The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is pleased to announce the four selected communities for their Climate Economy Resilient Communities (formerly known as Climate Economy Model Communities).

The Resilient Communities program supports three to five Vermont communities per year working on local climate action solutions. Already in 2022, VCRD worked with the Intermunicipal Regional Energy Coordinator based at the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Planning Commission to support six towns in that region as they prioritized actions identified in their collective Climate Action Plan to confidently move forward with implementation.

For the 2023 Resilient Communities program, over 15 communities submitted applications and through a competitive selection process,  VCRD and its Climate Economy Advisory Committee have chosen Arlington, Lyndonville, Randolph, and the greater Randolph/Rochester/Bethel region.  The four selected communities will receive targeted facilitation, strategic planning, and/or project support from VCRD through direct partnership with a community committee, organization or leader working on local climate action solutions.

“The Resilient Communities program supports locally defined projects that help mitigate climate impacts, reduce energy costs, and strengthen community resilience,” said Laura Cavin Bailey, the Climate Economy Program Manager at VCRD. “The support provided by VCRD reflects the community requested service and augments local capacity to advance critical and timely work.”

This year’s community projects currently include the following:

  • Working with the Arlington Town Energy Committee on their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) tracking for the town, and compiling available data tracking resources for other towns including articulating and documenting the need, limitations, and process for energy tracking
  • Supporting Lyndonville in a community engagement plan, process, and implementation to move the needle on energy awareness, efficiency, and interest within the community
  • Rebooting the Randolph region Climate Economy Initiative with an opportunity to bring the community together, celebrate the successes, and develop future actions and ideas
  • Facilitating a conversation around an Intermunicipal Energy Coordinator for Bethel, South Royalton, Rochester, Randolph, and other surrounding towns

“Efficiency Vermont is a proud supporter of VCRD’s Resilient Communities program,” says Michelle McCutcheon-Schour, a Community Manager at Efficiency Vermont and member of VCRD’s Climate Economy Advisory Committee. “This effort provides invaluable support and resources to local communities in implementing local climate solutions.”
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for communities interested in participating in the Resilient Communities program. A formal application period will also open in the fall of 2023 for 2024 recipients. The Climate Economy Advisory Committee includes public and private sector representatives from Efficiency Vermont, VSECU, the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network, and Regional Planning Commissions.

For more information visit the VCRD website or contact Climate Economy Program Manager, Laura Cavin Bailey at [email protected].