Windsor Meeting Minutes

Windsor County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Hartland Public Library

Thursday, April 1, 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:

Public Institutions

  • School cafeterias serve a lot of organic food (meat, veggies, cheese).
  • Town debate is on how, not why.
  • Deliberate land use that includes built, sustainably managed and wild spaces
  • CCC – preservation, conservation and education (as opposed to original trail building, etc.)
  • Reintegrate schools into communities
  • “Alternative transportation” is no longer alternative.
  • Environmental Ed. is no longer necessary – it is just “Ed.”
  • More application of alternative energy to help conserve our natural resources
  • Local elected/appointed officials get it
  • Clustered residential development

Private Sector

  • A highly interactive (connected) community that supports its members and lower carbon footprint
  • Environmental impacts of daily choices are normalized
  • Businesses support end of use recycling

Individuals

  • Neighbors welcome suggestions to green up.
  • Residents are respectful of, an unobtrusive, if not beneficial, in the use of land
  • There’s no such thing as garbage.
  • Community members use resources wisely.
  • There’s a continual enthusiasm to learn about the environment.
  • Conservation and cultivation
  • People live and work in the same community.
  • Meet most “basic needs” very locally (minimize need for car travel)
  • Time Bank – helping your neighbors
  • No commutes over 10 miles one way
  • Knowledge sharing and discovery is intergenerational.
  • “Nature” is seen as integrated into our daily lives – right out the front door, not remote or unattainable.

Associations

No visions were posted under this category.

Additional Visions

  • We are more connected to one another.

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:

Public Institutions

  • Famers’ market
  • Community garden
  • School’s Farm to School program
  • Sidewalks – more bike paths
  • Library outreach to associations (Howe Library, Norman Williams, etc.)
  • Nature club
  • The Natural Step (leadership from town managers)
  • Town engagement in energy committees, Transition Towns, Sustainable Woodstock
  • Educational institutions providing community level leadership
  • VTrans – Park & Ride
  • Carpooling from Park & Ride
  • Vermont’s U.S. Delegation – Sanders, Welch, Leahy
  • Four Winds and ELF in schools
  • Old Home Days – town effort
  • Parks with edible landscaping
  • Recreation department – exercise programs, community gardens
  • Fire station – bottle collections for scouts, Green Up Day
  • Recreation department getting kids outside and moving under their own power
  • Solar in schools (Woodstock)
  • Two Rivers Commission
  • South Windsor County – town officials, eco-literacy
  • Sidewalk program – pedestrian corridor
  • Safe Route to Schools
  • State Park system
  • Sumner’s Falls
  • Library/public community education
  • Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) hikes to Cavendish Gorge
  • VECAN
  • Button Up
  • Plainfield School – grant for energy
  • Valley Quest/Vital Communities – farm outreach and promotion
  • Hartland Library – sustainability bookshelf and programming
  • Chester Library – programs
  • Grafton Nature Museum
  • Vermont Museum of Natural Science
  • Spring Weather Nature Preserve

Private Sector

  • Farmers’ Diner in Quechee
  • Pizza Stone in Chester
  • King Arthur Flour
  • Cobb Hill cheese
  • Black Watch Farm in Weathersfield – grain fed cattle
  • South Woodstock Water Buffalo – will be Kedron Valley Dairy (public-private partnership)
  • Chester local market
  • Sugar houses
  • Upper Valley Food Co-op
  • Springfield Co-op
  • Cavendish game birds
  • Richardson Farm
  • Cabot Cheese – co-op, toolkit that educates about sustainability with incentives built in, working with farmers (Wal-Mart pushing “sustainability” by suppliers)
  • Stella Diner – local and organic foods
  • BGS – local market carrying some organic and local products
  • Mike carries organic wines
  • Harmony Farm – donated some land for community gardens, also hosts a Peony Festival
  • Cedar Mountain Farms and other dairies and CSA’s
  • McNamara Dairies – local bottling, 3 families
  • Sylvia Seeds
  • Naked Table by Shackleton Thomas – table makers that trace materials to source
  • Clear Lake Furniture using certified wood
  • Hanover Area Chamber is about to sponsor second Conference on Sustainability
  • Chippers and other area businesses support local organizations
  • Hypertherm volunteer program
  • Hanover Co-op public outreach – encourages employees to volunteer in the community
  • Upper Valley Co-op films, speakers, leadership on strategies like zero waste operations
  • Hartland Yoga Center
  • Cedar Mountain Farm
  • Woodstock Coffee and Tea/coffee houses
  • GroSolar
  • Solar Store
  • Weatherization companies
  • Wind farmers
  • Local hydro – Jay Bolori
  • Cobb Hill frozen yogurt and co-housing
  • Farmers/Fable Farm
  • Butternut Hill Farm
  • Clay Hill Collective

Individuals

  • Pyroteknika – fire swingers
  • Started a farmers’ market – Strafford, Hartland
  • Sylvia Davatz – Solstice Seeds, seed saving bank
  • Peter Allison – Individual Educational Initiative
  • Chuck Fenton – cooking classes with Food Assistance
  • Leatherworking with local materials
  • Karl Kemnitzer – energy czar
  • Time Bank – social bartering
  • Foragers
  • Gardeners/edible landscaping
  • New Creation Wilderness – Mark Kutolowski (spiritual wilderness connections)
  • Jaxson Morgan – Community Connections hosts pancake breakfasts to share
  • Cobb Hill – co-housing, cheese making
  • Helen Dicke – yoga center, healthy people awareness
  • SOTWFS – film series, documentaries to educate
  • Clydene and Roger Trachier’s effort to for community land purchase
  • Steven Aikenhead – Green Up and history series in Weathersfield
  • Lillian Marcotte – Hartland history
  • Edith Hunter – Weathersfield historian and gardener
  • Will and Jane Curtis – The Nature of Things
  • Michael and Marie Caduto – native wisdom, Conservation Commission
  • “The Elders”
  • Peter Welch
  • Sustainability Institute’s climate change decision-making tools, etc., Beth Sawin, Phil Rice
  • Dana Meadows – inspirational, visionary
  • Noel Perrin – inspirational, visionary
  • Pat McGovern’s leadership for Localvores
  • Jen Lingelbach
  • John Leigh – Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center waste reduction strategy
  • Harmony Farm – sharing land for public use
  • Carol Langstaff in Sharon
  • Flock Dance Troupe

Associations

  • Farmers’ markets
  • Transition Towns – Hartland, White River Junction
  • Hartland Farm Fest
  • Hartland Conservation Commission and Energy Commission weatherization
  • Hartland community gardens
  • Weathersfield Conservation Commission
  • Hartland Nature Club
  • Black River Action Team in Springfield
  • White River partnership
  • Springfield On the Move – river = business
  • Winter trails
  • Community action groups like Sustainable Woodstock
  • Revels North – community theater group
  • D Acres
  • Cedar Circle
  • Food Pantry through the U.U. Church in Hartland
  • U.U. Holiday Project – community building, donated clothing
  • Habitat for Humanity in Springfield
  • U.U. and Congregational Church Youth Group – respect, building community, O.W.L. relationships
  • Change the World Kids – Woodstock
  • New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
  • Wellborn Ecology Fund
  • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
  • 4H
  • Upper Valley League of Women Voters hold regular public presentations with natural resource themes
  • Sustainable Woodstock – sponsors movies, economic development plan, public transportation, local food and farm list, 10% energy reduction challenge on town ballot
  • Vital Communities – Valley Food and Farm, Valley Quest, Affordable Housing Coalition
  • Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) – camp programs, bird rehabilitation, natural history education, etc.
  • Catamount Earth Institute sponsor discussion courses for faith groups, businesses, public, etc.
  • Teen centers
  • Upper Valley Farms to School
  • Arts associations – Pentangle, HCA
  • Boy Scouts
  • Marsh Billings/Billings Farm
  • Montshire Museum
  • Four Winds Nature Institute
  • North School Preservation Society
  • Vermont Center for Ecostudies
  • Sustainable Food Lab
  • Localvore
  • Harmony Farm
  • Universalist Church Social Action

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:

Public Institutions

  • Libraries can share and manage information with community (i.e. Hartland Public Library).
  • Public funding could be available for transportation services recognizing it as an essential service.
  • There could be public investment in alternative corridors (planning board and large employers).
  • Elected leaders could cooperate across party lines to promote environmental practices and policies.
  • Media could provide information and persuasive communications to reach “non-green” audiences to create new paradigms (alternative no longer alternative).
  • Regional planning authorities could be actively engaged with individuals, businesses, citizen groups and civic boards (i.e. clustered residential development).
  • Local farmers, school administration and health staff could collaborate to service local and organic food.
  • There could be publicly sponsored civilian corps (i.e. VYCC).

Private Sector

  • The private sector could pair with non-profits to educate.
  • Economical/profitable
  • The private sector could develop more local products/markets.
  • There could be more social marketing – integrate niche and mainstream markets/products.
  • Consumers could be educated.
  • Private businesses could be educated to best eco-business practices.
  • Employees could be given time to create ways and ideas for doing things.

Individuals

  • How to get every one to be a somebody – to take action?
  • Inclusion and participation could be stimulated.
  • Look for ways to get “this” work into peoples’ lives (like exercise, make time for).
  • There could be more community services or diversion programs.
  • “Citizenship” could include tourists – most feel a level of connection to and responsibility for Vermont.
  • There could be programs that embrace and bring elders into the community – honors wisdom, shares a meal, etc.
  • Hartland connects communities – singles activities, adult learning activities, pair kids with seniors/adults at Green Up Days, creative ideas to connect people.
  • Town government could create incentives/motivation to participate in environmental issues.
  • There could be money off the trash disposal fee for every bag of Green Up trash picked.

Associations

  • There could be communication and coordination between associations and communities.
  • There could be a resource lists of who’s out there.
  • There could be a shared calendar and shared learning.
  • Associations could take responsibility for action and follow through.
  • “CLIP’s” could be used more to support associations talking together.
  • Associations could bring up issues at Town Meeting.
  • More young people could be reached (100 Monkeys).
  • There could be a community radio station.

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