On Thursday, July 27, all members of the Shelburne Community are invited to come together for a free community dinner and the opportunity to be an active participant in developing new ideas for the future of Shelburne.

This event is the first step of the “Shelburne Forward Together” process – a three-part series of facilitated discussions coordinated by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) to brainstorm ideas for the future, identify top priorities for Shelburne, and connect to key resources. All community members are invited and encouraged to attend.

Community members in attendance will participate in a series of forums to discuss assets, challenges, and opportunities for action. The forum topics have been chosen by a steering committee that represents the full Shelburne community. All community members are encouraged to attend on July 27 to kick-off the forums and join the process in shaping the future of Shelburne.

“Shelburne is at an exciting, but challenging juncture.  We face challenges that are local and global.  We must contend with climate change, housing and affordability, homelessness, accessibility and mobility; a wastewater facility, a Fire and Rescue, challenging employment and workforce issues,” says Shelburne Selectboard Chair Michael Ashooh. “The town has a lot to accomplish.  It is the perfect time to reflect on our values, our goals, and our commitments for our community; to think about who we are and where we are, and where we want to go together and as a community.  And, most importantly, how we are going to get there.”

Community members will be joined by a Visiting Team of State, Regional, Federal, and Non-Profit leaders who are there to listen in, share reflections, and sign on as a resource to support the community as they begin this work.

Participants are encouraged to attend a forum during each time frame that they are most interested in. Forum topic includes:

  • 4:30-6:00 pm – Mobility, Accessibility, and Transportation
  • 4:30-6:00 pm – Climate Resilience and Natural Resources
  • 4:30-6:00 pm – Local Economy: Business, agriculture, tourism, arts
  • 6:00-7:00 pm – Free community dinner with live music catered by Cucina Antica
  • 7:00-8:30 pm – Family and Community Connections
  • 7:00-8:30 pm – Infrastructure: Buildings, energy, water/wastewater, internet
  • 7:00-8:30 pm – Housing For All

The Vermont Council on Rural Development was invited to the community by the Shelburne 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 86 communities throughout Vermont to bring residents together through their facilitated and structured process to share ideas and move toward common solutions.

“The Shelburne Forward Together process is an opportunity for all residents, from all walks of life, to select priorities and action steps that will move the town forward, and connect with a team of state, federal, and non-profit leaders who will think with the town and support the directions that residents set,” says VCRD Community & Policy Director Jenna Koloski. “At VCRD, we recognize that Shelburne residents know what is best for the town – the process is about local leadership and giving everyone the opportunity, as equals, to join the discussion.”

Anyone unable to attend is encouraged to fill out the online survey (or print copies at the Town Office and Pierson Library) to provide their input on the future of Shelburne. More details on the event and survey can be found at bit.ly/ShelburneTogether. Childcare will be provided by the Shelburne Community School PTO during the forums. Transportation is available by the Rotary Club. Anyone with transportation needs is encouraged to call Joan at 802-999-9363 or [email protected]. Additional accommodations can be made by request by contacting Alyssa at VCRD at 802-223-6091 or [email protected].

Parts two and three of the three-part discussion on the future of Shelburne will take place on August 22 and September 28 when all residents will be invited to champion action ideas, set priorities, and sign up for task forces to take on each priority of 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.

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

For more information, visit bit.ly/ShelburneTogether contact VCRD at 802-223-6091, or email Alyssa Johnson at [email protected]