Lamoille County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue
Green Mountain Technology and Career Center
Monday, April 26, 2010
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:
- Seeing something that’s common in the environment and recognizing its history
- Man would be a pleasing part of the environment and economy.
- We wouldn’t take our history for granted (i.e. maple sugaring).
- People wouldn’t be afraid of appropriate technology.
- Recycling throughout the world has to be the goal.
- Greater use of windmills and solar panels, and they are community owned.
- Towns and municipal buildings have to use renewable energy.
- People play in streams and lakes again.
- Kids can walk to school.
- It’s a given that people grow most of their own food, know where their food comes from and it’s mostly local.
- People have more skills to be self-sufficient.
- More emphasis on affordable technology in regards to energy.
- Put the resources where they do the most good.
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:
- Farm Bureau works with Lamoille Country Nature Center
- Lamoille County Anglers Association also does erosion control.
- Lamoille County Planning Commission – educates people about flood plains vs. erosion
- Better Back Roads program by Natural Resources Conservation Service and Vermont Local Roads Program (St. Michael’s College)
- Lamoille County Planning Commision – educate about where and how rivers move
- Bees Knees – CSR, local foods, artists
- Green Mountain Technology and Career Center (GMTCC) has alternative energy curriculum, use students as resources
- Schools involved in Green Up Day
- Lamoille Rail to Trail – uses existing path that will hold up
- GMTCC – forestry (in Caledonia)
- Lamoille Fit and Healthy Coalition – getting folks on trails, etc.
- Copley Health Fair – free bikes helmets, etc.
- Lake Champlain Restoration – Hardwick is the outer edge of the Lake Champlain watershed
- Micro-hydro group in Waterville
- Johnson State College – Friday Community Serve (volunteer program), high school “greening competition,” worked with village to try to generate own power
- Johnson will have new food co-op – Buffalo Mountain from Hardwick is helping them to get started
- Bishop-Marshall School – environmentally friendly in cafeteria and used to do composting
- Lamoille Economic Development Corporation – operate business incubator
- Holy Cross is changing light bulbs, etc.
- Interfaith Power and Light
- River Arts offers lots of classes in canning, etc.
- Vermont Renewable Energy Atlas (Sustainable Jobs Fund)
- Volunteer science studies – Breeding Bird Atlas (2003-2007) and Vernal Pool Study (2009-2011)
- Bournes Inc. – eco-billing program, hybrid fuel delivery truck, bio-fuels, efficient furnaces, encourages sharing with brown bag lunches
- Morrisville year-round farmers’ market
- Community garden in Morrisville and community barbeque in fall (leftovers from the garden are donate to the barbeque)
- Farm Bureau – Learning Barns (mobile resource center) in many counties, 4th grade Farm Tour (is done just in Lamoille County, a different farm is the host each year, is funded by Dairy Promotion money)
- Erosion control workshops by the Forest Products Association (Montpelier) – for forestry and logging community
- Agency of Natural Resources has a response center to handle erosion complaints – was set up due to the Clean Water Act
- Timber Harvesting Guidelines for state and county foresters, does more education than citations
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:
- Schools could be utilized more to get things done (i.e. GMTCC).
- There could be a booklet/website to let folks know what’s available. It could be available at Town Clerks’ offices, libraries, post offices, etc. The website could be interactive – people could enter where they are and what they need done.
- People could be educated at events that are already happening (i.e. July 4th celebrations).
- Farmers could be introduced to writers (i.e. Fences that the Farm Bureau did). There could be more media connections like that.
- There could be an environmental literacy component to Environthon.
- Entrepreneurs could get more support to bring their ideas to fruition. There could be invention competitions.
- High school students could interview farms, loggers, etc. to find out their ideas.
- If it’s not already happening, a Lamoille Country Transition Town could be started up.
- There could be more decorated rain barrels.