The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announces the call for Climate Economy Resilient Communities participants for 2024. Community leaders and volunteers submit a simple online application that will be reviewed on a rolling basis until January 12th, 2024. Through the program, VCRD supports three to five communities each year working on local climate action solutions that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy use, increase climate resilience, and/or strengthen the local climate economy. Services are adaptable based on the community’s needs and can include support with community engagement processes, strategic planning, technical assistance, and/or project implementation.

“Vermont communities are seeking to become more resilient and thrive in a changing climate. VCRD’s Resilient Communities program provides assistance where it is needed the most to move community-defined climate projects to fruition,” says Climate Economy Program Manager, Laura Cavin Bailey. “Our services are modified to fit each community to enable action steps and implementation toward their energy reduction and climate resiliency goals.”

Resilient Community projects should result in significant carbon reduction, address the needs of low-income household community members, and engage partners willing to assist with implementation. Priority will be given to communities that show a mix of strong collaboration and equitable engagement across diverse stakeholders; increase human, built, and natural resilience; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; strengthen the local climate economy, and can be models for other communities across Vermont.

Projects must have a place-based community as their focus (an individual or group of town(s), village(s), or other municipal entity). Eligible entities include, but are not limited to Town Energy Committees, Energy Coordinators, other municipal leadership, or Climate Catalysts leading in their community.

“We were very fortunate to work with VCRD in our town. They gave us the tools we needed to gather a significant portion of our community to discuss issues that are important to us in our town” stated Ryan Haac, the co-chair of the Sharon Connects process. “The feedback from my neighbors was that they felt included, heard, and supported by the professional meeting facilitation and leadership provided by VCRD. Three task groups have been formed and are diligently working toward goals that were deemed important in our community.”

For more details and application visit Requests to apply must be made no later than January 16th, 2024 at 5 pm (extended from January 12th), and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. For questions contact Laura Cavin Bailey, Climate Economy Program Manager, at [email protected] or (802) 234-1646.

Since 2017, the Climate Economy Resilient Communities program has helped advance climate economy projects in Sharon, Arlington, the White River Valley, Pownal, Middlebury, Randolph, Swanton, Marshfield/Plainfield, Dorset, and Rochester.