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Dorset Tomorrow Model Communities Program

The Dorset Tomorrow process has narrowed its focus after residents gathered on August 15 at the Long Trail School to discuss and prioritize key action ideas for community success. View a video of that meeting from GNAT by clicking here.  Moving forward there will now be four task forces working to:

  • Increase Affordable Housing and Attract New Residents
  • Build Community Unity
  • Transform Dorset's Energy Usage & Generate More Electricity Locally
  • Improve Dorset's Transportation Options

Read detailed descriptions of the task forces and sign-up to join one or more of them by clicking here. 

The next step in the process takes place on September 23 at The Dorset School at 6:00 PM. At this event the task forces will convene for the first time to develop action plans and identify key resources needed for success. A resource team will join to lend their expertise at this key stage in the process.  Click here to download a flyer for this next event, and please consider carpooling as a way to recruit friends and neighbors, reduce carbon emissions, and reduce parking demands at The Dorset School.

Click HERE to sign up for Dorset Tomorrow updates

Click here to review the notes from the forums held as part of the Dorset Tomorrow Kick-Off on July 24.

Dorset successfully submitted an application to participate in the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Climate Economy Model Communities Program in 2019. This program – a partnership of VCRD, Efficiency Vermont and local leaders – is designed to help communities identify and implement priority actions that increase economic vitality and affordability in a time of climate change. Examples of locally defined projects include energy efficiency, transportation system transformation, renewable energy generation, working lands development, and entrepreneurship and business incubation to spur economic progress. Key aspects of the program include:

  • While this process is focused on the climate economy, transportation, and energy transformation, it is up to the citizens of Dorset to set specific directions.
  • A key component of program success is the active leadership of local citizens who work with VCRD and other partners to move priorities forward.
  • This program is focused on actions that fall within the power of participating communities rather than advocating for policy changes in Montpelier or Washington.
  • A key aim of this program is to include a great mix of people from all parts of the community to be sure any focus of the program has benefits for all.

In June a planning committee of local leaders, stakeholders, and representatives from Dorset convened to guide the local Climate Economy effort and plan for the kick-off on July 24. Here’s an overview of the process:

Step 1 - Community Forums and Dinner (July 24, 2019)
In July, the project will kick-off with a series of four brainstorming sessions for the full community with an expert Climate Economy Visiting Team. The kick-off includes a free community dinner. Click here for a flyer with details about the kick-off.

Step 2 - Priority Setting (August 2019)
The full community will gather a month later to hear specific concepts for community climate economy initiatives built from ideas gathered at the kick-off forums. Community members will select 3 to 4 action ideas in areas including transportation efficiency and home and business energy opportunities. Interested community members will be asked to join task forces focused on planning and implementing projects. 

Step 3 - Planning and Implementation (September 2019)
A final community gathering unites the task forces with Resource Team experts including the utilities to set work plans. Work will then begin to implement the chosen initiatives. Ongoing support, for up to one year, will be provided by VCRD staff. Click here for a flyer with details.

The Climate Economy Model Communities Program is a community-driven process with local leaders, VCRD, Efficiency Vermont, and other partners to cultivate economic development, innovation, and affordability in the face of climate change. This event is produced by VCRD, a non-profit organization supporting the locally-defined progress of Vermont’s rural communities. If you have any questions about the program, please e-mail or call Program Director Jon Copans at jon@vtrural.org or (802) 225-6393.