On Tuesday, May 7, all members of the Bridport community are invited to come together for a free community dinner and the opportunity to be an active participant in sharing and developing ideas for the future vitality, quality of life, and prosperity of Bridport.

This event is the first step of the Bridport Comes Together process — a three-step series of facilitated discussions coordinated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) to brainstorm ideas for the future, identify top priorities for Bridport, and connect to key resources. Everyone in town is invited and encouraged to join the process to shape the future of Bridport.

Attendees of the May 7 event will participate in a series of four forums to discuss assets, challenges, and opportunities for action. The forum topics were chosen by a representative group of Bridport community members. VCRD will facilitate the forums from 4:30–8:30pm to be held at the Bridport Community Hall, and Bridport Congregational Church Vestry. Community members will be joined by a Visiting Team of state, regional, federal, and non-profit leaders who will be there to listen, share reflections, and support the community as they begin this work.

All Bridport community members are invited to any and all forums that they are interested in. Forum topics include:

4:30–6:00 pm – Community Connection: spaces, events, and communications
4:30–6:00 pm – Businesses & Services: emergency, health, school, and more

6:00–7:00 pm – Free community dinner and live bluegrass @ the Fire Station

7:00–8:30 pm – Recreation & Tourism
7:00–8:30 pm – Infrastructure: housing, water, wastewater, and the Village

The Vermont Council on Rural Development was invited to the community by the Bridport Selectboard. VCRD is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the advancement of Vermont communities. In the past 20 years, VCRD has worked with over 85 communities across the state to bring residents together through their facilitated and structured process to share ideas and move toward common solutions.

Jenna Koloski, VCRD’s Community Engagement and Policy Director says, “While we don’t know which direction they will go with the process, we are excited to work with the community and to support them with action planning and connection to key resources to help them succeed. We hope many in the community will participate in charting a path for the future of the town.”

Community members can also share their ideas through an online survey. More details on the event and the survey can be found at bit.ly/BridportTogether. Childcare will be provided during the forums. Anyone needing transportation to the event should contact the Town Office at (802) 758-2483.

Steps two and three of the process will take place on June 4 and July 16 when community members will come back together to champion action ideas, set priorities, and sign up for task forces to take on each priority or initiative. A team of technical and financial resource providers will join the community in the final step to help support the work of the new task forces as they create action plans to move their priorities forward.

Bridport Comes Together is funded with support from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the National Life Foundation, Northern Border Regional Commission, the Vermont Community Foundation, and VCRD supporters and donors.

For more information, visit bit.ly/BridportTogether, or contact Alyssa Johnson at VCRD at 802-222-6896 or [email protected].

Vermont Council on Rural Development

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of the locally-defined progress of Vermont’s rural communities. VCRD is a dynamic partnership of federal, state, local, nonprofit and private partners. Actively non-partisan with an established reputation for community-based facilitation, VCRD is uniquely positioned to sponsor and coordinate collaborative efforts across governmental and organizational categories concerned with policy questions of rural import. The organization has facilitated over 85 Community Visit processes, resulting in hundreds of locally defined projects including new childcare centers, wastewater infrastructure, downtown redevelopments, and much more.