all members of the Guilford community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of federal, state,...
Wilmington Business Groups Get Post-Irene Boost
This article is written by Patrick Ripley, VtSBDC Director of e-Commerce Wilmington was one of many southern Vermont communities hit hardest by Hurricane Irene in the late summer of 2011. Its...
Pride in Vermont is Alive and Well!
Last week, VCRD hosted a “State Rural Policy Innovation Roundtable” reviewing key rural development action led by states and how this work can contribute to national rural policy. We had folks from...
Vermont-created community website connects neighbors statewide
BURLINGTON, Vt. —It's the latest way to connect with your neighbors, and now it's in every community across Vermont. Front Porch Forum is the brainchild of a Burlington man, who created the online...
Digital Workforce Education
Offering highly accessible digital workforce education was a key part of the Vermont Digital Economy Project. Project partner Microsoft delivered the cutting-edge Microsoft IT Academy Program ® (ITA...
Strategic Planning and Marketing from IBM
The work directly conducted by the Vermont Digital Economy project staff and partners was augmented by targeted strategic assistance from IBM, through the deployment of IBM Service Grants which...
Front Porch Forum to go statewide
By Neal Goswami MONTPELIER — An online forum allowing local communities to share information or seek and offer assistance to neighbors is set for a statewide rollout with backing from the Vermont...
Front Porch Forum expands to every Vermont town
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) and Front Porch Forum (FPF) jointly announce today that Front Porch Forum has expanded and is now available statewide in every Vermont town and...
Vermont Small Business Development Center Has Published the Disaster Recovery Guide for Business
The Vermont Small Business Development Center is a key partner in the Vermont Digital Economy Project. We are happy to announce their new guide, created after Irene to help businesses move forward in...
How A Town Can Maintain The Cost Of Internet For A Wi-Fi Zone
An access point providing Wi-Fi to Rochester Vermont's zone. In each town that I work with to install a Wi-FI zone, the experience is a little different, which is one of the things that makes the...
VCRD Brings Front Porch Forum to Every Vermont Town
Lost dog found in Waitsfield, plow service recommended in Pownal, school board minutes shared in Newport, car break-in reported in Colchester, baby stroller given away in Tinmouth... and the list...
Engaging Citizens To Help Build Municipal Websites
This article was written by Tess Gauthier, Project Coordinator at the Snelling Center Tess Gauthier, of the Snelling Center for Government, gets input from community members in Wilmington about how...
Test-Program
This is the intro text. Lormem Ipsum: Nunc, proin enim cursus augue, sed adipiscing elementum cras, magnis tempor est quis tristique pulvinar lectus odio proin, porta phasellus vel integer porttitor...
Community Leadership Award
The awardees are: 2017 - Lifetime Leadership Award presented to Paul Bruhn On Thursday, June 8th the Vermont Council on Rural Development presented its annual Vermont Lifetime Leadership Award to...
“Social Media Surgeons” Work in Woodstock
On a Tuesday night, in the upstairs rooms of the Thompson Senior Center in Woodstock, Vermont, 17 members of nonprofit organizations from Woodstock, Killington, Plymouth, Chester, and other nearby...
Immigration Reform, Obamacare, The Economy: Just A Few Things Companies Like Facebook, Google And Much Smaller Businesses Want Resolved
By Laura Matthews - Paul Costello was interviewed for this piece on the current state of the U.S. economy. Here's an excerpt from middle of the article where he was quoted: By comparison, Vermont,...
How and Why the Tech Community is Giving Back to Vermont Nonprofits
Social Media Surgeon and volunteer Alison Emerson helps John Atwood of the Bridgewater Historical Society at the Woodstock Social Media Surgery Vermont’s 2011 floods demonstrated the potential for...
“Northeast Kingdom Today and Tomorrow:” What does Progress look like?
Over the last few months VCRD has been working with the Northeast Vermont Development Corporation to convene a dialogue in the Northeast Kingdom on “Managing Change for the Best Future of the NEK...
Free Digital Workforce Training Now Available at CCV Rutland!
Mike Keogh, Rutland CCV’s Academic Coordinator and Workforce Liaison, will personally work with area students and continuing education registrants who sign-up for free Microsoft IT Academy training...
Upcoming Events
Vermont’s Forest Economy: Advancing Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Value-Added Forest Products
Report of the 35th Grafton Conference. Produced by the Windham Foundation and facilitated by VCRD. On August 14 and 15, 2013, a few dozen leaders in the forest products sector of Vermont gathered at...
News and Events
Join the Working Landscape Partnership
Add your name to the growing list of folks who support Vermont's Farm and Forest future.
Final Report: NEK Today and Tomorrow: a Northeast Kingdom Summit Conference on Managing Change for the Best Future of the NEK - 2013
The NEK Today and Tomorrow Summit was designed by the Northeast Vermont Development Association and Vermont Council on Rural Development to build action to advance the health and prosperity of NEK...
Working Lands “Service Provider” and “Capital and Infrastructure” grants will be announced at June 18 Press Conference
16 Grantees will Receive Over $750,000 in Total Funding Governor Peter Shumlin, Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller,...
More chances for creating downtown Wi-Fi zones, through the VTA’s Business Broadband Improvement District Designation
Our goal, through the Vermont Digital Economy Project, is to help Vermonters use and understand digital tools better. We know that the more technologically capable Vermonters are, the more resilient...
Digital Tools Bring Increased Access to Quality Healthcare for Rural Vermonters
Last week, I participated in a Broadband Access Roundtable Discussion for Vermont’s healthcare providers co-hosted by the USDA - Rural Development and the Vermont Telecommunication Authority (VTA)....
With iPads and GIS, High School Students Map Needed Roadwork in Sharon
Paul Haskell, Chair of the Sharon Selectboard was a part of a group discussion on how to use digital mapping and crowd-sourcing tools to solve community problems convened by the Vermont Digital...
Vermont Digital Economy Project Assisting Local Nonprofits in Plymouth
Rob Fish is assisting the Plymouth Historical Society in building a website. Part of the focus of this project is to share and collaborate with other organizations in the area. A free, skills...
Vermont agribusiness service providers expand to include wood product industry
Montpelier - Business planning and technical assistance previously available to the agricultural sector is growing to include wood product and forestry industry businesses. The Vermont Farm Viability...
The Value of a Facebook Like
In a recent post, Pat Ripley of VtSBDC laid out some of the reasons why it is important to have a Facebook presence. In addition to the ability it affords businesses of reaching more customers and...
About VCRD
Through a number of different initiatives and programs, the Vermont Council on Rural Development helps to foster community and build local capacity.
Local Nonprofits Encouraged to Use More Online Tools to Build Stronger Organization
For Immediate Release Press Contact: Rob Fish, Nonprofit Adviser, Vermont Digital Economy Project (802) 488-5143 or rob@vtrural.org LOCAL NONPROFITS ENCOURAGED TO USE MORE ONLINE TOOLS TO BUILD...
Using Social Media to Leverage Volunteers after Disasters
Our visits to Vermont’s flood-impacted communities reveal several compelling stories of how towns used social media to help recover from Tropical Storm Irene. Part of this social media effort was to...
Internet Internship: How the program helped change one intern's life
By Mary McClements, Coordinator of Academic Services-Career Training Programs at CCV Blake dropped out of school when he was sixteen and, for several years, tried to make a living on minimum wage...
Helping to Improve the Visibility of Food Shelves in Vermont
Vermont’s strength is a direct result of the strength of the community organizations that step up in time of need, or provide ongoing assistance to members of the community in need. While these...
Digital Infrastructure Gets Boost In Flooded Towns
By STEVE ZIND Resiliency has been a buzzword ever since Tropical Storm Irene. The goal of resiliency is to improve the ability of communities to recover from natural disasters. In some cases that...
Free Certificate Programs for Digital Skills Coming to CCV Rutland, Thanks to Microsoft
Offering highly accessible digital workforce education is a key part of the Vermont Digital Economy Project.  Project partner Microsoft is delivering the cutting-edge Microsoft IT Academy Program...
Vt. Public Wi-Fi Creates Broadband Options
Broadband and Tech | Main Street Economics Vermont builds a wi-fi network for its downtown, providing students, businesses and residents with a new way to get online. For the town of 2,000, that...
Stories
Stories: Read about what our project has accomplished, and how other organizations in Vermont have used digital tools to succeed. Find all stories here >>
Community Visits
Community Visits allow towns to come together to plan local actions that make their towns more vibrant. Find out how your town can get involved.
Vermont Digital Economy Project
Read the final report from our 2 year project that helped communities and organizations through free technological support.
City Room: Sharon Combes-Farr, Vermont Digital Economy Project Director
Project Director, Sharon Combes-Farr gets interviewed on City Room.   City Room: Sharon Combes-Farr, Vermont Digital Economy Project Director from Central Vermont Television on Vimeo.
Village walking tour and Wi-Fi get nod
by Jack Deming Wilmington village could get a mak­eover if a design plan is approved and acted on. WILMINGTON- The select­board approved two projects totaling $11,000 for the 1% option tax fund...
Front Porch Forum Will Be Expanded to Every Vermont Town that Wants It
Recent road construction in Huntington in July, 2013 - photo taken by John LoCicero All of this rain has reminded me how important it is that our Vermont Digital Economy Project will bring Front...
Social Media Presence is Expected Part of Any Organization’s Online Strategy Today
This article is written by Patrick Ripley, Director of e-Commerce for VtSBDC Social media has become as much a part of daily life for Vermont small business owners and nonprofit organizations as a...
Recent Storms Give Vermont Chance to Test New Emergency Notification System
The driveway to my house, in Ludlow near the Plymouth town border, became a river during Tropical Storm Irene. I have to admit that all of the rain we’ve gotten lately has made me very nervous. As a...
Does your Nonprofit Need Social Media Surgery?
Is your organization in need of a social media makeover? Nonprofit Advisor and Social Media “Surgeon” Rob Fish discussed social media strategy with “patient” Jahnine Spaulding, Outreach Coordinator...
The Northeast Kingdom growth surge
Commentary by John McClaughry On June 15 some 120 people from Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom came together for a session at Lake Region High School on “building action to advance the health and...
Contact Us
Vermont Council on Rural Development 43 State Street, PO Box 1384 Montpelier, VT  05601-1384 (802) 223-6091 email: info(at)vtrural.org Send us your thoughts or request information by contacting...
Key Partnerships
National Rural Development Partnership VCRD is a member of the National Rural Development Partnership, a multi-faceted organization bringing together partners from all levels of government as well...
Board of Directors
One of 40 Councils nationwide, the VCRD is an independent non-profit with a 23 member Board of Directors representing federal, state, local, private, and non-profit partners working together to...
Our Staff
Jon CopansClimate Economy Model Communities Program Director 802-225-6393 jon(at)vtrural.org Jon joined VCRD in 2017. He worked previously for the State of Vermont as Deputy Commissioner of the...
About VCRD
Unleashing the power of Vermonters to create a better future! The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of the locally-defined progress of...
Front Porch Forum
As part of the Vermont Digital Economy grant, every town in Vermont now has access to a Front Porch Forum. Front Porch Forum (FPF) provides a simple way for neighborhood connections to begin. This...
Municipal Websites
The municipal website collaboration and creation project was run by the Snelling Center for Government. The mission of the Snelling Center is to foster responsible and ethical civic leadership,...
Internet Interns
The Internet Interns program began as part of e-Vermont, and continued through the Digital Economy Project. In this program the Vermont State Colleges connected public libraries in towns across...
Small Business Advising
Working with the Vermont Small Business Development Center we helped small businesses become more digitally active through workshops and one on one advising.   Looking to improve your business'...
Digital Advising for Farm and Forest Businesses
Working with the Vermont Small Business Development Center we helped farm and forest businesses become more digitally active through workshops and one on one advising. Looking to improve your...
Nonprofit Advising
Nonprofit advising helped nonprofits in flood impacted communities who were looking to improve their use of online tools. This advising took place both in structured workshops and in the form of...
Wi-Fi Zones and Hotspots
In order to help towns develop in a digitally-based world, and to promote economic resiliency and flood recovery, the Digital Economy Project implemented Wi-Fi zones as well as individual hotspots...
About the Vermont Digital Economy Project
Created by VCRD, with the goal of constructing more resilient communities after the 2011 floods, the Vermont Digital Economy Project was a continuation and expansion of the work performed by e-...
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
2013 Working Lands Enterprise Fund Grant Recipients Announced
The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB) comprised of public and private sector members involved in agriculture, forestry, and/or forest products was responsible for allocating over $1 million in...
Bennington’s First Fridays back on track for July
BENNINGTON -- Throughout the summer season and into October, Downtown Bennington will hold "First Friday" celebrations on the first Friday of every month. The concept for Bennington’s First Fridays...
Civility and Invitation
I was recently invited to participate in a panel on Civility for the National Endowment on the Humanities and the Vermont Bar Association, and it made me think of the challenges we see in rural...
Flood-Impacted Community Libraries Should Apply for Their Very Own Internet Intern!
This article was written by Christine Friese, Assistant State Librarian. To apply for an Internet Intern for your Library, fill out the form here. Access to high speed broadband and free computers...
Free Individual Digital Advising to Help Farm & Forest Ventures Improve Operations
Photo courtesy of Earthwise Farm And Forest The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) has its roots in the 1992 Farm Bill.  The organization has also taken strong leadership in the creation of...
What a Wi-Fi Zone Means to One Vermont Town
Neal Fox, Bethel Business Association Chairman, speaks at Bethel Wi-Fi zone opening In a bright renovated Town Hall in Bethel Vermont, with sunlight flowing into the room from large windows lining...
How Wi-Fi Brings Townspeople Together
There are many aspects of working for the Digital Economy Project that are appealing: not only does the project have the resources to offer services and aid to communities across Vermont, but in the...
How a Woodstock Nonprofit Saved $1300 a Year Thanks to Digital Tools
The Ottauquechee Community Partnership (OCPVT) is a locally funded non-profit organization with a focus on connecting young people to the community, bringing community resources to schools and...
Grants for local apple, meat-cutting projects aims to fuel local foods movement
ADDISON COUNTY — Nearly $100,000 in grants to two local apple operations announced last week, plus additional grants supporting meat-cutting and composting efforts, aim to help businesses cultivating...
Vermont Digital Economy Project Brings Free Wi-Fi to Downtown Bethel
BETHEL, VT - The town of Bethel, Vermont, will be celebrating the arrival of a free and public downtown Wi-Fi zone called “The Bethel Connection” at a launch event on Thursday, June 20th starting at...
2013 Working Lands grants awarded
MONTPELIER — The state has announced $750,000 in grants as part of its Working Lands Enterprise Initiative. The grants for service providers as well as capital and infrastructure were given as part...
Windham County rakes in big grants
BRATTLEBORO -- Windham County's agricultural business community got a big boost Tuesday when the latest recipients of the state's Working Lands Enterprise Fund were announced. More than $750,000 in...
Gov. Shumlin announces final 16 grantees of the 2013 Working Lands Fund
MONTPELIER – Gov. Peter Shumlin, Agriculture, Food & Markets Secretary Chuck Ross, Commerce & Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller, Forests, Parks & Recreation Commissioner...
Working Lands awards $750,000 in 2013 grants
Vermonters in the forestry and agriculture sectors got a helping hand from the state on Tuesday. The Working Lands Enterprise Initiative awarded 16 local businesses a total of $750,000 in grant money...
Vermont Digital Economy Project Delivers Free Downtown Wi-Fi and Much More to Flood-Impacted Communities
Paul Costello, Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, Speaks at Royalton’s Downtown Wi-Fi Launch. Also Onstage (left to right): Tricia Coates (Congressman Welch’s Office),...
Woodstock Area Nonprofits Join Together
At the Vermont Digital Economy Project, we know that a connected community is a resilient community. While we’ve been focusing on using digital tools to build networks within a community, it’s just...
Vermont fine furniture company receives $100,000 working lands grant award
Vermont Woods Studios online fine furniture to be awarded a $100,000 working lands Grant Award. The Vermont Woods Studios was selected to receive a $100,000 grant to be used to complete the...
Reaching to a Wider Community to create Municipal Websites
The Snelling Center for Government is partnering with their Vermont Leadership Network (VLN) to harness skills and knowledge in Vermont communities to aid in the development of the municipal...
A Day for Economic Development
By Katie Mettler Valley News Staff Writer (Published in print: Friday, June 14, 2013) South Royalton — It was a day of firsts on the green in South Royalton yesterday. The town’s grant-funded...
Video ~ Paul Costello talks about VCRD's work
Paul Costello, Executive Director, joins Comcast Newsmakers to discuss VCRD's work.
Waterbury VT Getting Boost From Digital Economy Project
Waterbury is getting another boost as it recovers from its flooding. This time from the Vermont Digital Economy project. A $1.8 million grant will benefit 25 towns impacted by flooding including...
Towns Get Wi-Fi
Bethel, South Royalton Will Benefit By Molly Mattern Tropical Storm Irene, which devastated local communities in 2011, has imparted a surprising gift to the towns of Royalton and Bethel this summer...
WiFi in Downtown S. Royalton - 15 Other Towns are Next!
This video piece aired on Fox44 and ABC22.
Manchester Community Visit Report - 2013
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Manchester. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Develop a Small Business Incubator;...
Royalton To Launch Free Wi-Fi Funded by the Vermont Digital Economy Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SOUTH ROYALTON, VT - After weeks of preparation, decision-making and community involvement, the town of Royalton will kick off its brand new free public Wi-Fi zone on the...
Vermont’s first economic summit takes on perception problem
Joseph Fusco, VCRD board member and vice president of Casella Waste Systems, on a panel at the state’s first economic summit, June 3, 2013. Photo by Anne Galloway. by Anne Galloway | June 4, 2013 |...
Building Digital Inclusion into a Hackathon
This past weekend was the National Day of Civic Hacking. While for many of us, hacking brings up ominous images of security systems being overridden and important data being stolen, a hackathon is...
Tech Community Helps Build Three Nonprofit Websites
Can a new rural rescue squad website promote public safety? How much more effective could a jobs bank be if the task of posting jobs were cut in half? How many additional people would a food shelf...
Success with Social Media: The Bethel Historical Society
Heidi M. Nikolaidis, of the Bethel Historical Society, received help from Rob Fish on the society's Facebook Page. Here's what she learned: A few weeks ago we first heard about the grant from the...
Civility & Political Discourse in Vermont: How do we compare the the nation?
Paul Costello served on the panel of this forum about Civility was hosted in Montpelier on June 1, 2013 by the Vermont Bar Association in partnership with the ABA Division for Public Education &...
Interview with Paul Costello
Reproduced here with permission, this interview appeared in the June-July 2013 issue of Vermont Property Owners Report, a bimonthly subscription newsletter about Vermont and Vermont real estate. For...
Waterbury Pub Owners Leverage Social Media to Grow Their Business
More than 20 years ago, Vermonters Jeffrey and Maryanne Larkin opened Arvad’s Grill & Pub in Waterbury. From the very beginning, they put high emphasis on featuring local products and serving...
Video ~ Paul Costello on Bill Doyle's TV show
In this 30 minute video, Paul talks about Vermont's investments in farm and forest enterprises and the history of the Working Lands Enterprise initiative.
Morrisville Food Co-op to hold meeting
The Morrisville Food Co-op (MoCo) Task Force is holding a community meeting, “Community Engagement 2013,” on June 4, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Peoples Academy in Morrisville, to launch its member/ownership...
Community sets action steps
MANCHESTER - Tuesday night marked the final of three meetings in Manchester's 2020 Community Visit series. The gathering brought the community back together to focus on their four defined priorities...
Old and New Businesses May Help Each Other in Bethel
Digital tools can create an important advantage in running a business these days, and we're working in Bethel on a number of projects to help make these tools more reachable, including installing a...
Okemo Chamber Models Digital Tools: Mobile Apps, Workshops, Social Media, and More
The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is busy scheduling small business workshops in several flood-impacted towns. Grant-funded workshops are already on the calendar for Waterbury...
Maintaining the Past into the Future: Helping Historical Societies
Members of the Bethel Historical Society I remember as a young boy growing up and being fascinated by the local history of my home town. I wanted to understand how and why certain things came to be...
Internet Interns: Balancing life: theirs and others
By Mary McClements, Coordinator of Academic Services-Career Training Programs at CCV ‘Balance’ is a great buzz word these days, in my opinion, especially because I don’t have it often enough. We...
Two Important Developments: Working Lands and Farm Bill
As a neutral policy and community development convener, VCRD is rarely directly connected to legislative matters but we are excited today about two important developments! ******* First, as the...
Mark Johnson Interviews Sharon Combes-Farr at the VBSR Spring Conference 2013
Vermont Digital Economy Project Director, Sharon Combes-Farr, discusses Cloud Computing and more at the Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility Conference in Burlington, Vermont. Find the...
An App for Vermont Farmers, Created by Heather Darby
Our search for relevant workshop content for Vermont’s farm and forest sector led us straight to someone who may, at first, seem an unlikely Vermont digital economy pioneer. Heather Darby, Ph.D.,...
Mobile Technology: Its Benefits for Individuals and Organizations, and its Drawbacks
At the Vermont Digital Economy Project, we're passionate about using new technologies to improve disaster resilience and spur economic growth in Vermont. Mobile technology, from the ease of...
Building Resilience Through Radio at Royalton Community Radio
After a week and a half of meetings with over twenty nonprofits ranging from historical societies to downtown revitalization organizations, churches, rotary clubs, human services, agriculture...
Compendium of press for the first round of working lands grants
On Wednesday May 2nd the Working Lands Enterprise Board announced the first farm and forest enterprises to receive grant funds made available through funds build through Act 142 last year. Here are a...
Gov. Shumlin announces 20 grantees of Working Lands Enterprise
MONTPELIER, 5/2/13 – Gov. Peter Shumlin, Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, Forest, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder and the Working Lands Enterprise Board today announced the first...
Bethel Will Get Wi-Fi
Whole Village Area Would Be Served By Jennie Marx The Bethel Business Association hosted a presentation on the downtown Bethel public Wi-Fi grant April 17 at the former Breaking Grounds building....
The Effective Use of Internet Tools During Disasters
Our hearts go out to everyone who was injured or affected in the unthinkable attack on the Boston Marathon last week. Each of us here at the Digital Economy Project had friends or loved ones at the...
Digital Economy Services Come to Life
As we discussed in an earlier post, the Vermont Digital Economy Project has been getting its feet wet and meeting with towns to understand their needs and perspectives. However, as we continue to...
Microsoft Digital Literacy
Our partners at Microsoft have developed a Digital Literacy program that helps to bridge the digital divide. We’re working with them to integrate their curriculum with efforts already in place in the...
Making Digital Workshops Relevant for the Agricultural Sector and Nonprofits
An important service offered by our project is the Vermont Small Business Development Center’s digital workshops. They’re designed to teach small businesses how to leverage such hot digital tools...
Closing the Digital Divide: The iConnect Workshop
Guest post by Eric Sakai, Dean of Academic Technology at the Community College of Vermont Basic computer skills have become a part of everyday life. More and more vital services, information, and...
Keeping The Youth in Vermont
I’ve been struck by census data on rural communities that shows that some rural towns across the country are rapidly urbanizing and others are losing population, especially young people. Vermont is...
Hotspots: Board discusses digital economy grant
By CHRIS MAYS / Reformer Staff HALIFAX -- The Selectboard met with representatives from the Vermont Digital Economy Project on April 2 to discuss the grant the town was recently awarded from the...
Video ~ Michael Wood-Lewis founder of Front Porch Forum on City Room with Steven Pappas
With support from VCRD's Vermont Digital Economy Project, Front Porch Forum is now in every Vermont town. FPF Founder, Michael Wood-Lewis, talks with Steven Pappas of City Room. City Room with Steve...
Vermont Digital Economy Project Begins Assisting Flood-Impacted Communities
April 8, 2013 (MONTPELIER, VT) – The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announced today the first round of communities to receive intensive services from its Digital Economy Project this...
The Benefits of Public Internet Access
One of the most requested items in our application was the "downtown Wi-Fi Zones and Hotspots". As a member of the Millennial Generation, the benefits of having a free and public wireless zone are...
Irene-impacted Vermont towns to receive digital recovery services
The Vermont Council on Rural Development announced a few of the 25 towns to receive services from its Digital Economy Project, created in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. The project is intended to...
Reflections on Our First Team Visits to Flood-Impacted Towns
Every time I commute to the Vermont Council of Rural Development office in Montpelier, I head north out of my home town of Ludlow along Route 100 and pass through Plymouth, Bridgewater, Killington...
Internet Interns: How to Help Bridge the Digital Divide
guest post by Christine Friese, Assistant State Librarian Vermont Department of Libraries is pleased to be partnering again with VCRD and others in the Vermont Digital Economy Project. The...
“Traditional” vs. “Future” Vermont: Is there really a divide?
I was interviewed by a local TV program recently on the work of VCRD. The host thought it was interesting that our organization was working this year to support farm and forest business development...
What's New at VCRD: Community Visits
Vermonters across the state know that local action makes our communities vibrant. But local action often needs support from regional, state and even federal levels to achieve goals for prosperity....
Citizenville: how new technologies can empower local governments
Over the next 18 months, VCRD’s Digital Economy Project will be working to help Vermont communities, businesses and nonprofits become more resilient to natural and manmade disasters. The project...
The Applications Are In!
*The classification for "Flood Impacted" towns was determined by FEMA and is information that they compiled and released in a report to the State of Vermont. We’ve had a busy few weeks at the...
Welcome to the Vermont Digital Economy Project!
I am excited to join the Vermont Council on Rural Development as the Director of the Vermont Digital Economy Project. The Vermont Digital Economy Project is funded by a disaster recovery grant from...
Working Lands Enterprises are Growing Throughout the State
The Working Lands Enterprise Board received a total of 387 applications for the three investment areas, for a total requested amount of $11,569,397. Some examples of requests include processing...
Manchester explores its future
MANCHESTER -- On the one hand, challenges - youth emigration; lack of nightlife; a need for more regional transportation; more integrated communication. On the other hand, opportunities - beautiful...
Focusing on opportunities, challenges
MANCHESTER - More than 300 people from Manchester and the surrounding area participated in nine different discussions on Monday, part of a "Community Visit" organized by the Vermont Council on Rural...
Community visit comes to Manchester today
MANCHESTER — Residents of Manchester are encouraged to come out today and take part in the Community Visit process by helping to set priorities for the town and bringing their views to discussions...
Vermont Lawmakers Support Working Lands Investment: Five million per year for three years will build a strong working lands economy
MONTPELIER, VT – A coalition of lawmakers today delivered a “Dear Colleague” letter to the Vermont House and Senate Appropriations Committees, in support of the “five-by-three” investment for the...
Working Lands Coalition Calls for “5-by-3” Investment: Five million per year for three years will build a strong working lands economy
Members of the Working Lands Coalition launched their “5-by-3” campaign on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at the Vermont State House. The day included an early morning presentation to the Rural...
Working Lands Coalition 5x3 campaign launch in the press
Here are a few recent articles about the launch of the Coalitions 5x3 campaign requesting $5M for each of the next three years: Big rush for 'Working Lands' cash, Brattleboro Reformer State...
Working landscape groups look for $15 million boost over three years
by Andrew Stein | vtdigger.org | February 14, 2013 Vermont agriculture, forestry and conservation groups are asking the Legislature to set aside $5 million annually over the next three years to...
A tale of three cities
By Tara Kelly, in A Weekly Column from the Rutland Area Farm and Food Link Lately, I’ve been thinking about the communities I’ve lived in and their relationships with local food and agriculture....
After a busy couple of years, what's next for Manchester?
Manchester Journal, 01/23/13 ~ One Roundabout. Check. A Park House. Check. New Visitor's Center. New streetlights, refurbished Adams Park, plus a new parking lot for a historic district. Town wifi -...
Len Bull Commentary: Working lands fund needs continued legislative support
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Dr. Leonard Bull, who was a professor of animal sciences at the University of Vermont and North Carolina State University. He is currently chair of the Vermont...
184 agriculture entrepreneurs vie for slices of “working lands” pie
Pent up demand for investment capital among agriculture entrepreneurs has sparked a massive response to the inaugural “Working Lands Enterprise Initiative.” As part of an attempt to fuel a “...
Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Receives $9 million in Request for Funds
Media Advisory, January 18, 2013 ~ The Working Lands Enterprise Board solicited Letters of Intent (LOI) for two of three investment areas (Capital & Infrastructure, and Service Providers) and...
Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Economic Development Administration Awards $1.8 M. To Help Businesses, Farms, Towns And Nonprofits Harness Online Tools To Bolster Disaster Resiliency
MONTPELIER, Vt. (Friday, Jan. 11, 2013) – Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Rep. Peter Welch announced Friday that the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded Vermont a...
Vermont's New Front Porch
By Helen Labun Jordan, published in the Daily Yonder For over a decade, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) has rallied rural communities to identify and act on key local concerns. These...
U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.8 Million to Expand Internet Capacity for Vermont Businesses in the Wake of Tropical Storm Irene
WASHINGTON — Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced a $1.8 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the Vermont Council on Rural Development of Montpelier,...
Donath Commentary ~ Working lands, our Vermont home
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by David A. Donath, president of the Woodstock Foundation, which operates the Billings Farm & Museum, an operating dairy farm dedicated to telling the story of...
Opening School Computer Labs to the Community
At the start of the 2012 school year, Mount Abraham High School opened the school library and its computers to the public in early evenings, Monday through Thursday. During the summer they sorted out...
'Community Visit' in the works
MANCHESTER - Sometime in early 2013, the Town of Manchester will participate in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's "Community Visit Program," an initiative geared towards connecting community...
Cabot Community Visit Report - 2012
During the Community Visit process in Cabot, community members identified 3 priority areas for future action:Develop a Cabot Agricultural Network, Develop a Community Arts Center, and Improve...
Mount Abe opens computer labs to community
BRISTOL — Mount Abraham Union High School has launched an impressive array of educational programs in the past few weeks. With support from an e-Vermont grant, which supports computer literacy in...
eVermont Leaves Legacy of Help, Tools
By Wayne Hanson All good things must end, the saying goes, and eVermont, a stimulus-funded program of the Vermont Council on Rural Development -- designed to increase broadband adoption in rural...
2012 Beginner Friendly Website Contest - Winning Entry
Congratulations to Lars Hasselblad Torres, the winner of the 2012 Beginner Friendly Website Design contest. Our panel of judges selected Lars' entry because they felt it best exemplified innovation...
Farm and Forestry Interests to Seek Greater State Investment
By Pat Bradley ~ click here to listen to the broadcast A coalition of groups plans to lobby the Vermont Legislature in the upcoming session for additional funding for infrastructure investments in...
Press Release: New Working Landscape Coalition Pushing for Farm and Forest Funding
December 19, 2012 ~ The Vermont Council on Rural Development announced today that a new leadership team has formed to advance Vermont’s working landscape by supporting state investments through the...
Website Design Contest Winner Announced: Innovative Contest Provides New Tools for Digital Literacy
MONTPELIER, VT - A winner has been chosen in the Beginner Friendly Website Design contest organized by the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. Lars Hasselblad Torres, a freelance web designer who...
Designing Beginner Friendly Websites
This toolkit offers best practices for designing websites with Internet beginners in mind. The section "Why Design for Internet Beginners?" provides more details on the types of websites experiencing...
Jordan Commentary: Closing the digital divide in Vermont
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Helen Labun Jordan, project director of the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project at the Vermont Council on Rural Development. Find their work online at www.e4vt.org...
Press Release: New Resources Available for Community Broadband Use
(MONTPELIER, VT) – The Vermont Council on Rural Development is sharing toolkits and lessons learned from the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. These resources will help rural communities in...
Rutland Creek Path gets $295K
In 2006, VCRD brought its Creative Communities program to Rutland. Rutland community members embraced the concepts and remain committed and energized as they continue to advance projects designed to...
e-Vermont broadband effort benefited towns
Putting broadband to work for Vermont was the directive of e-Vermont, an initiative seeking to expand access to and make better use of high speed Internet throughout all parts of the state. Locally,...
Update on Bennington's "Downtown as a Destination" project
Members of the "Downtown as a Destination” task force have been meeting since it's formation through the VCRD Community Visit process in 2012. John Shannahan, chair of the committee, reports some...
Helen Labun Jordan Commentary ~ Is the Internet relevant?
Is the Internet relevant? The quick answer to that question is yes, very relevant, to all of us. For many Vermonters the answer is that the Internet isn’t just relevant, it’s vital. But not...
Final Report - Conclusions and Acknowledgements
Conclusions Broadband opens up unprecedented opportunities for Vermonters. With access to people and information anywhere in the world, we can broaden the reach of business, education, and social...
Final Report - Preface
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) works with Vermont communities to identify local priorities and rally residents behind those goals. Since the year 2000, we heard the call from rural...
Final Report - Accessing the Online World
Introduction e-Vermont worked in towns that had already received near-complete, or complete, coverage of high speed Internet available to households. However, even with basic infrastructure in place...
Final Report - Growing Vermont Businesses Online
Broadband Basics for Business An e-Vermont advisor with the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) focused on online tools and businesses in e-Vermont towns. By June 2012, this advisor...
Final Report - Teaching Internet Basics
Workshops Instructors from the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) offered a range of basic digital skills workshops in e-Vermont communities. VSC presented more than 60 workshops, supplemented with a...
Final Report - Online Tools for Real World Communications
Neighborhood Conversations Vermont communities are looking to online tools to improve communications, but also worry that too much time in the online world will weaken community ties in the real...
Final Report - 21st Century Education
Computers in Classrooms In too many classrooms, technology is an "add-on" amenity or topic separate from other subjects. e-Vermont partner Digital Wish works with 4th – 6th grade classrooms to...
e-Vermont Final Report: Putting Broadband to Work for Vermont - 2012
In 2009, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act project, announced their Sustainable Broadband Adoption (SBA) grants program. The e-Vermont...
Final Report - Introduction
Why does the Internet matter? Over the course of two years, the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project posed this question to both people who couldn’t imagine life without the Internet and people who...
Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Fund and Initiative Launches
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is pleased to announce the creation of the Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB), a newly appointed board which will create and execute a fast-...
VISTA volunteers to work with local community
BENNINGTON -- A pair of volunteers from a federal program will be attached to the local hospital for the next year, working with youth to address poverty and nutrition in the Bennington area. ...one...
Research data shows improvements in student engagement through 1:1 computing initiative
Digital Wish's School Modernization Initiative (through VCRD's e-Vermont Community Broadband Program) put one-computer-per-child programs into 24 e-Vermont schools. Through the program they conducted...
Planning Commission Welcomes Agripreneurs to Hinesburg
Here's an email update we received from a member of the Hinesburg Planning Commission. Paul, Keep up the forward progress on the Working Landscape Partnership! I thought you might like to hear...
Costello Commentary: Celebrating Rutland’s creativity, innovation
The city of Rutland has a proud history of economic innovation and cultural creativity — and has a tremendous leadership team of volunteers who are advancing that tradition today. The Vermont...
Governor Shumlin announces $1.9 million in community development grants: New jobs, affordable homes, and downtown revitalization will result
MORRISTOWN, Vt. — Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that the former Arthur’s department store, a landmark building in the center of Morristown, will be renovated into new commercial space and...
e-Vermont Reports
Throughout the two years that e-Vermont was active, the program published several reports detailing its work, and the outcomes of its conference. You can find these reports below. Year One Summary,...
VT Agricultural Development Board to Include Forestry; Will Become the VT Agricultural & Forest Products Development Board
From the 7/13/12 issue of Agriview, by Colleen Leonard, VAAFM Agricultural Policy Administrator The 2012 Legislative session brought with it a renewed commitment to Vermonter’s values by passing the...
Communication and Consistency on the Rise
(Hardwick, VT) Sixth grade students at Hardwick Elementary classrooms are getting more connected with their teachers when it comes to organizing their homework and getting up to speed on classwork...
Students Help Families Lead the Way for More Technology Funding at School
(Fairfield, VT) Educators, students, and their parents have all played a key role in the growing presence of computer and information technology at Fairfield Center School. Through the efforts of the...
Jay and Westfield Share Resources to Build Digital Communities
Jay and Westfield, located in the state’s “Northeast Kingdom” near the Canadian border, share common north/south town borders, and depend heavily on natural resources such as farms, forests and...
Students Teaching Parents
(Dover, VT) Fourth, fifth and sixth grade students at Dover Elementary got more than just a taste of technology this year with the help of Digital Wish and e-Vermont. Heading into this program,...
Students Taking Charge in the Classroom
(Bridgewater Village, VT) With the Digital Wish training wrapping up, teachers at Bridgewater Village Elementary School reminisced on their experiences this past year. Mercy Grinold, the third and...
New Opportunities with Technology Bolstered by Committed Instructional Support
(Calais, VT) When a school receives new technology, it can be an exciting opportunity to expand learning and help guide students in an increasingly connected 21st century world. Students at Calais...
New Technology Initiates Connections For Teachers and Students
(Morristown, VT) The growing prevalence of broadband Internet access and cloud computing has made itself well known across classrooms at People's Academy Middle Level, where students have recently...
Students Get Creative With Building on Ideas
(Jay, VT) Recently, students at Jay/Westfield Elementary have been able to flex their creative muscles with new technology in both artistic and utilitarian ways. Whether it is with informational...
Bennington Community Visit Report - 2012
During the Community Visit process in Bennington, community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Advance a Bennington Community Center and Improve the Recreation Center, Develop a...
Little City downtown gets wifi
VERGENNES — Free wifi now blankets downtown Vergennes, courtesy of the eVermont grant the city won in 2010. The Bixby Free Memorial Library served as the lead applicant for that grant, with support...
Bixby upgrades tech
VERGENNES — The eVermont grant that helped bring free wifi to downtown Vergennes has also benefited the Bixby Free Memorial Library inside its walls, too. The eVermont grant paid for several upgrades...
Technology Ties into the Curriculum
(Addison, VT) Teachers at Addison Elementary School are using the tools Digital Wish provided them this past year to further enrich their curriculum. Students in grades 4-6 have been studying Newton’...
After-school Program Expansion
(Middletown Springs, VT) While e-Vermont and Digital Wish classroom training are winding down, the Kodu Game Lab after-school program is now in full swing at Middletown Springs Elementary (MSES)....
Online School Newsletter for Community Connection
(Moretown, VT) For most elementary schools, a school newsletter can be a fun way to give students experience in journalism, but rarely a method of disseminating information to the community. That is...
"Success for All Vermont Students” Governor Shumlin’s Workshop on Education ~ Report Available
The Governor’s Workshop on Education, held June 12 and 13 at the Grafton Inn, was designed for the Administration and partners to explore key policy ideas to improve Vermont’s Pre K‐12 education...
Local History - Digital Collections
Vermonters can explore their history through events, books, historic sites, museums, historical society collections across the state. . . and online. Today digitizing local historical collections...
Internet Interns - Lessons Learned
If you're interested in setting up your own version of Internet Interns, check out these lessons that e-Vermont learned along the way: Recognize the unique combination of skills that interns need....
Opening Presentations - Citizen Leadership in a Connected Age
Matt Dunne presented at the Citizen Leadership in a Connected Age Conference, held May 21 2011 at the Vermont Technical College. The conference focused on how Internet use is expanding at the...
1:1 and Cloud-based Computing = Tools for Student Success
(Castleton, VT) At Castleton Elementary School, computers are being integrated into the daily routine of 5th grade students thanks to a 1:1 computing initiative brought together by the e-Vermont...
New Tech. Infrastructure Helps Teachers Improve Student Focus & Participation
(Richford, VT) One of the greatest challenges teachers face with their classrooms is making sure their students are staying on task and engaging with their lessons. When new technology is placed into...
Downtown Morristown battles setbacks
By Lisa McCormack Last summer, it seemed downtown Morristown was about to experience a renaissance. • Two affordable-housing agencies signed a contract to buy and renovate three empty buildings...
New law aims to grow Vt farming, forestry
SHOREHAM, Vt. - If there is any question how important rolling fields and forests are to Vermont, consider this. "Agriculture is in the neighborhood of 20 percent of the land base, forestry is about...
Vermont's digital future envisoned at conference
In his opening remarks at the recent Vermont’s Digital Future Conference, Gov. Peter Shumlin said Internet service at his Putney home is behind that of Vietnam, Cambodia and Croatia. “It’s behind...
Work begins on goals set through community planning meetings
BENNINGTON -- Local residents began working Wednesday toward four community goals identified last month as part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Community Visit program. Nearly 100...
Video ~ Technology to connect Vermonters
Technology is so important to economic and educational vitality no matter where you live. Charlie Baker, executive director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, hosts panelists Paul...
Neighborhood Networks - Burlington Housing Authority
In 1995, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) started the Neighborhood Networks program to support technology as a way to improve the lives of residents in properties that they...
Community Assisters
For full information on becoming a Community Assister, contact one of the ESD Resource System Coordinators: Adam Sancic  adam.sancic@state.vt.us 802-279-8396 Claire Larose  Claire.larose@state.vt....
Video ~ Governor Shumlin's speech at the signing of the Working Lands Enterprise bill 5/15/12
Yesterday in St. Albans, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill (H.496). At the signing, Governor Shumlin noted that this initiative is the...
Computers for Mobile Labs
Standard Laptops Mobile laptop labs are the most common set-up.  Light weight, mainstream, general purpose laptops are the best choice in most situations.  No special hardware configurations or...
Working Lands Bill Moving toward Enactment: Governor expected to sign bill Tuesday afternoon
MONTPELIER, VT – Legislators gave final approval to the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill (H.496) in the final days of the session, and sent the bill to the Governor’s desk. Governor Shumlin...
Natural resources: 'It was a pretty good year for the environment'
Candace Page of the Burlington Free Press (www.burlingtonfreepress.com) interviewed Brian Shupe, Executive Director of the Vermont Natural Resources Council. He discusses the working landscape effort...
Tom Slayton Commentary: Working landscape is our signature
I believe that the working landscape of Vermont — that familiar tapestry of farm fields, forests, small cities and compact villages — is vital to the future of Vermont, and is endangered. The...
Landscape at work
The passage of a bill this year to boost farm and forest enterprise says something about the pervasive and enduring commitment of Vermonters to the rural character of their state. The bill was the...
Vermont's Digital Future Conference Report - 2012
The conversations convened in this conference followed topics that e-Vermont has heard discussed at community, state and national levels: Establishing a New Foundation for Business in the Digital...
Vermont Business Owners Adapt to Rapid Change
Although the digital age may seem in its infancy, many Vermont small business owners are learning that they have already had to update their online presence to adapt to the evolving expectations of...
Working lands’ viewed as victory in House and Senate
By PETER HIRSCHFELD, VERMONT PRESS BUREAU MONTPELIER — The idea wasn’t new — energize a flagging agriculture sector by treating farm-based enterprises like dot.com startups. But backers of the “...
Video ~ Vermont's Digital Future Conference Introduction and Keynote
This video captures the remarks and introduction from Mark Snelling, Snelling Center for Government, Governor Peter Shumlin, Helen Labun Jordan, e-Vermont Director, Laura Breeden,...
Vt. Senate Passes 'Working Lands' Bill
The Vermont Senate has passed a bill designed to jump start farm and forestry projects. The "working lands" bill sets up a board that will oversee a fund to promote agriculture and forest ventures....
Food and Agriculture: The ‘Value-Added’ Buzz: Our Farms, Our Food
By Josey HastingsThe Herald of Randolph The Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill, the result of a year’s work by the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership, seeks to create a fund to award grants...
Agreement Reached on Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill: Final bill moving toward governor’s desk
MONTPELIER, VT – Legislative conferees reached agreement on the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill (H.496) in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday. All six conference committee members...
More Insights from Internet Interns
From late fall of 2011 to spring of 2012, the Vermont State Colleges placed student interns in public libraries to provide one-on-one assistance every week for patrons learning to use the Internet....
Front Porch Forum Helps Calais Neighbors Connect
What if nearly every household in a small rural town were in daily communication with each other? What would change? e-Vermont partner Front Porch Forum provides towns and neighborhoods with a...
Costello Commentary: Support funding for Vermont Working Lands
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, which is coordinating the work of the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership. Right now...
Vermont Senate approves working landscape bill
BENNINGTON -- The Vermont Senate gave final approval Monday to a bill that proponents say will enhance the state’s farming and forest industries. The Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill, which...
Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill Approved by Vermont Senate
House & Senate will work to resolve minor differences and agree to funding amount MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont Senate gave preliminary approval to the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill (H...
Letter to the editor: Applause for the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill
Thank you, Mike Yantachka, for voting in favor of the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill (H.496). Charlotte is blessed with some of the most fertile land in all of Vermont. Before moving to...
Stuart Hurd column: Communitywide efforts exerpt
On April 12, I attended the Community Day follow-up meeting. More than 100 people came to the Fire Facility to participate in the formulation of tasks/ideas important to the community. Rather than...
“Technology Meets Community” PSA
This 30 second Public Service Announcement was produced for e-Vermont by a team at the South Burlington school system. Thanks to students Riya Patel and Neel Desai and Jay Hoffman, Technology teacher...
Slayton commentary: Working landscape is Vermont’s signature
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Tom Slayton, a journalist, writer, radio commentator, and retired editor of Vermont Life Magazine, who lives in Montpelier. I believe that the working landscape of...
Stevens commentary: Working Lands bill is sound policy
Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Rep. Will Stevens, an independent from Shoreham who is a member of the House Agriculture Committee. He and his wife own Golden Russet Farm. I’ve often been asked, “...
Hey, let's do them all!
It is too bad the community planning initiative Bennington is undertaking with help from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the many state officials and experts the process will bring to...
Bennington community defines goals
BENNINGTON -- Residents winnowed more than 20 potential action statements down to four Thursday evening with the help of the Vermont Council on Rural Development as part of that group's ongoing...
Audio: Paul Costello testimony in the Senate Ag Committee
Listen to Paul Costello share his perspectives on the Working Land Enterprise Bill with the Senate Agriculture Committee: http://www.action-circles.com/wl/paulcostelloagcmteapril2012.mp3.
Scott Buckingham commentary ~ My turn: Growing our future economy
Vermont has an extraordinary and growing wealth of talent, energy, and entrepreneurial interest in its agricultural and forest products sectors. With the state's working lands economy at a turning...
2012 Doyle Town Meeting Day survey results
The 2012 Doyle Town Meeting Day survey results are in and show that 89% of Vermonters believe that the state should continue to support our working farms and forests. Click here to see all the...
Video ~ Digital Tools for Vt Small Businesses through the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project
ACROSS THE FENCE: Patrick Ripley of the Vermont Small Business Development Center helps businesses make use of Internet tools through the e-Vermont program. He talks with Judy Simpson on WCAX's "...
Video ~ Finding Reliable Information in the Digital Age
ACROSS THE FENCE: Larraby Fellows of Vermont State Colleges talks with Judy Simpson on WCAX's "Across the Fence" which was broadcast on 4/4/12. She discusses and demonstrates how to find reliable...
Video: WCAX interview about e-Vermont and the upcoming conference on May 8th
Joanna Cummings of the Snelling Center for Government talks about the e-Vermont project and the Digital Futures Conference on May 8th.
Bills target working lands for economic development assistance
The following article was published in the April/May 2012 Vermont Property Owners Report. (Reproduced here with permission) It has become common for states, including Vermont, to compete for jobs...
Working Lands Investments allocated $2.1 million; House vote is Thursday
Parallel bills to invest in rural economic development have cleared key hurdles in the House and the Senate, and the House version is scheduled for a vote Thursday. The bills create a Working Lands...
Vermont House of Representatives Supports Working Lands Bill: House gives initial approval to bill with non-partisan vote
MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont House of Representatives gave initial approval for the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill (H.496) on Thursday afternoon with a 131-5 vote. The bill includes a...
House Supports Bill To Preserve Working Landscape
Vermont Public Radio ~ (Host) The House has given its strong support to legislation that's designed to provide opportunities to strengthen the state's agricultural sector. The legislation allocates...
Letter to the Editor: Support our working landscape
SANDGATE ~ If you love the beautiful setting of Vermont, with its rolling farmlands graced with forested backdrops of the Green Mountains or Taconic Range, then thank a farmer, a forester or a logger...
Video ~ Reps testify on H.496 before the House Appropriations Committee
   Vermont Reps. Carolyn Partridge and Will Stevens testify on H.496, the Working Landscape Enterprise Investment Bill, before the House Appropriations Committee.
Commentary: This is the town's big chance
BENNINGTON ~ I have heard the voice of Bennington, and there is reason for hope. The Vermont Council on Rural Development paid us a visit recently. They held forums to stimulate a discussion on how...
Side Dishes: Morristown gains ground for a co-op
Lamoille County is home to 375 farms — according to the DC-based Environmental Working Group — and not one food co-op. Residents seeking to own a stake in their farm-fresh food have to purchase a CSA...
Fairfield resident posts on FPF about positive outcome of VCRD's Community Visit process
Here's a recent post on Fairfield's Front Porch Forum. A nice mention of VCRD's recent Community Visit process there and some of the progress made in the communications priority: Hi Fairfield!...
A good start with forums: Now, let's build on that
Bennington residents turned out in impressive numbers Thursday afternoon and evening for nine community forums to offer suggestions and comments on broad topics for possible initiatives that would...
Bennington speaks out at community forums
BENNINGTON, NEAL P. GOSWAMI, Staff Writer -- Local officials and residents fanned out in force in nine separate forums Thursday as part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development's community visit...
Insights from Internet Interns
A lot of Internet learning begins at the local library, where there are computers and Internet connections to get patrons started on navigating the online world. In late 2011, the Vermont State...
Fairfield Fifth Grader Makes Most Out of Tech Tools
Noah Carpenter, 5th grader at Fairfield Center School, is making the most out of the new Netbooks he and his classmates received from e-Vermont partner Digital Wish. Fairfield students not only...
Bridgewater Uses Social Media in Irene Recovery
For many Vermont communities, the terrible flooding in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene brought home both the importance of a strong community fabric and the value of having multiple channels for...
e-Vermont Year Two Update - March 2012
In the months since the mid-year annual report was published, e-Vermont continued its ambitious projects. This report outlines its accomplishments. Read the full report here (PDF).
Education - Technology in the Classroom
The e-Vermont Community Broadband Project worked with partner Digital Wish to implement 1:1 computing initiatives in 4th – 6th grades at schools in e-Vermont towns. 1:1 computing brings technology...
Community-wide planning effort to launch
Friday February 24, 2012: KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer BENNINGTON -- If other towns are any indication, some changes and new initiatives could be coming to Bennington in the near future. On...
House Agriculture Committee just says ‘yes’ to working lands bill
MONTPELIER– Remember that “working lands” bill we wrote about a while back? Since then the House and Senate Agriculture committees have taken weeks of testimony on legislation that would create a...
Letter to the editor: Benefits us all
Letter to the editor of the Times Argus by Dan Breslaw of West Corinth: I hear a lot of arguments over whether the government or the private sector should be planning our future. What I like best...
Press Release: House Agriculture Committee Votes Unanimously to Support the Bill
Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill Moves Forward House Agriculture Committee Votes Unanimously to Support the Bill MONTPELIER, VT—The Vermont House Agriculture committee gave their...
Working lands bill unanimously supported by House Agriculture
House Agriculture Committee Votes Unanimously to Support the Bill MONTPELIER, VT—The Vermont House Agriculture committee gave their unanimous support to the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill...
Middlebury to offer free wi-fi
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - The town of Middlebury will soon offer free wireless internet. Money in the town budget along with funding from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, has allowed the...
Letter to the editor: Support Working Lands bill
Audrey Famette of Montpelier, submitted her letter to the editor of the Bridge. Click here to read it.
Letter to the editor: League of Women Voters
02/20/12 ~ Support working lands bill. The League of Women Voters of Vermont supports the Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill (H.496/S.246). The League recognizes that some land-use decisions...
Letter to the editor: Nancy Wayne Jaffe
Shelburne resident, Nancy Wayne Jaffe, writes in support of the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill. Click here to read her letter to the editor of the Shelburne News.
Letter to the editor: Protecting our resources
Ruth Wallman, Executive Director of the Champlain Islands Chamber of Commerce, wrote a letter to the St. Albans Messenger in support of the Working Land Enterprise bill. Click here to read her letter...
Bob Foster Commentary: Working landscapes bill holds hope for Vt
Our heritage is our working landscape. Agriculture and forestry are the backbone of our working landscape. Vermont is a small state and has limited resources. Therefore we need to use them wisely and...
Bill bolsters ag, forest and food processing
MONTPELIER — Vermont lawmakers are working on legislation that aims to bolster Vermont’s economy while retaining the hallmarks of its rural landscape. The main focus in both the House and Senate...
Working the land
Editorial by David Moats, Rutland Herald/Times-Argus, 2/5/2012 ~ Vermonters from one end of the state to the other, of all political persuasions and demographic groups, rank the vitality and beauty...
Working landscape
MONTPELIER — “I dip therefore I yam” is a motto that belongs to Lisa Johnson of Norwich, who testified recently about a niche product, Yummy Yams, she is producing from a crop seldom seen on the...
Leaving RutVegas: A blue-collar city reinvents itself — and refutes its reputation
“Let’s talk about RutVegas.” Jim Sabataso is sitting at a small table in Café Terra, “Rutland’s best coffee shop” — and only one, he admits. Sabataso is 28 years old, bearded and friendly. His family...
Vermont wood products industry releases '2020 Vision' report
VermontBiz.com, 1/30/2012 ~ The Vermont Wood Products Marketing Council has released a new ten year strategic plan entitled, “A 2020 Vision for the Vermont Wood Products Sector,” prepared by industry...
Video ~ Rep. Stevens at the Rural Economic Development Caucus, 1/25/12
Representative Will Stevens presenting to the Rural Economic Development Caucus on January 25, 2012 on the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill:
Vermont's Digital Development Starts on the Front Porch
...e-Vermont, a consortium of seven different organizations, has come together to improve the economic outlook of rural Vermont through technology, while at the same time preserving what’s most...
Press Release: Legislative Panel Hears Strong Support for Working Lands Bill
MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont Rural Jobs Bill Draws a Crowd: A legislative panel holding a public hearing on the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill found a statehouse room packed to capacity...
Tweets ~ January 18th Public Hearing on the Working Landscape Bill
Click HERE to read the tweets from the public hearing.
Video ~ Clips from the January 18th public hearing on the working landscape
Over 100 people came to the Public Hearing for the Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill on January 18th, and over 40 testified on the bill. Here are a few scenes from the hearing:  
Video ~ WCAX You Can Quote me: Vermont's Working Landscape
January 22, 2012 -- Paul Costello and Rep. Will Stevens, I-Shoreham, join Darren Perron and Keith McGilvery to discuss Vermont's working landscape. Watch the video here: http://www.wcax.com/category...
Bixby Library looks to its second century
VERGENNES - ...The e-Vermont grant will help with the technological challenges as the Bixby looks past its birthday — the Bixby served as the lead applicant for the grant. The city and the Vergennes...
Working landscape
From: http://www.reformer.com/ci_19750382?IADID=Search-www.reformer.com-www.reformer.com Representative Carolyn Partridge, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, overviews H.496, the Working...
Allbee Commentary: This is a bold initiative
ST. ALBANS — Two Franklin County legislators from opposite sides of the political aisle have joined forces in a bid to improve the development of agricultural and forestry products and businesses in...
WAMC Radio: Bill to Invest in Vermont's Agriculture and Forest Sectors Introduced
MONTPELIER, VT (WAMC) - Pat Bradley of WAMC Northeast Public Radio interviewed Paul Costello (Executive Director at VCRD), Will Stevens (member of the House and a lead sponsor on the bill), and Kate...
Editorial: Getting to the character of Vermont
From: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/opinion/ci_19732185 BENNINGTON BANNER - It was heartening to see that a bill to create the Working Lands Enterprise investment, promotion, coordination and...
Vt. bill would promote value-added ag, forestry
New Vermont legislation that appears to have broad support seeks to promote turning milk into cheese, apples into cider and trees into furniture as keys to keeping the state's working landscape of...
Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment Bill Draws Support: Lawmakers and Advocates Stand Together for Vermont’s Future
MONTPELIER VT, 1/12/2012 – Several Vermont lawmakers and advocates announced the introduction of the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill on Wednesday morning in the Vermont statehouse....
Vermont Working Landscape Partnership press conference
Several Vermont lawmakers and advocates announced the introduction of the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Investment bill on Wednesday morning in the Vermont statehouse. After a presentation to the...
Through Grants, Bill Would Invest In Working Landscape
From: http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/93023/through-grants-bill-would-invest-in-working-landsc/ (Host) Turning milk into cheese, apples into cider and trees into furniture are some of the key ways to...
Vermont bill looks to move more businesses beyond raw materials
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Turning milk into cheese, apples into cider and trees into furniture are the keys to keeping Vermont's working landscape vital in the future. That's the idea behind a bill...
Bristol Family Gets Emergency Help Through Front Porch Forum
e-Vermont partner Front Porch Forum provides towns and neighborhoods with a virtual town green and bulletin board. Once FPF is set up in a town, it opens unlimited possibilities to connect resources...
5th Grader Helps Mom Sharpen Tech Skills
Through e-Vermont, students at Dover elementary are getting more than just a taste of technology – they’re becoming tech experts. Just ask Stefanie Nick, mother of Isabella Nick, a 5th grader taking...
Best of both worlds: Protecting Vt, adding jobs
(1/10/12) MONTPELIER — In an effort to preserve the character of Vermont’s rural landscape and create jobs, the Vermont Council on Rural Development will tout legislation this week that it says would...
Community History Goes Online
The Russell Vermontiana Collection includes rare books, works by Vermont authors, historic documents, photographs and genealogies focused on Arlington and the neighboring towns of Sunderland and...
“Internet Basics” Opens Online World
Mary Kay Dreher, from e-Vermont partner Community College of Vermont, designed a workshop to help people get comfortable with introducing others to the online world. In the workshop, it’s easy to...
Town Clerk Expands Online Services for Fairfield
Fairfield, Vermont is synonymous with maple sugaring and dairy farming, and was the birth place of the 21st president of the United States, Chester Arthur. This Franklin County town of 1900 residents...
A Contest Gets Vermont Businesses Webby
Nothing like competition and cash prizes to get businesses people fired up. In rural Vermont, contests for the best new business applications on the web - plus training and mentoring - are improving...
Council wants to know Bennington’s goals
BENNINGTON -- The Council on Rural Development is planning to bring its Community Visit Program to Bennington to help residents identify and achieve goals for the town. Executive Director Paul...
Proposal backs agriculture, small business, Vermont's rural economy
BENNINGTON - As lawmakers return to Montpelier for the second year of the legislative biennium, a coalition of advocates is hoping they will consider legislation aimed at enhancing Vermont's working...
Schubart Commentary ~ Vermont must invest in working farms and forests
From: http://vtdigger.org/2012/01/01/schubart-vermont-must-invest-in-working-farms-and-forests/ Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Bill Schubart, a regular commentator for Vermont Public Radio and...
Public Internet Access
There are many reasons for providing public Internet access. Usually this access is provided for the convenience of visitors, or for local community members who can't access high speed Internet at...
50 Tips for Web Design
Thank you to Kathy Murphy, Vermont's Chief Marketing Office, for sharing her top tips for designing a usable, accessible website. For other resources see the Internet Basics for Web Design resource...
VPR Commentary Series ~ Schubart: Fragile Landscape
From: http://www.vpr.net/episode/52649/schubart-fragile-landscape/ (Host) Commentator Bill Schubart has been paying attention to a new initiative by a broad base of Vermonters to ensure that Vermont...
VPR Commentary Series ~ Krupp: The Working Landscape
From: http://www.vpr.net/episode/52633/krupp-working-landscape/ (Host) What will the New Year hold for farming, food and forestry in the Green Mountain state?  Commentator Ron Krupp looks at the...
Bristol Workshop Uncovers Free Things on the Internet
The Vermont State Colleges is an e-Vermont partner providing introductory Internet trainings across the state as well as online webinars. Jane Kearns is an instructor who presented several workshops...
e-Vermont Mid-Year Update - December 2011
In the months since the year-one annual report was published, e-Vermont continued its ambitious projects. This report outlines its accomplishments. Read the full report here (PDF).
Fairfield’s New Library Partners with Online Farmers Market
In one busy month Fairfield opened a beautiful new library, launched a community newsletter, and unveiled an online farmers market. Fairfield is a town of 700 households in Franklin County, chock...
Front Porch Forum Boosts Middlesex Business
(12/8/11) - e-Vermont partner Front Porch Forum provides towns and neighborhoods with a virtual town green and bulletin board. Residents who opt to sign in can easily post notes which get delivered...
FPF Provides Moretown with Crucial Communication Link During and After Irene
(12/8/11) - The village center of Moretown sits along the usually friendly Mad River. But Tropical Storm Irene swelled it to a torrent, taking houses and bridges in its wake. Just prior to Irene,...
Poultney’s Downtown Welcomes Free Wi-fi
(12/8/11) - Poultney’s new downtown wireless Internet zone is a big hit. By expanding public accessibility, this new tool offers a welcome option for residents and tourists to connect their laptops...
Laptops Mean 1:1 Learning at Dover Elementary
(12-2-2011) - e-Vermont and partner Digital Wish are helping to expand the world of learning for every 4th, 5th, and 6th grader in this rural southern Vermont town. Each week a trainer from Digital...
Artists and Entrepreneurs Create New Community Portal
(12/1/2011) - A group of local artists and entrepreneurs have banded together to showcase their community - the town of Cambridge and its village center, Jeffersonville. Known as CAE or Cambridge...
Creative Corner: 'Natural resource renaissance' rests on state's desire to invest in land
Paul Costello, VCRD's Executive Director, is thankful for Vermont's farm and forest stewards and the tremendous spirit of entrepreneurial energy they bring. The Working Landscape Partnership believes...
Conferences and Regional Workshops
During the course of the e-Vermont project, three regional workshops and two statewide conferences provided an opportunity to share lessons learned, best practices, and new ideas. Below are some of...
Commentary: After 50 years Vermont's environmental movement is still evolving
Everyone is familiar with the concepts that Charles Darwin’s controversial theory inspired: that all life descended from a common ancestry, that bio-diversity contributes to species’ survival and...
The Working Landscape Initiative on Across the Fence in October 2011
October 2011 - Watch 2 episodes with Vermont Working Landscape Council members on Across the Fence by clicking the titles below. The episodes include: 10/27/11 — Investing in Vermont’s Farm and...
Invest in our future
George Aiken really was the man with a plan. When he was governor, he took many of the qualities of Vermont he loved and built policy around them. Nearly all of the public policy he solidified had...
Business Tools
The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) has provided workshops, webinars, and one-on-one advising for small business owners in all e-Vermont communities. Their work reached beyond our...
Council: State should invest in Vt.’s rural resources
By Thatcher Moats, VERMONT PRESS BUREAU MONTPELIER — A Vermont group hoping to revitalize the state’s rural economy and preserve its “working landscape” said the state should invest at least $15...
e-Vermont on Across the Fence in October 2011
October 2011 - Watch 4 episodes with e-Vermont Partners on Across the Fence by clicking the titles below. The episodes include: 10/20/11 — Facilitating Community Dialogue through Front Porch Forum....
Revitalizing Vermont’s Rural Economy - Campaign Launched
JERICHO— Today, members representing the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership (VWLP) launched the Revitalizing Vermont’s Rural Economy campaign. The campaign is focused on achieving the five goals...
Video ~ Revitalizing Vermont’s Rural Economy Campaign Launch
Videos of the press event on October 18, 2011. Speakers include Roger Allbee, Christa Alexander, Peter Condaxis, and Marie Audet.
County classrooms embrace new technologies
ADDISON COUNTY — In Dawn Berno’s fourth-grade class at Addison Central School, students are learning key skills for the Internet age, ranging from principles of digital citizenship to managing a...
'The Blood in this Town' screens on Capitol Hill Thursday
“The Blood in This Town,” the documentary about Rutland, Vermont’s grassroots efforts to revitalize itself, travels to Capitol Hill this week for a screening and revitalization forum, bringing the...
Small Business Center Filling Fast in Poultney
(10/10/11) - When longtime Poultney print shop owner Chuck Colvin decided to retire, he knew he didn’t want to call it quits. The lifelong businessman wanted to help other entrepreneurs realize their...
Social Media Means Business for Accounting Start-Up
(10/10/11) - When the recession hit in 2008, Jennifer Partch Whitehurst of Poultney was among the tens of thousands of Americans who found themselves in the unfamiliar position of needing to find a...
Websites Help Farm Family Find Niche Markets
Roy and Jessica Steel at Waira Valley Farm in Cambridge, Vermont with son Destry and daughter Jade. The farm includes an organic bakery and farm store. (10/10/11) - When Vermont Small Business...
ANRSecretary, foresters meet to review policy following Irene
BRATTLEBORO - Secretary Deb Markowitz with the Agency of Natural Resources met with Vermont’s county foresters Wednesday afternoon to report on damage following Tropical Storm Irene and provide an...
Report Offers Clear Actions for Vermont’s Working Landscape
MONTPELIER, VT – The Vermont Working Landscape Partnership announces the release of Investing in our Farm and Forest Future. This nonpartisan Action Plan offers five recommendations to help...
West Rutland Celebrates Year of Digital Achievements
(9/21/11) - The e-Vermont Community Broadband Project congratulates the West Rutland team for its completion of a successful year. Since being selected in spring 2010 as one of 12 inaugural e-Vermont...
Audio ~ Helen Labun Jordan on national radio
Helen Labun Jordan, Project Director for the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project, was Craig Settles guest on his Gigabit Nation radio show that aired 9/12/11. Click here for more about the show...
Digital Wish on WVTK Radio
Heather Chirtea and Eric Bird of Digital Wish talk about their work with Addison Central School and other Vermont schools and the e-Vermont program. Click here to listen to the audio.
Working Landscape Action Plan: Investing in our Farm and Forest Future - 2012
Investing in our Farm and Forest Future is the final report of the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership Council. It offers five recommendations to help reinvigorate the state’s rural economy: Build...
Animation of Vermont dairy cows being rescued during tropical storm Irene
A former Vermonter now living in Brooklyn--Isaac Littlejohn Eddy-produced this animated short for TIME.com It captures how floods from Tropical Storm Irene threatened the dairy cows at Vermont's...
Costello Commentary: Vermont’s Digital Heroes
By Paul Costello The power of broadband is not in the pipe—infrastructure is but a necessary precondition—it is in the creativity of those who use it. The broadband dialogue in Vermont has been all...
Task forces get to work on Morristown’s future
By next summer, Morristown could boast bustling storefronts, a local-foods co-op, emerging small businesses, and a recreation trail system that attracts both tourists and locals. Nearly 80 citizens...
New Projects Galvanize Morrisville Leadership
Morristown community and municipal leaders are working together on four projects identified this spring to energize the economy, improve the downtown, and advance Morrisville as a dynamic place to...
Back to the land in Vermont … again? Some see strong signs
Monty Fischer, the energetic director of the nonprofit Center for an Agricultural Economy, is responsible for helping to spur local food initiatives in Hardwick. The center is an educational...
Morristown Community Visit Report - 2011
During the Community Visit process in Morristown, community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Develop a Morrisville Food Coop and Organize the Foods Industry; Organize a Business...
Vermont town's blood drive, film draw notice
RUTLAND, Vt. — When documentary filmmaker Art Jones and his five-man crew set out from New York to shoot footage of a blood drive in a small Vermont city, he did it to satisfy an old friend, one of...
e-Vermont Year One Summary - June 2011
This report outlines the accomplishments of the first year of the e-Vermont project. Read the full report here (PDF).
Internet Safety
A "safe" Internet environment includes many considerations: Are children protected from inappropriate content or inappropriate contact? Is cyberbullying occurring?  Is personal information...
e-Vermont Brings Computer Training To Towns
Joanna Cummings of the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project talks with VPR's Mitch Wertlieb about the the project and how it is helping bring computer access and training to Vermont towns. Listen to...
State leaders hope to build "digital culture"
RANDOLPH CENTER – From Brattleboro to Newport, Vermonters came to Randolph Center Saturday to talk about how — and why — they wired up their towns with broadband. At a daylong conference called “...
The Winning Vermont's Broadband Access Strategy
Rural America Radio is a project of the Rural Mobile & Broadband Alliance (rumbausa.com). Listen in as Helen Labun Jordan, the eVermont Project Director, shares with radio listeners across the...
Morristown residents set priorities for town's future
MORRISTOWN ~ Morristown residents want to fill empty downtown storefronts, promote local foods, make the town much friendlier to pedestrians, and support new and growing small businesses. Next month...
Community Conversations Toolkit
Communities participating in the e-Vermont project all had an opportunity to design new projects that used online tools to meet local goals. Designing these local projects began with conversations...
Internet Basics for Beginners
Click here to find an Internet Basics Manual - or watch the basics in video form at our video library! This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike...
iConnect: Skills for Working with Internet Beginners
The Community College of Vermont has designed the iConnect training to improve skills for working with Internet beginners. This training helps participants communicate effectively and efficiently...
Grant gives local libraries electronic gear
POWNAL -- Two local libraries received thousands of dollars worth of electronic equipment Tuesday from the e-Vermont grant program. The Solomon Wright Public Library in Pownal and the Martha...
Rutland Takes a Bow
RUTLAND ~ May 16, 2011. VCRD's Paul Costello hosted a morning session at the Vermont Business for Social Responsibility's annual meeting. There he pointed to Rutland's successful efforts since VCRD's...
e-Vermont Public Service Announcement to Air on Local Channels
This 30 second e-Vermont Public Service Announcement was produced for us by a team at the South Burlington school system. Thanks to students Riya Patel and Neel Desai and Jay Hoffman, Technology...
Morristown Selects Top Four Priorities
MORRISTOWN – About 150 people turned out for the second of a series of meetings hosted by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD), and as a result the top four priorities for action in...
Dover School to get new computers
DOVER -- After being selected to participate in a statewide effort to increase the use of technology and online capabilities, students at Dover Elementary will be issued new computers. As part of the...
e-Vermont efforts work out well for four county towns
...Fourth and fifth graders at the Fisher Elementary School received 53 notebook computers, along with personnel to train both students and teachers in their usage. Woodrow said it was more than just...
How Do You Read the Web?
(5/4/11) - The Vermont State Colleges (VSC) are offering a variety of tools to help residents of e-Vermont communities learn basic computer skills. This year, they are expanding their workshop on the...
Gallery of Vermontiana Goes Online
(5/4/11) - We talk about the Internet as the communications tool of the future, but it is also a new tool for communicating about our past. The e-Vermont communities of Sunderland, Arlington, and...
Introducing Gallup Brook Fencing (and other great VT businesses)
(5/4/11) - The Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) employs an e-Vermont business advisor to work one on one with businesses interested in improving their use of the Internet. One...
Kids, Classrooms and Computers with Digital Wish
(5/4/11) - Digital Wish is a nationally recognized leader in integrating technology into the classroom. As a partner organization in e-Vermont, they are bringing netbooks, IT support and teacher...
Across the Fence episode on Vermont's Working Landscape Partnership
Click the small green play button on the player below to watch this episode of "Across the Fence" which aired 4/8/11 with Paul Costello and Roger Allbee talking about the Vermont Working Landscape...
Community visit could spark change for Morristown
Would there be enough customers to support a natural-food co-op in Morristown? How could the town draw business from the thousands of tourists who visit Stowe and Smugglers' Notch every year? Those...
Grant could get Vt. towns connected
Poultney Elementary School students recite the history of the town while scanning the internet. At Poultney projectors outshine chalkboards and netbooks may soon replace textbooks. Watch the WCAX...
Vt Working Landscape Council to address farm and forest economy
MONTPELIER, VT – Surveys repeatedly show Vermonters want a strong working landscape for all its scenic, cultural, economic, environmental and recreational benefits. However if alarming trends that...
A Vital Farm and Forest Economy is the Key to Our Future ~ A Commentary by Roger Allbee
In the mid 1800s Vermont was considered the bread basket of New England. Farmers in the Champlain Valley area were producing wheat, barley and oats. In other regions of the state farmers were growing...
Round One Netbooks Are in the Classrooms
Digital Wish has completed the netbook classroom deployment for all of our Round One schools. Watch this Vodcast narrated by Eric Bird, lead trainer and peer coach with Digital Wish, with footage...
e-Vermont Community: Vergennes
Initiatives in Vergennes were spearheaded by the Vergennes Partnership, Bixby Library, city government, and other individuals and organizations.  In just over a year, this team succeeded in bringing...
e-Vermont Community: Richford
Initiatives in Richford were spearheaded by the Richford Economic Advancement Corporation (REAC) in conjunction with the Arvin A. Brown Library, NOTCH, town government, Richford Elementary School,...
e-Vermont Community: Moretown
Initiatives in Moretown were spearheaded by Moretown Elementary School, Moretown Memorial Library, town government, and other organizations and individuals.  In just over a year, this team succeeded...
e-Vermont Community: Fairfield
Fairfield initially appealed to e-Vermont for help addressing the community goals that emerged from its 2010 VCRD Community Visit. Initiatives in Fairfield were spearheaded by the Bent Northrop...
e-Vermont Community: Castleton
e-Vermont initiatives in Castleton were spearheaded by the Castleton Free Library along with Castleton Elementary School, the community center, town government, and other individuals and...
e-Vermont Community: Middletown Springs
Initiatives in Middletown Springs were spearheaded by the Middletown Springs Public Library along with Middletown Springs Elementary School,  town government, and other individuals and organizations...
e-Vermont Community: Morristown
e-Vermont initiatives in Morristown were spearheaded by Morristown town government, People’s Academy Middle Level School, Centennial Public Library, River Arts, Morristown Rescue and other...
e-Vermont Community: Jay / Westfield
e-Vermont initiatives in Jay-Westfield were spearheaded by the Jay Peak Area Chamber of Commerce, Jay-Westfield School, Jay and Westfield town governments and other organizations. In just over a year...
e-Vermont Community: Hardwick
e-Vermont initiatives in Hardwick were spearheaded by NEKArts / Hardwick Town House, Jeudevine Memorial Library, Hardwick Community Television, the Center for an Agricultural Economy, Hardwick town...
e-Vermont Community: Dover
e-Vermont initiatives in Dover were spearheaded by the Dover Economic Development Specialist Office, Dover town government, Dover Elementary School, Dover Free Library and other organizations. In...
e-Vermont Community: Calais
e-Vermont initiatives in Calais were spearheaded by the Calais Elementary School, Calais town government, and other organizations. In just over a year, this team succeeded in bringing the following...
e-Vermont Community: Bridgewater
e-Vermont initiatives in Bridgewater were spearheaded by the Bridgewater Historical Society in conjunction with the Bridgewater Village School, town government, and other organizations. In just over...
Downtown Morrisville has vacant look
This article points out the effects of the economic downturn on Morrisville and points to ways the community is addressing the problems there, including our upcoming Community Visit process to begin...
Fairfield Community Visit Report - 2011
During the Community Visit process in Fairfield, community members identified three priority areas for future action: Advance Agricultural Development in Fairfield; Advance Community Communications...
Stimulus funds help wire homes for Internet
Up in rural northern Vermont, it took until the 1960s to run power lines to some towns — decades after the rest of America got turned on..."Rural areas all across the country are wrestling with this...
Calling all surfers: e-Vermont selects Dover as an e-town
DOVER—Dover continues its propulsion into the digital age with its participation in the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. According to VCRD e-Vermont Community Director Philip Petty, e-Vermont...
Moretown awarded e-Vermont grant
The town of Moretown was recently awarded an e-Vermont grant that will result in a new website for the town, among other technological upgrades. Moretown is among 12 rural communities to receive the...
Cracking the netbooks: Arlington, Pownal students newly equipped
The holidays are over, but you wouldn’t know it sitting in the Fisher Elementary fourth and fifth grade classrooms Monday. As part of the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project, the students received...
Vermont's new Internet initiatives hope to boost rural communities
Announced recently, the state of Vermont, located in the Northeast corner of the United States, is best known for its snowy mountains, delicious ice cream and Phish-loving hippies. The state is...
Calais, Hardwick chosen for E-Vt. digital project
The towns of Calais and Hardwick are joining 10 other rural communities set to receive computers and develop new digital projects through a pilot project sponsored by the Vermont Council on Rural...
e-Vermont Gets IT Umph to 12 More Small Towns
The E-Vermont Community Broadband Project was the only applicant East of the Mississippi to be awarded federal stimulus money for rural broadband. This week the project announced both advances of...
Dover to participate in broadband project
On Tuesday, the e-Vermont Community Broadband Project selected 12 communities to participate in a rural broadband initiative. The town of Dover was among them. E-Vermont is a national broadband...
Costello Commentary: Investing in Vermont's working landscape
In early December over 300 farmers and foresters, policy and nonprofit leaders, innovative entrepreneurs, business owners and advocates, packed the State House, attracted by the prospect of a new...
e-Vermont Selects 2011 Communities
MONTPELIER, VT – The e-Vermont Community Broadband Project will bring digital tools and in-depth internet training to 12 additional rural communities in 2011. The twelve, announced today, will...
A netbook for every student
BRISTOL — For the students in Hannah Estey and Rebecca Zavadil’s fifth-grade classes, Christmas came a bit early this year. On Thursday, the Bristol Elementary School fifth-graders all received new...
The Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape is New Farmers
Blogpost by Ben Waterman of UVM's New Farmer Project. New farmers will play a lead role in preserving the integrity of Vermont’s future working landscape. On Friday I joined about 300 other...
Summit on the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape Draws 300
The Vermont Statehouse was packed on December 10 as over 300 people gathered to celebrate Vermont’s working landscape and to offer their help in preserving it in the future. The Vermont Council of...
Plan seeks to preserve Vt.'s open landscape
MONTPELIER — At a summit in Montpelier this past Friday, members of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s Working Landscape Partnership laid out a plan that they hope will preserve and bolster...
Future of Vermont study finds second wind
By KEVIN O’CONNOR, STAFF WRITER Supporters believe the Council on the Future of Vermont’s 2009 report on concerns facing the state in coming decades was ahead of its time. But that wasn’t why...
Report recommends “action steps” for working landscape
By Anne Galloway, vtdigger.org ~ On the face of it, the 300 or so Vermonters who gathered at the Statehouse on Friday didn’t have much in common. They represented disparate interests — state and...
Key Findings of the Summit on the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape - 2010
Participants at the Summit on the Future of Vermont’s Working Landscape shared their commitment to advancing the enterprise that serve as the foundation for the future vitality of rural lands and...
Video ~ Watch "The Future of Vermont's Working Landscape Summit" held at the State House on December 10, 2010
The Vermont Council for Rural Development sponsored the State House summit of more than 300 people from agriculture, forestry, business, and public policy. The day highlighted the continuing crisis...
Audio: Paul Costell talking about the Working Lands Summit
WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley talks with Paul Costello about the upcoming Summit on Vermont's Working Landscape being held Friday in Montpelier. Listen to the interview.
Mouseclicks 101 at Mark Skinner Library
...Across the state, as high speed Internet access becomes more widespread and is steadily integrated into daily life, classes for seniors or those the computer revolution passed by are becoming more...
Audio ~ e-Vermont on the Mark Johnson Show, Part 2
Helen Labun Jordan, e-Vermont Program Director and Heather Chirtea, Digital Wish Director continue their conversation with Mark Johnson about the e-Vermont program and the launch of the second round...
Our Working Landscape and Our Future - Donath Commentary
In the hearts of most Vermonters, our state is first among the great places in America. Vermont is also a great, unspoiled place in the imaginations of its visitors, and in the minds of many...
e-VT reaches out to Vt. communities
Part of Vermont’s charm lies in a simple image of its landscape: quaint New England villages nestled in rolling hills dotted with red barns and cows. While this scene may dominate postcards, there is...
Fairfield brand? Town dreams "big"
FAIRFIELD: Community settles on three priorities — Development of a farmer’s market, a buy-local program and ultimately a Fairfield brand were among the projects proposed when about 50 residents met...
Commentary: Time to move Vermont forward
Sue Allen, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Vermont (former) My thoughts were on election issues as I grained the Scottish Highlands last Tuesday morning. I was reminded that Vermont farms,...
Council on the Future of Vermont Financial Supporters
This project is possible with generous support from the following: Ben & Jerry's Foundation Casella Waste Management Green Mountain Coffee Roasters...
Jordan Commentary: Bridging the digital divide
Bringing high speed Internet access to all of Vermont is an oft-repeated and excellent goal for the state. There are countless ways that the Internet can, and does, improve the lives of Vermonters....
Audio ~ e-Vermont on the Mark Johnson Show, Part 1
Helen Labun Jordan, e-Vermont Program Director and Heather Chirtea, Digital Wish Director talk with Mark Johnson about the e-Vermont program and the launch of the second round application process....
e-Vermont’s own FPF featured in U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report focuses on giving back in its Nov. 2010 issue, including an article examining Front Porch Forum! Thousands of Vermonters have been doing great things through FPF since...
Council on the Future of Vermont Commentary and Written Submissions
The Council on the Future of Vermont received written submission from Vermonters via this website. Online Survey For over a year we collected the opinions, ideas, and challenges of Vermonters...
What Does Vermont Mean To You?
What does Vermont mean to you? Town Vermont is an oasis in my mind. I see and hear about the rest of country facing unprecedented turmoil, yet I see no traces here. Yes, the occasional...
Council on the Future of Vermont: Project Elements
You can find here all of the accompanying materials to the Council on the Future of Vermont process. You can also watch the short video which describes the process and its inputs below. In total the...
Vermont Towns Vie for Next Round of EVermont Broadband Assistance
Earlier this year, the federal government announced that Vermont would receive the nation’s largest per-capita share of federal stimulus money — more than $170 million — to expand high-speed Internet...
Netbooks expected in Pownal
POWNAL - Technology was the topic of much of the conversation at a recent Pownal school board meeting, at which an update on new student netbooks was given, as well as information about an...
e-Vermont Community: West Rutland
e-Vermont initiatives in West Rutland were spearheaded by Town Manager Mary Ann Goulette and a team from the West Rutland School, West Rutland Public Library, town government, and local businesses. ...
e-Vermont Community: Newport
e-Vermont initiatives in Newport were spearheaded by representatives of the Newport City Renaissance Corporation, City of Newport, Goodrich Memorial Library, North Country Supervisory Union, United...
e-Vermont Community: Sunderland/Arlington/Sandgate
e-Vermont Initiatives in Sunderland-Arlington-Sandgate (SAS) were spearheaded by a small but very productive team representing town government, local businesses, the public library, schools, and...
e-Vermont Community: Pownal
e-Vermont initiatives in Pownal were spearheaded by a team representing Pownal’s school, library, businesses, government and interested citizens.  In one short year, the team succeeded in bringing...
e-Vermont Community: Ludlow
e-Vermont initiatives in Ludlow were spearheaded by representatives from the library, school, public service organizations, town government and local businesses. In one short year, this team...
Press Release: e-Vermont Offers Digital Tools for Rural Towns
MONTPELIER, VT – Vermont towns can get free help in learning how to take full advantage of the Internet to create jobs, drive school innovation, provide social services, and increase civic...
e-Vermont Community: Poultney
e-Vermont initiatives in Poultney were spearheaded by the Poultney Broadband Committee, a team comprised of the Rutland Southwest Supervisory Union, town government, Poultney Public Library, local...
If you build it, will they come?
ARLINGTON - Even if it weren't an election year, the chances are excellent that residents of Vermont would be hearing a lot about broadband. ...That part of the broadband equation - getting people...
Audio ~ Front Porch Forum on Equal Time Radio
Michael Wood Lewis, founder of Front Porch Forum, explains how the simple web- or email-based social networking tool brings neighbors together, helps them organize, and saves them money or even finds...
UVM Research Report: Strategies for Promoting Working Landscapes in North America and Europe
With the goal of assisting government, environmental, and planning leaders in their attempts to meet the on‐going challenges of promoting a vibrant working landscape in Vermont, this report (written...
Forest Products Marketing Initiative
The Vermont Council on Rural Development has concluded administering a $1,000,000 EDA grant to support a comprehensive marketing campaign for Vermont Wood Products. This two-year initiative,...
Rural Broadband Project
New Internet service technologies for rural areas are making expanded, affordable broadband possible, but any service still needs a minimum number of customers to be viable. In the winter of 2002,...
Vermont Forest Products Council (2001-2002)
The Vermont Forest Products Council (VFPC) was convened in 2001 with 11 members representing state government, natural resource agencies, and wood manufacturers. VCRD established the VFPC for two...
Vermont Agriculture Viability Council (2002-2003)
The Vermont Agricultural Viability Council (VAVC) was formed with the goal of developing a strategic plan that would both further the prosperity of Vermont’s dairy industry and foster the growth of...
Vermont Council on Culture and Innovation (2003-2004)
The Vermont Council on Culture and Innovation envisions a future in which two principles are widely understood. First, that our cultural expressions and heritage are central to the fabric of each and...
Creative Economy Stories from Vermont
Revitalizing Downtown: Rutland (4:08) Friday Night Live turned Center Street in Rutland into a pedestrian-way and broadened support for downtown revitalization. Seasonal Strategies: The Champlain...
The Process - A Toolbox for communities to launch new efforts
This toolbox provides a template for communities throughout Vermont to build new partnerships, identify common goals, and find projects that will make them more attractive places to live, work, and...
Creative Economy Resources
The Creative Economy reflects the intersection of innovation, commerce, heritage, and imagination. This international concept is well suited to Vermont, and is already revitalizing communities around...
Vermont Council on Planning (2004-2005)
The Vermont Council on Planning (VCP) envisions a future in which coordinated municipal, regional, and state plans are implemented in line with statewide goals to guide development, conservation, and...
Vermont Rural Energy Council (2006-2007)
The Vermont Rural Energy Council (VREC) was a 2-year project (2006-2007) developed by VCRD to provide a non-partisan analysis of opportunities in rural electric generation, fuel development and...
Creative Communities Program
A healthy Vermont economy has traditionally relied on a strong sense of heritage, individuals' ingenuity, businesses that always retain their entrepreneurial spirit, and the distinct character of our...
Costello Commentary: Working lands futures
Paul, VCRD Executive Director, reflects on his cross-country bike trip and the working landscape effort we are embarking on. 2010 - Early this summer I rode my bike from the west coast home to...
Art of Action ends in auction
For more than two years the Art of Action exhibit has toured Vermont. It's a collection of more than 100 pieces by Vermont artists. The artwork was inspired by the social, cultural and political...
Marlboro's renewable resurgence: Town committee focused on energy use continues to grow
MARLBORO -- The Marlboro Energy Committee is growing and expanding the scope of its work. Energized by the town's recent participation in the Vermont Council on Rural Development's Community Visit...
Pownal selected for e-Vermont project
POWNAL, Vt. -- Pownal is one of 12 communities statewide chosen to be a part of the e-Vermont Project, which is funded by money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act through the Vermont...
Pownal, Sunderland selected in e-Project
One of the first things the community will see from participation in the e-Vermont Project will be 50 Dell Netbooks assigned to the third and fourth graders at Pownal Elementary School. Pownal and...
Middlesex selected as e-Vermont community
Middlesex has been selected as one of a dozen communities to pilot the new e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. Read more...
Marlboro Community Visit Report - 2010
Through the Community Visit process, Marlboro began planning for a Marlboro Community Center Building to serve as a connecting point for multiple groups in the community. They are also working to...
Rural Businesses Grow Faster Together
Rural businesses grow bigger and faster when they are closer together. In Vermont, a cluster of food-related businesses is thriving. The state needs to make sure this group of businesses has access...
e-Cambridge hoping for broadband
Despite its name, the pilot program will not be bringing broadband to those areas of Cambridge which do not have high speed internet access. Rather, the goal is to create sufficient interest in...
Poultney, West Rutland in pilot computer program
Poultney and West Rutland will get new computers and other services as part of a pilot program run by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. The Council announced earlier this month that the...
Cambridge an e-Community
As a culmination of a process which started more than a year ago, last week, the town of Cambridge was notified they will be one of 12 communities around the state accepted into a program designed to...
Area towns to get digital boost
ARLINGTON/SUNDERLAND - The towns of Arlington and Sunderland have received grants from e-Vermont - a part of the Vermont Council on Rural Development - that will provide greater technical resources...
Farmers' Market approved for Adams Park
MANCHESTER - The Select Board unanimously approved the relocation of the Farmer's Market from the parks and recreation department to Adam's Park - the triangular park along Route 7A - on Tuesday. "I...
e-Vermont grant to expand Internet in Bristol
BRISTOL — Bristol is one of 12 towns in line to receive a slice of $3.8 million to strengthen Internet access in Vermont, and community leaders are hopeful the landfall “e-Vermont” grant could boost...
Grand Isle awarded e-Vermont grant
NORTH HERO — Residents of the Champlain Is lands, traditionally isolated from the mainland, this month opted for e-connectivity upgrades. Grand Isle County is one of 12 relatively isolated areas...
12 communities selected to pilot e-Vermont project
A dozen rural communities across the state will receive digital tools and in-depth training as the initial participants in the new e-Vermont Community Broadband Project. The twelve will benefit from...
Marlboro prioritizes its future
MARLBORO -- Building a community center and improving walkability in town were the topics of choice for Marlboro residents at the Vermont Council on Rural Development Community Visit meeting. Held...
Strengthening food system in Vermont
Last year, the Legislature established the Farm to Plate (F2P) Initiative, which asked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) to do a comprehensive inventory of the food-related assets and...
Marlboro in second phase of discussions of future
MARLBORO -- Entering the second phase of its Community Visit Program in Marlboro, the Council on Rural Development’s community team will meet again with residents and begin to take some first steps...
Digital divide targeted in e-Vermont project
Unlike Google’s lottery-like “Fiber to the Communities” project, the e-Vermont initiative doesn’t promise super-high-speed Internet to every home. But e-Vermont will deliver: This summer, 12 rural...
Change is a challenge
As the Legislature undertook its work this year, it faced the daunting challenge of filling a $154 million budget gap, and yet legislative leaders showed a curious lack of urgency or concern. One of...
Residents brainstorm for a new economy
The public has spoken on the future of the city's creative economy. It will include a clearly-defined identity for Rutland and a railroad or children's museum, the result of a vote by about 100...
Rutland To Discuss 'Creative Economy'
(Host) Rutland residents will get a chance to talk about what they'd like to see happen in the city Wednesday night at a public forum sponsored by Rutland's Creative Economy. As VPR's Nina Keck...
Secretary Locke announces recovery act investments to expand broadband internet access and spur economic growth
WASHINGTON – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced 10 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and...
$2.5 million Stimulus Grant Launches e-Vermont: the Community Broadband Project
MONTPELIER, VT – A $2.5 million federal Stimulus Grant from the federal Agency of Commerce, announced today, completes the funding to launch the $3.8 million e-Vermont Community Broadband Project....
Community building time
Lest anyone think all is doom and gloom in Rutland – and between the economy and the state of affairs at the south end of Wales Street, there are plenty of those stories in the city these days –...
Shoreham Community Visit Report - 2009
Working to attract village economic development and to build a business incubator. Other initiatives include improving civic participation and exploring in town energy opportunities. Read the Report...
Job Creation and Retention Platform - 2009
Vermont Economic Development Partners worked together to identify doable, cost-effective and measured ways to advance economic activity that will create jobs and that can be initiated in the short...
Values, Vision and Unification in Addison Northwest Supervisory Union - 2009
This report synthesizes the discussion from public forums in the Addison NW Supervisory Union on the Renewal of Public Education for the 21st Century. The inputs were presented to the ANWSU Board,...
The importance of a working landscape
By ROGER ALLBEE There has been a lot of discussion recently about Vermont's working landscape. We know, for example, that 97 percent of Vermonter's say they want a working landscape for their state...
Internet Contest Announced
BARTON: A contest to encourage Northeast Kingdom entrepreneurs and business owners to use the Internet was launched here Thursday, November 5, about two years before the state expects to see...
A taxing question: Futurists ask: Can Vermonters have it all
The state's $6 billion annual budget provides taxpayers with everything from snowplowing to subsidized health insurance. Seemingly the only thing that's missing is enough money to fund it. "The...
State turns to stimulus money for Internet upgrade
Vermont's efforts to attract and retain businesses reliant on instantaneous communication weren't helped by a recent report indicating that average Internet download speeds in the state are among the...
Can you hear me now? Some worry that 'e-state' will disconnect communities
By KEVIN O'CONNOR They inspire poets and painters, campers and climbers, scientists and souls yearning to touch the sky. Who doesn't love the Green Mountains? Vermonters who view them as the state...
Education chief to talk with ANwSU schools
VERGENNES — When Vermont Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca visits Vergennes this week, he will discuss two issues the Vermont Board of Education has identified as critical — one in which...
McClaughry Commentary: Imagining Vermont
Submitted by John McClaughry Four months ago the Council on the Future of Vermont released its report, Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future. The report culminated an 18‐month, $400,...
Higher ed: School costs are up — but so are student gains
By KEVIN O’CONNOR Is Vermont’s ongoing fight over how to fund schools overshadowing gains in its classrooms? When the Council on the Future of Vermont asked residents about their most pressing...
Balance point
A statewide discussion among Vermonters about the environment and the economy has shown that the quality of the environment — the rural landscape of woods, farms, lakes, rivers — is a value deeply...
Paving paradise? Futurists question direction of Vt. development
By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer Is there an answer to the decades-long question of how to balance the state's environment and economy through land-use planning? "In testimony about land use and...
Vermont Regional Food Centers Collaborative: Advancing Food Systems through Learning, Planning and Action
This 2009 platform paper outlines the challenges, vision, goals, and workplan in support Vermont farms and local agriculture economies with contact information of the collaborative members and their...
Residents in charge of state's future
What Vermonters are most concerned about is universal -- preserving the working landscape, fortifying the unity of their communities, retaining the Vermont "brand," creating local energy sources,...
Council studies Vermont’s priorities
After two years spent interviewing Vermonters young and old, blue collar and white, the Council on the Future of Vermont shared its findings on the hopes, aspirations and visions for the state as...
Futurists worry that Vermont farms have become too reliant on milk
By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer The Council on the Future of Vermont knows the state treasures its farms and forests. So why is it asking if there's too much of a good thing? Surveying almost 4,000...
Final Findings of the Council on the Future of Vermont: Imagining Vermont
Imagining Vermont: Values and Vision for the Future is the final report of the Council on the Future of Vermont. With the publication of this report, the findings of the Council are no longer ours...
Stevens Commentary: Future of Agriculture
WILL STEVENS As Vermonters, do we want to live in a theme park - full of characters we've heard of but never met? Or would we rather engage, through agricultural activity, with our families, our...
A rich future? Public wants plan for Vermont economy
By KEVIN O'CONNOR, Times Argus Staff Writer Long before last autumn's financial fall, the Council on the Future of Vermont found stunning agreement on residents' top concern: the economy. The only...
Howard Dean Commentary: Keep Vermont on track
By HOWARD DEAN Severe national recession has gripped our state and resulted in a major reduction to state budget revenues. Speaking from experience, I understand the difficult choices our leaders...
Funding may slow Internet expansion
With the help of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - otherwise known as the Obama stimulus package - all Vermonters might soon have access to highspeed broadband. The state plans on...
Summit on the Future of Vermont Report - 2009
The 2009 VCRD Summit on the Future of Vermont marked a watershed point. It served as the official “report out” to Vermonters on the findings of the Council on the Future of Vermont. It turned their...
Study: Bright future for Vermont
In 20 years, Vermont will be more affordable, more energy self-sufficient, have better public transportation and will offer more economic opportunity. At least that's the vision set out in a new...
Leaders develop priorities for Vermont’s future
(Host) More than 500 Vermont leaders met at the University of Vermont on Monday to develop priorities for the future of the state. The conference was the final part of a two-year study looking at...
Summit starts search for state's future
BURLINGTON – Vermont, said Paul Bruhn of the state's Preservation Trust, "is a great place for the most part — and for the moment. But will we increasingly become Anywhere, USA?" Gather 500 leaders...
The ‘Future of Vermont’ could be history
A Summit on the Future of Vermont is scheduled for May 11 at the University of Vermont. The summit is the final step in a nearly two year long effort by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to...
‘Imagining Vermont’ Can state’s future bring freedom and unity?
By KEVIN O’CONNOR Staff Writer Surveying residents from northernmost Alburgh to southernmost Vernon, the Council on the Future of Vermont found on-the-spot agreement: Everyone loves the state. They...
Gold Commentary: Vermont's future starts today
STEVE GOLD COMMENTARY ~ Times are tough and news is bleak. One response is to bury our heads in today's details and sit on our hands in fear of tomorrow. While an appealing approach for some,...
Grant to boost Middlebury waterfalls plan
A PLAN TO improve pedestrian access to, and enjoyment of, the Otter Creek Falls in downtown Middlebury received a major boost on Thursday with the receipt of a $240,000 federal grant. ...The project...
Ackland Commentary: Being part of Vermont's and The Valley's future
By Bob Ackland Is The Valley a picture of Vermont? If you want to know for sure take the time to hear or read the just released findings of the Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV). As a board...
Hanna Commentary: Acting in leadership
(HOST) Commentator Cheryl Hanna is a professor at Vermont Law School and a member of the Council for the Future of Vermont. She's been thinking about Vermont's potential to be a leader in these...
The Vermont identity
Vermonters have reverence for the state's rural landscape, and they hope for economic development that will provide jobs and housing for the future. They cherish their small communities and value...
Group readies forum results
As Vermont evolves and the economic climate changes, it seems the need for a broad assessment of the state, along the values of the people living here, crops up periodically. The Council on the...
Artful Dodger
...It was a lot of words, but the message was simple: At a time when public funding for necessities such as roads and schools is imperiled, public arts funding could simply cease to exist. When the...
What do today's state trends say about tomorrow?
The nonpartisan Council on the Future of Vermont made news last week by releasing a report warning that the state's lack of diversity may endanger its growth. Noting that dairy totals nearly 80...
Study notes Vt. trends over two decades
COLCHESTER -- Agriculture in Vermont depends more heavily on a single commodity -- dairy -- than in any other state. Yet despite efforts to diversify the farm sector, sales of most nondairy products...
Challenges lie ahead for Vermont, new report warns
Vermont takes pride in its dairy farms and a population that rates high in national health rankings. And that could be a problem, the Council on the Future of Vermont warns. The nonpartisan study...
Report studies trends shaping Vermont’s future
(Host) The Council on the Future of Vermont was formed two years ago to help the state chart a course for the next two decades. And now two St. Michael's College professors have identified the most...
Study: Vt. Tourism Stagnant
Shelburne Museum is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions. Upwards of 110,000 people visit every year from states across the country. But only half of all visitors to the museum are out of...
Agriculture Takes Center Stage in Montpelier
Agriculture took center stage in Montpelier Wednesday. The Vermont Sustainable Agriculture Council told lawmakers about its top issues for the session. They include promoting local food and...
State grant to fund Killington arts center study
Courtesy of a $25,000 Vermont Community Development Planning Grant awarded to the town, a bid will go out to contractors in February to do a preliminary feasibility study of a center, to determine if...
St. Michael's Research Report: "Vermont in Transition" - 2008
The Council on the Future of Vermont and St. Michael's Center for Social Science Research are proud to release Vermont in Transition: A Summary of Social, Economic and Environmental Trends. This book...
Business, Corporate Support Help Keep Arts Groups Afloat
...“In Vermont, the creative economy isn’t just about five percent of the economy engaged in culture or crafts such as bookbinding,” said Costello. “In Vermont, the story of the creative economy is...
Bellows Falls boosters honored
One is an artist and the other a planner and historian. Together they played pivotal roles in the current renaissance of Bellows Falls and both were honored recently for their work by the Vermont...
“Advancing Creativity and Innovation in Rural America” ~ a national conference hosted by VCRD
In September 2008, VCRD hosted the annual conference of the National Rural Development Partnership / Partners in Rural America (PRA). Participants from 13 states joined Vermont rural leaders in...
Rural Development in Vermont: Community and Policy Findings - 2009
This compendium of findings highlights priority topic areas that have emerged through VCRD's body of work, and considers challenges identified by communities, some of the accomplishments of VCRD at...
The Young Writers Project Winners Essays Announced
The Young Writers Project, Council on the Future of Vermont and the Northfield Savings Bank winners of the 2008 ‘Future of Vermont’ Writing Contest. Read the essays.
“Advancing Creativity and Innovation in Rural America” ~ a national conference hosted by VCRD - 2008
In September 2008, VCRD hosted the annual conference of the National Rural Development Partnership / Partners in Rural America (PRA). Participants from 13 states joined Vermont rural leaders in...
Creative Communities Reports - 2008
A final report for the Creative Communities Program was presented back to each of the 12 participating communities. These summarized the public meetings and brainstorming sessions, captured the...
Meeting focusses on Vermont's future
What will Vermont look like in the next 20, 30 or 40 years? The Council on the Future of Vermont will be in Brattleboro Thursday night to ask that very question. The Council wants to know how...
Maintaining balance
For more than a year, the Council on the Future of Vermont (CFV) has been going around the state listening to Vermonters and striking up a dialogue on where we are, where we are going and the forces...
Editorial: Working landscape for past and present
We Vermonters like our beautiful state, but think it is getting harder to afford to live here. The Council on the Future of Vermont asked hundreds of Vermonters about their values and concerns and...
Poll says Vermonters value landscape, community
A new poll confirms some long-held assumptions about Vermonters. They cherish the state's working landscape ... its sense of community... and its independence. But the poll also shows that people...
Shaping the future through art
Lyman Orton was putting together a 2006 art exhibition from his private collection, "Lost Vermont Images," when the work inspired him to look in another direction: Not back at the way Vermont was --...
Survey Tries to Pin Down Vermont Values
Politicians, business leaders, and the public often talk about "Vermont values." But what exactly are they? A new survey released Monday attempts to quantify those in a scientific way. "The question...
Rising Cost of Living a Major Concern
Researchers at the University of Vermont released a survey Monday showing many residents share a common vision of their state ... Virtually all of those responding - 97 percent - said they value...
Burlington CFV Forums
For 45 seconds, no one in the small crowd seated in City Hall's Contois Auditorium clamored for a turn at the microphone Thursday evening. Paul Costello, director of the Vermont Council on Rural...
Chris Graff Commentary
Speaking in 1931 to the Vermont Commission on Country Life, Vermont Supreme Court Justice Wendell Stafford said, "Of Vermont have many books been written, many pictures painted, many songs sung. Yet...
Steve Delany Commentary: Deciding Our Future
For the first time in a generation Vermonters are being asked to help define what the state's future should be. The Council on the Future of Vermont is nearing the end of a two-year process of...
Killington Community Visit Report - 2008
Thanks to the Community Visit process, Killington built a system for positive Town/Mountain communications and problem solving, and set a 4‐season economic development planning process with...
Council on the Future of Vermont Community Forum Notes
From 2007 to 2008 the Council on the Future of Vermont traveled around the state holding public forums and met with farmers, nurses, students, veterans, seniors, businesspeople, advocates, low income...
Derby Community Visit Report - 2007
Thanks to the Community Visit process, Derby began evaluating steps toward a town/village merger and solving water sewer infrastructure issues. Read the Report and Action Plan.
Advancing Vermont's Creative Economy Conference - 2007
VCRD chose the subject of the 2007 Conference based on the growing momentum in Vermont (and globally) to identify our unique local assets and use them as essential building blocks to strengthen our...
Moving Vermont Agriculture Forward - 2007
At the beginning of 2008, the VT Agency of Agriculture and John Merck Fund asked VCRD to manage a strategic planning process designed to advance farm businesses and agricultural enterprises in the...
Strengthening Vermont's Energy Economy - 2007
The Vermont Rural Energy Council (VREC) was developed by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) to provide a non-partisan analysis of opportunities in rural electric generation, fuel...
Richford Community Visit Report - 2007
We ran a second Community Visit process in Richford in 2007. Community members formed task forces on Job Creation and Retention, Law Enforcement, and Image and Communication. Read the Report and...
Manchester Creative Community Report - 2007
The Manchester Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Create the...
Middlebury Creative Community Report - 2007
The Middlebury Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Establish a...
Richmond Creative Community Report - 2007
The Richmond Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Develop and Market...
Plainfield Creative Community Report - 2006
The Plainfield Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Establish...
Randolph Creative Community Report - 2007
The Randolph Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Create Stronger...
Bellows Falls Creative Community Report - 2007
The Bellows Falls Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Provide Year-...
St. Johnsbury Creative Community Report - 2006-07
The Johnsbury Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Develop an...
Hinesburg Community Visit Report - 2007
After the Community Visit process, the town voted for funds to contract for services to advance the initiatives recorded in the final report. It also improved energy efficiency, stopped bus idling,...
LOCAL POWER: Energy & Economic Development in Rural Vermont - 2006
VCRD chose the subject of the 2006 Summit process based on deep and widespread concerns in Vermont today about global climate change, our dependence on oil, “peak oil,” and perceptions of the growing...
Pownal Community Visit Report - 2006
Through the Community Visit Process, Pownal established a Housing Task Force that built a mobile home tenants association andplanned for an affordable housing project. It also developed community...
Islands Creative Community Report - 2006
The Islands Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Develop Trails to...
Hardwick Creative Community Report - 2006
The Hardwick Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Create a Business...
Windsor Creative Community Report - 2006
The Windsor Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions, and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Begin a Public...
Rutland Creative Community Report - 2006
The Rutland Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions, and lists resources for the following priority projects chosen through the process: Advance Rutland as...
St. Albans Creative Community Report - 2006
The St. Albans Creative Community Report summarizes the public meetings and brainstorming sessions, and lists specific resources for the following priority projects chosen through the 2006 process:...
Woodstock Community Visit Report - 2006
Through the Community Visit process, Woodstock set community priorities for town/village merger, built an east end development corporation, expanded conservation, expanded walking trails, and...
Strategies for Community Creative Economy Projects - Leaders' Summit, 2006
On Friday, November 17th, 2006, the Creative Communities Program coordinated with Bellows Falls’ creative economy organizers Richard Ewald and Robert McBride to host a conference addressing “...
Vermont By Design - 2006
Based on the inputs and on the knowledge and experience of Council members, the Vermont Rural Energy Council crafted a set of recommendations for actions that would advance rural energy generation,...
Chelsea Community Visit Report - 2005
Through the Community Visit process, Chelsea gained an ACCD Planning Grant to staff Community Visit Task Forces, building a community facilities and an infrastructure plan. Read the Report and...
Bristol Community Visit Report - 2004
Through the Community Visit Process, Bristol inventoried potential space for a small industrial park, set key attributes of businesses to attract, worked on redeveloping Bartlett Falls area, and...
The Structure of Planning – 2004
On August 11, 2004, we held a Summit on Planning designed to evaluate the challenges before the planning system in Vermont and to propose potential solutions. This Summit report documents the...
Johnson Community Visit Report - 2004
Through the Community Visit process, Johnson leveraged significant federal funds to replace three bridges, build a water system, and implement a redesign of its downtown. It also built a community...
Enosburg Community Visit Report - 2003
Through the Community Visit process, Enosburg instituted a community‐wide literacy campaign and mentorship program, set up a Restorative Justice Board, created a new recreation park, built a town web...
Advancing Vermont's Creative Economy - 2004
The creative economy is critical to the future competitiveness of Vermont in the global marketplace. Vermont's heritage, arts and culture are integral strengths. They are an economic sector in...
Vermont Agriculture Viability Council Final Report - 2003
In November 2001, the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) established the Vermont Agriculture Viability Council (VAVC). VCRD’s goal was to develop a “strategic plan” that would further the...
Poultney Community Visit Report - 2002
Through the Community Visit process, Poultney built new youth activities and mentorships, expanded collaborations with Green Mountain College, designed new town banners and a town marketing strategy...
Vermont Forest Products Council Blueprint for Action - 2002
This Blueprint for Action is the result of two years of study by the Vermont Forest Products Council (VFPC) of the challenges to the value-added wood products industry. It is designed to serve as an...
Rural Economic Development – 2002
The 2002 Governor’s Summit on Rural Economic Development held at Basin Harbor on June 11th and 12th was particularly timely. With the difficulties facing the wood products sector, the dialogue about...
Troy, Westfield, and Jay Community Visit Report - 2002
Through the Community Visit process, the towns of Troy, Westfield, and Jay built walking trails and events celebrating downtown Troy, and took steps in the development of “Tranquil Gardens.” Read the...
Northfield Community Visit Report - 2001
Through the Community Visit process, Northfield redeveloped the old town school into a community center and set agreements for water/wastewater development. Read the Report and Action Plan.
Housing Workplan Development - 2001
The 2001 Governor's Rural Summit on Housing focused on developing plans to respond to a single area of critical and immediate policy concern. With leadership of Governor Howard Dean and his policy...
Wilmington Community Visit Report - 2001
Through the Community Visit process, Wilmington built a Vision for the town's future economic development, and also built a senior housing project. Read the Report and Action Plan.
Bradford Community Visit Report - 1999-2000
Village revitalization was boosted with library repairs, the development of Boch park, and ongoing affordable housing efforts. Work was also made towards a town/village merger. Read the Report and...
Water/Wastewater Infrastructure, Youth Issues, Downtown Development – 1999
On October 14, 1999, over 40 federal, state and other rural leaders met for VCRD's 4th annual rural development summit. The summit focussed on water and sewer issues, youth issues, and downtown...
Middletown Springs Community Visit Report - 1999
Through the Community Visit process, Middletown Springs built sections of the town plan and set up the Middletown Springs Conservation Commission. Read the Report and Action Plan.
Rockingham Community Visit Report - 1998
Through this community visit process, Rockingham accomplished its goals of creating more downtown housing, working towards a downtown revitalization, and rebuilding the Bellows Falls image. Today the...
Richford Community Visit Report - 1997
Through this community visit process, Richford merged the village & town; built affordable housing, as well as river paths, and a new health center, and created plans to redevelop Sweat‐Cummings...