Grand Isle Meeting Minutes

Grand Isle County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

South Hero Congregational Church

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Meeting Minutes 

Participants responded to the question, “What do you see when you picture an environmentally literate community?  What’s happening?  What are individuals, schools, businesses, organizations, etc. doing in your future vision?” as follows:

  • There is less waste and there are new systems to create less waste.  People are more conscious about their waste.
  • We don’t take electricity for granted.
  • There are multiple transportation options.
  • Resources are shared (lawn mowers, ladders, canoes, tools, etc.).
  • Environmentally appropriate choices are less expensive than conventional choices.
  • There is empathy toward other creatures.  The word community includes wildlife.
  • The Chamber of Commerce has an environmental focus.
  • Everyone is safe and has their needs met.
  • People are more concerned with the broader community than just with themselves.

Participants responded to the request to, “Share some of the environmental projects and initiatives that already are happening in your workplace or community that bring us closer to an environmentally literate Vermont.” as follows:

  • Grand Isle Chamber has written a grant for a farm resource initiative that promotes the sharing of resources.
  • Cedar Ledge Builders in South Hero are green builders.
  • D.C. Energy Innovations in North Hero do wind and solar energy.
  • Folsom School won a grant to add solar panels.
  • Lake Champlain Basin Program
  • Lake Champlain Bikeway and bike ferry from Colchester to the islands
  • Cold Hollow to Canada (really Franklin County) protects wildlife.
  • The Missisquoi River Basin Association (MRBA) is assessing the river for National Wild and Scenic River Status through the National Park Service.
  • Vermont State Parks are promoting solar energy.
  • The Winter Farmers’ Market in South Hero is held in the Congregational Church.
  • Northern Forest Canoe Trail
  • Grand Isle High School has a wood chip boiler.
  • Cold Hollow Career and Tech Center has a natural resources program.
  • The Staying Connected Initiative is a 4-state initiate that also connects Fish and Wildlife with non-profits.
  • The Front Porch Forum is new to the islands.  People in a community can post things (carpools, items to give away, etc.).
  • Intentionally burned homes are stripped of their toxins first.  This is a state regulation.
  • Fire departments share their equipment and personnel, and their events bring communities together.

Participants responded to the question, “In order to get from where we are today to your future vision of environmental literacy, what more needs to happen?” as follows:

  • Manufacturers could be more aware of the end life of their packaging.
  • Meters could be installed in homes and businesses so people can monitor their own energy use, and know specifically what items are using the most energy.
  • Energy companies could education their communities about how they can reduce energy costs and use.
  • Resources to find information could be more accessible.
  • Everyone could have access to computer resources so they can sign up and be active on community forums.
  • People could be educated more.
  • Funding could be shifted so that the environmentally appropriate choices are more affordable.
  • We could think of creative ways to pay for more expensive up-front costs (ie. installing solar panels)
  • We could level the playing field so that local and sustainable products are more affordable.
  • We could plan for multi-modal transportation centers.
  • We could create systems to share knowledge and to be efficient on a local level.
  • Technology could be smaller and more organized so that people can easily be connected.
  • Energy companies could get some sort of bonus for helping people to save energy.

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