Just one year later and Milton community members are ready to celebrate the work behind them and plan further action for the year ahead.

Over 180 community members in Milton participated in the Milton on the Move Community Visit process that began in the fall of 2021, facilitated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD). Through a voting process, community members identified three priorities for the future of Milton and turned them into task forces led by volunteers:

  • Support & Recruit Local Businesses
  • Build a Milton Recreation, Fitness, & Community Center
  • Develop a Downtown Core for Milton

At the close of the Community Visit process in January 2022, community members didn’t waste any time getting to work and all three task forces are making tremendous strides.

“Our Support & Recruit Local Business task force is creating grand openings for local business and providing events such as Wellness Wednesday with Lakelife Nutrition for Milton Wellness Wednesscommunity members to try products and educate themselves about the business and their offerings,” says Milton on the Move Chair, Jessica Groeling. “A grand opening for Dawg House Crew in April will also be taking place to welcome them to their new space in Milton.”

Events aren’t the only updates in Milton. The Build a Milton Recreation, Fitness, & Community Center task force was recently awarded $200,000 in ARPA funds to conduct a feasibility study. Through a partnership between the town and a consultant, the funds will help look at community needs, design elements, and identify stakeholders.

“We’ve done a ton of leg work for this project already and this feasibility study will really move things along even more,” says Groeling.

The Milton on the Move task force focused on downtown development also secured funds through a planning grant from the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC). The $50,000 grant will be used to create a master plan for a downtown center in partnership with the Town of Milton and a private consultant.

“There is some real teeth behind this effort, especially with the recent funding,” says Groeling. “We have a great partnership with CCRPC who are sharing their guidance and community members will also have the opportunity to share their ideas for streetscape, building design, and more.”

Milton Farmers MarketTasks forces also decided to get creative with their meetings to encourage participation and support local efforts already happening. Several task force meetings take place at the existing farmers market, which have been a huge success.

With all that has been accomplished in such a short amount of time, Milton community members have reason to celebrate – and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

As a way to kick-off year two, Milton on the Move is bringing everyone back together on March 11, except this time it’s all for celebration and connections.

“We’ve gone through the motions of getting this work started, and now in a new year we want to have a celebration to show appreciation for our volunteers, businesses, and our broader community,” says Groeling. “We’re thanking everyone who has stepped up and telling new friends that it’s never too late to get involved.”

As they head into year two of their efforts, Milton community members share strong momentum to keep going with so many knowledgeable people, new residents, and deep roots.

When asked what she hopes Milton will look like in fifteen years, Groeling smiles and shares, “A community continuing to work together collectively and collaboratively with a plan that is agreed upon by community members with a clear vision of their wants and needs. We’re already starting to get a really nice picture of what Milton is and where it’s going.”
Visit the VCRD website to learn more about the Community Visit program and the full Action Report for Milton on the Move.