Dialogue Questions

Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue Questions

Question 1:  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?

Question 2:  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.  Be as specific as possible, and be sure to include examples from the private sector, public institutions, associations and individuals.

Question 3:  In order to get from the great environmental projects and initiatives happening today to your future vision of environmental literacy, what more needs to happen?  What unlikely connections can be made between organizations, businesses, individuals, etc. to get us to your future vision?

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.

Windham Meeting Minutes

Windham County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Brattleboro Senior Center

Monday, April 19, 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

  • Field based science and environmental education in classrooms statewide
  • Environmental literacy is integral part of all school subjects and not compartmentalized
  • Composting in schools, businesses
  • Slowing down to allow for action towards literacy

Private Sector

  • Long term costs (health affects, pollution clean-up, etc.) in the initial accounting
  • “Markets” instead of “stores”

Individuals

  • Self-reliance replaces consumerism
  • People understand what a working landscape really means
  • New and old neighborhoods collectively plant bird habitats in their yards.
  • There are far fewer cars on the road.  People walk, bike and use public transit more.
  • Citizens are involved in town governance to promote environmentally literate practice (land use, transport, energy, etc.)
  • Greener buildings with smaller “footprints” that run themselves, more institutions growing their own food (hospitals, prisons, schools), better environmental education, listen to our elders meaning the people who were here before us, smile more often, say hi to your neighbor

Associations

  • Biocentric rather than anthropocentric

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

  • Grafton Elementary School collecting plastic bags for public ed. piece for Pale Blue Dot
  • Bellows Falls restoring mills, artistry, fabric, hotel
  • Springfield Hospital bought dams for medical center
  • Non-competitive science fairs
  • Dummerston Planning and Conservation Commission collaboration on revision of town plan
  • Green Street School composts, also Vernon and Wilmington
  • Project Cow – community-wide composting in Brattleboro
  • Vermont Center for Ecostudies and Arrowwood vernal pool mapping
  • Rural Vermont
  • Brattleboro Energy Committee
  • Single Stream Recycling – FBS
  • Waste Water Treatment Plant – goal to become zero energy
  • State and Feds create habitats, conservation, ecological restoration
  • Lights off offices/motion detector lights
  • Bike paths
  • Four Winds in schools: Vernon, Green Street, Academy, Putney, Guilford, Wilmington, Whitingham, Wardsboro, Newfane, Townshend
  • Town of Marlboro purchase and conservation of Hogback Mountain
  • Use of Hogback Mountain by Marlboro College and School
  • Putney vote to qualify for State Efficiency Loans
  • Putney Central School forest
  • Community gardens at Whitingham and Putney schools and Marlboro College
  • Guilford Center Middle School students produce trail guide with interpretation of geology, ecology of lands adjacent to school
  • Green Street School healthy snack program
  • Farm to School (Green Street and others)
  • 4th and 5th grade at Guilford attended Project Oceanology in CT

Private Sector

  • Akioki rice farm project in Westminster
  • Boyd Family Farm CSA
  • Walker Farm
  • Rising Rhythm
  • Scott Farm
  • Environmental literacy generated by Vermont Yankee debate
  • Terracycle reuses yogurt containers painting them and converting to planters
  • Riverview Café and Maple Café at hospital part of Vermont Fresh Network
  • Drop-in center gathers crates and produce from C & S and others for distribution
  • After-gleaning
  • TransCanada (hydro) maintain recreation areas and education centers (i.e. viewing at fish ladders)
  • Carbon Harvest Energy – Windham Solid Waste District (WSWD) methane used for greenhouses
  • WSWD Swap Shop
  • Businesses which take back products for free to recycle – ReNew
  • Commercial reduction of energy, more solar, renewable
  • ReNew Salvage
  • Farmers’ markets and winter markets
  • Co-ops
  • Locally sustainably harvested lumber – Perkins?
  • Hospice in Brattleboro
  • Green architect – Don McCormick (speaker for Pale Blue Dot)
  • River Garden Restaurant – Vermont products, local farms
  • Brattleboro Co-op recycles everything in café
  • New Chapter Vitamins

Individuals

  • Individuals participate in Brattleboro Freecycle
  • Off the grid living
  • Solar panel installation
  • Replace incandescent with compact fluorescent
  • Home energy audits
  • Hot water off woodstove, also cooking/baking with wood
  • Walk to school and anywhere else within a half-mile
  • Safe roads to schools (safeways)
  • Membership/working membership in co-ops (Brattleboro Food Co-op)
  • West Windham neighbors carpool and resource tool sharing
  • Cobb Brook Watershed reclassified to “A” and protection by neighbor group (Charlie Peck and Diane Newton)
  • Patch Farm wool give-away and celebration, Green Mountain Spinners demonstration and sales, cheese tasting, Green Valley School baked goods (David Major)
  • Chester-Andover parent email list – things to share (like a Front Porch Forum)
  • Grateful Garden at elementary school
  • Solar hot water installations in the area
  • Transition Putney movement – Paul Levasseur
  • Retrofitting older photovoltaic systems for net metering
  • Gail MacArthur’s farm stand
  • Dan’s solar dryer for lumber
  • Melissa’s wood gasification boiler
  • Work at home
  • Instant hot water heater
  • Parents ride school bus to work
  • Compost/garden
  • Cut own wood/mill own lumber
  • Way to Go (commuting another way to work)
  • Green recreation (animal vs. power, sleigh riding, etc.)
  • Walking paths
  • Claire Simpson – cook at Warren Elementary

Associations

  • Amphibian monitoring
  • Putney Mountain Association and Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association land conservation
  • Windham Foundation
  • Four Winds Nature Institute
  • Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center (BEEC) – camps for kids promoting unstructured play/exploration of outdoors; also works with elementary school teachers to support science curriculum development with materials, ongoing support and assessment
  • Southern Vermont Natural History Museum
  • Marlboro Conservation Commission Wildlife Corridors
  • Nature Museum at Grafton – Pale Blue Dot, Memorial Day Weekend (Jeffrey Hollander)
  • Green Up Day
  • Green Mountain Conservation Camp
  • Smart Growth Vermont
  • Orton Foundation
  • Green Valley School
  • A Forest for Every Classroom
  • Vermont Wilderness School
  • Mountain School (Burr and Burton Academy)
  • Kroka
  • VECAN – town energy committees
  • Hogback Association bought Hogback Mountain
  • Strolling of the Heifers
  • Athens Dome – Pinnacle Association hiking
  • The Nature Conservancy, Pinnacle Association, Vermont state trail connector – big land purchase of farms
  • Dummerston Center Church celebrated Earth Day with compelling sermon, music, fair, displays
  • Environthon – local, state and federal agencies organize high school competition (environmental science knowledge)
  • Efficiency Vermont
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Brattleboro Climate Protection
  • Fairwind (wind power)
  • “Post Oil Solutions” group
  • West River Trails
  • Vermont Natural Resources Council
  • Brattleboro Thermal Utility
  • Dummerston Conservation Commission Biodiversity Inventory Report – town-wide conservation plan
  • U.U. as “green sanctuary” (physical plant)
  • Brattleboro Energy Commission rewriting town plan with attention to energy consumption
  • CSA’s promoted through Brattleboro Food Co-op

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

  • We could emphasize that schoolyards are public land/public lands are schoolyards.
  • Private folks could run CSA’s on school property through the summer, and compost could be brought in from the community.
  • Produce sold at farmers’ market could help to fund school.
  • Students could be involved in growing healthy eats.
  • The town planning process could include a specific outreach/door-to-door public education component.  Town Plan could use a public booster club, civic engagement.  There could be a town checklist to identify names for specific folks to talk to.
  • Teachers and school boards could be in full support of environmental education (bottom up) in collaboration with environmental education organizations in schools.  The state could support environmental education from the top down too.
  • There could be carbon credits for individuals.  There could be municipal initiatives like you ride your bike to work for 5 years, and you earn a solar panel!
  • There could be Property Assessed Clean Energy (P.A.C.E.) districts established.
  • There could be a town fund to loan against the home or business renewable energy construction or efficiency project.  It would be paid back with a surcharge to property tax.

Private Sector

  • The profit motive could be more equal with sustainability/community consciousness
  • Eco-services could be included in the balance sheet
  • There could be a PR value of “green” or “carbon neutral.”
  • Input by individuals and communities could influence business culture.

Individuals

  • We could aim to reach goals through education – more carrots than sticks.
  • We could pass “living streets” legislation – roads for all means of transport.
  • There could be mandatory participation in Town Meeting.
  • Communities could throw block parties/potlucks/community dinners.
  • Your individual choices matter for the total health of individuals and communities.
  • People could take showers together to save water.
  • There could be less screen time and more face time.
  • People could live the example.
  • People could organize weekly blackouts.
  • People could eat by candlelight.
  • People could vacation at home.
  • People could weatherize their homes.
  • People could rethink heating/conserve oil.
  • We could think beyond ourselves – children’s children’s children’s children’s…

Associations

  • Vermont Product Stewardship Council is introducing legislation that would require manufacturers to take back products at the end of their lives (includes municipalities, businesses, individuals)
  • There could be a stamp or sticker for non-consumptive use of wildlife and habitat (bird watching, canoeing).
  • No Child Left Inside may be integrated into No Child Left Behind (bill in writing stage).
  • There could be loans at low-cost interest to support environmental nonprofits.
  • Vermont Fish and Wildlife could be used as a model for generating revenue through licenses.
  • There could be a tax check off for education and nonprofit conservation programs.
  • Current programs could be used (i.e. Drop-in Center) as forums to inform, educate and raise awareness.

Rutland Meeting Minutes

Rutland County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Rutland Free Library

Tuesday, February 16, 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

  • Environmental education and Farm to School are structured into the school system.
  • Politicians are not afraid to vote “green.”
  • There is a common place to access shared information.
  • The word “green” is a given.

Private Sector

  • Winter farmer’s markets are commonplace.
  • The word “green” is a given.
  • Models are shared.

Individuals

  • Literacy comes from sharing information between individuals.
  • No trash society – everything is recycled.
  • Share things cheerfully to simplify life.
  • True awareness/understanding of impacts – not being sold on marketing.
  • People are eating locally produced, seasonal food.
  • People are coming together to find a way to share resources.
  • Lifestyles are based on carrying capacity.
  • Citizens are informed and invested, and they participate in the decisions of the community.
  • Stewardship is the foundation of decisions by communities.

Associations

No visions were posted under this category.

Additional Visions

  • As part of systems thinking, it is emphasized that every action has an opposite and/or equal reaction.

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

  • Rutland County Solid Waste District moved to single stream recycling and zero waste goal.
  • Legislative effort to reduce packaging
  • The Sharon Academy is raising funds to buy a biodiesel bus.
  • Mettawee Community School garden and Farm to Table project
  • Green Mountain College biomass heat plant
  • Middlebury College biomass heat plant/grow their own fuel
  • Rutland High School’s energy efficiency audit
  • Green Mountain College embeds literacy in all of its programs
  • Rutland Herald’s environment section
  • Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) gets CSA shares from the Kilpatrick Family Farm in Granville for hospital workers.
  • Rutland Recreation Department is developing Pine Street Trails
  • Rutland Regional Medical Center (RRMC) and the mall nature trails
  • Vermont Department of Forest Parks’ recreation trails program
  • Stafford Tech’s options – forestry program, etc.
  • Community Center’s environmental lifestyle classes
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) healthy family cooking
  • Efficiency Vermont public dialogues and between utilities for energy future
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
  • Public radio and televisions programming
  • Rutland bike path
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Town Energy Committees
  • “Green Mondays” at Castleton State College
  • “Turn it off” stickers at Castleton State College
  • Service learning is imbedded in the classes at Castleton State College.
  • Center for the Community to enhance linkages at Castleton State College
  • Bike trails in city to Pine Hill Park
  • Pittsford trails
  • Community College of Vermont environmental studies program
  • Community gardens at Rutland City, Currier and Lothrup schools
  • Rutland Community Garden behind McDonald’s on Woodstock Avenue
  • 10/10/10 Initiative

Private Sector

  • Green Mountain College policy in place about green, energy efficient and local foods
  • Bottle Redemption Centers and nearly new/consignment/second-hand stores make it easier to reuse.
  • Green Mountain Bottle Redemption accepts juice and water bottles to make recycling easier.
  • VELCO facilities buy solar hot water
  • Local farmers and local food
  • Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) has solar panels and Cow Power
  • Share Heat
  • Smokey House
  • Isabella’s Eatery
  • Single stream recycling at For the Earth Incorporated (part of Green Mountain Redemption) – Trash pickup is reduced from weekly to monthly.
  • Food Co-op
  • Rutland Herald’s environment section
  • Local hardware stores supporting energy efficiency programs
  • Efficiency Vermont
  • CVPS gets local produce during the week for meetings and also for employees to take home.
  • CVPS has a renewable energy education center
  • VT electric coop pilot for smart meters as part of the move to a state-wide Smart Grid
  • CVPS plug-in hybrid cars with Green Mountain College and the University of Vermont
  • Red Brick Grill produced their own food and composted food scraps.
  • Rutland/Marble Valley Transit extending routes for public transportation

Individuals

  • Greg Cox and others are looking for a permanent location for a winter farmers’ market.
  • Carol Tashie organized gogowerde.com, an online community that shares ideas and things.
  • More home gardens and composting
  • Individuals recycle
  • Reusing bags, water bottles, mugs, etc.
  • Carpooling website at the Community College of Vermont was started by an individual
  • Choosing fuel-efficient vehicles, appliance, light bulbs, etc.
  • Installing heat pumps in homes
  • Raising grass-fed beef
  • Walking or biking more and driving less (Ruth Larkin from Green Mountain College gave up her car for the semester.)
  • Paperless online banking
  • Shorter commuting distances
  • People live in small, multi-purpose communities that meet all their needs so they don’t drive as much.
  • People use public transportation.
  • Buy online.
  • Buy locally.
  • Greg Cox (Boardman Hill Farm) hosts farm incubator
  • Vermont Bean Crafters
  • Megan (a participant in the dialogue) rode public transit from Bennington to get to the dialogue.
  • Weekly Planet contributors
  • Poultney community has shared dinners.
  • Rutland Recreation has community gardens.
  • Dump Masters – secret recyclers
  • People speak up at their office.

Associations

  • Recycle North is now called ReSource – no waste and deconstruction resources for communities
  • Intervale (Burlington)
  • Rutland golf course is going “green” – beaver management, fewer chemicals, composting leaves, etc.
  • Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL)
  • Community recreation clubs hold sledding parties, track bike miles, etc.
  • Rutland Walks
  • Poultney Safe Routes to School – survey of travel routes, create safe way to school, free bike helmets and tune-ups, etc.
  • Conservation District is planting trees and doing stream restoration.
  • Student Conservation Association
  • Gogoverde – social network, resource sharing
  • Free Cycle (Rutland chapter)
  • Political parties
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Vermont Audubon
  • Vermont Recycles
  • Four Winds Nature Institute for K-6 with citizen volunteers
  • Rutland/Burlington train organization to link the two cities
  • Group that opposes large scale wind turbines
  • Solar Fest
  • Sustainable Rutland
  • Smokey House
  • Reef Check

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

  • Provide a communal space to exchange ideas, information and resources and maybe a website to go along with it.
  • Sustainable funding for education – informing citizens, groups, legislators, etc. of reliable, true information
  • Start an environmental show on Peg TV.
  • Public Service Announcements on radio and TV – small tips that you can do
  • Expand the bottle bill to include everything sold in plastic bottles and cans.
  • Label food and packaging with where it came from.
  • Adopt environmental literacy standards in schools, K-12.

Private Sector

  • Develop programs to engage the public.
  • Private companies can participate in partnerships (i.e. bus transportation for ski workers).
  • Businesses listen to employees’ suggestions (i.e. VELCO stopping catalog delivery)
  • More life cycle analysis
  • Recognition for good corporate steps to be green (i.e. green stamp, carbon used)
  • More companies can take back their own waste (i.e. Stonyfield Farms).

Individuals

  • Create community potlucks where everyone brings a small amount of food, and there’s no charge.
  • Individuals build their own environmental literacy by making connections with others who don’t share their worldview or their level of literacy, neighbor to neighbor.
  • Environmental study groups, book clubs, challenges, etc.
  • VEI books focusing on sustainability and facilitators who jump start the communities
  • Make connections across barriers at the community/local level.  Be willing to cross lines and listen and move out of the “bubbles” we live in.
  • Participate in town meetings and town government
  • Participate/volunteer at the community level (i.e. fire departments, public service work, etc.)
  • Participate in athletic teams and sports.
  • Avoid blaming and polarization.
  • Create citizen-based water monitoring projects (i.e. watershed alliance)
  • Citizens feel empowered, have tools and have motivation

Associations

  • Associations work together to host shared informational speakers.
  • Associations work together in general – share websites, share Rideshare, share calendars, etc.  There’s one place to go for this information and it can be digested once/week.

Chittenden Meeting Minutes

Chittenden County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Fletcher Free Library

Wednesday, March 24, 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

  • A unified community promoting holistic education
  • Outdoor learning part of curricula in our schools
  • Systems that support our sustainable intentions
  • Student knowledge is the future environmental bridge from un-cleanliness to cleanliness

Private Sector

  • Vulnerable human and natural resources given heightened attention
  • Comprehensive macro-economic model (Environmental Services)
  • Decentralized energy production
  • Clustered development to conserve wildlife habitat
  • In 50 years, transportation includes local hydroelectric cars and national/international trains, ship and aircraft.  ALL energy is efficient and pollution free.
  • In 50 years, energy is carbon free and includes hydro, hydrogen, solar and wind.  Conventional nuclear is winding down (recycle waste).

Individuals

  • Children and adults are outside in all kinds of weather.
  • Everyone can articulate their sense of connection to nature.
  • Low impact, sustainable living
  • Part of nature not vs. nature
  • Environmental awareness includes knowledge of the physical and chemical inputs that sustain communities including not only local but global, natural and regional

Associations

  • A unified community promoting holistic education

Additional Visions

  • Local food systems and waste disposal
  • Global impact of every action known
  • Thinking/engaging all players (disciplines, community groups), systemic decision making – many perspectives
  • Measure and report full cost of decisions (economic, social and ecological).
  • Common areas are used to sustain community’s food needs.
  • Communities that are based on sustainable (environmental, economic, social) ethics and committed to this goal in schools, businesses, etc.
  • Decision making informed by understanding of Earth’s systems
  • Thinking through the generations

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

  • Burlington Legacy Project
  • Sustainability Academy
  • Climate Action Plan and city’s goal to decrease greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050
  • Vermont Yankee and the direction they are going
  • City recycling, composting, leaf pick-up and Christmas tree recycling
  • Chittenden Solid Waste District and Intervale compost
  • McNeil Generating plant
  • Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
  • Efficiency Vermont
  • Clean energy development fund
  • Farm to School
  • Vermont FEED
  • Burlington School Food Project
  • Local Motion, Way to Go Week and other alternative transportation
  • Sustainable Schools Project
  • Portion of AARA funding going to smart grid and energy initiatives
  • Burlington School District’s commitment to sustainability K-12
  • University of Vermont’s (UVM) new LEED building and Sustainability Institute and Office of Sustainability
  • Community bike paths in Burlington and Stowe
  • Town Forests (i.e. Fayston) and outdoor classrooms
  • Town Conservation Commissions
  • Trees for Streams – U.S. Fish and Wildlife
  • Parks and Recreation Department
  • Waitsfield Town Apple Orchard
  • Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
  • Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity offers Button Up Workshops
  • Petitions to decommission Vermont Yankee at Town Meetings
  • 3 Squares – debit card use at farmers’ markets, additional support for families
  • Science camp at UVM for kids at Perkins Museum (Perkins Museum Environmental Science Day Camp)
  • Grand Isle school system – wood chip powered (15 years)
  • Emphasis on youth walking/riding bikes to school – Walking School Buses in Hinesburg and Winooski
  • Town Forest Initiatives – Bolton
  • UVM natural areas have public access
  • Landscape Change Project at UVM
  • Vermont Geologic Survey – groundwater studies and mapping for towns (geology and health)
  • Rivers management – Agency of Natural Resources restoration projects
  • Recycling in public institutions
  • Housing trusts building and selling green housing stock
  • Champlain Housing Trust
  • Community College of Vermont has LEED building in Winooski

Private Sector

  • Methane Digesters – dairy farms
  • Bolton Valley wind projects – NRG, Earth Turbine, Northern Power
  • Local co-ops – Onion River/City Market, Burlington farmers’ markets and others
  • Seventh Generation
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  • Mad River Glen – Ski green if you can.
  • ReStore (Recycle North)
  • Intervale (farmers, etc.)
  • Yestermorrow
  • Car Share VT/Zipcar
  • Bike Couriers and Bike Share (Local Motion)
  • Inexpensive solar cells for sale in hardware stores
  • City Market solar
  • Draker Solar
  • GroSolar
  • NRG
  • DC Energy – North Hero
  • Efficiency Vermont (private?)
  • Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC)
  • BEC – wood burning plant
  • Green Mountain Power – Lowell
  • Spofford Well Drilling – geothermal
  • Good News Garage – revamping cars
  • Green Taxi – propane/biodiesel cars
  • Stores selling “green” products
  • Association in Rural Development – sustainable development worldwide
  • Montgomery-based carbon capture sequestration
  • Jorgenson Environmental Consultants
  • Native Energy
  • Fresh Network
  • Hardwick Beef (?)
  • Carbon Harvest
  • Brighter Planet – eredit card
  • Gardener’s Supply
  • Small Dog Electronics – electronics round-up
  • NRG in Hinesburg (architecture and wind)
  • Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
  • Sustainable builders/contractors

Individuals

  • Chapin Spencer – Local Motion
  • Bill Koch – Nordic ski clubs for kids
  • Rob Mullen – presentations about wilderness travel pairing art and ecology
  • Bonnie Acker(man?) – City Market gardens
  • University of Vermont Horticultural Farm
  • Sue Morse – Keeping Track
  • Gardens
  • Buzz Hoer – Lake Champlain Citizens Advisory Committee
  • Individual gardeners doing their own food growing
  • School science coach and sustainability coach (Anne Tewksbury-Frye)
  • Votes on Property Assessment Capital Energy (P.A.C.E.) project
  • Candy Page reporting in Burlington Free Press
  • Volunteers
  • People who are running the Environmental Literacy Plan process
  • Blittersdorfs, Jan and David, at NRG Systems and All Earth Renewables building energy economy
  • Mikayla Ossler – No Idling bill and program
  • Community gardens and gardeners
  • Jim Flint in Burlington at Friends of Burlington garden
  • Park n’ Ride commuters – Richmond, etc.
  • Everyone who recycles and composts
  • Those who mentor children and people with disabilities to get them into the outdoors
  • Green Up Day participants and organizers
  • People who “commit” random acts of kindness and “greenness”
  • Robin McDermott – Mad River Localvores
  • Four Winds volunteers
  • Jen Green and Wanda Hines – Co-directors of Burlington Legacy Project
  • Ducks Unlimited volunteers
  • Citizen scientists
  • David Dean – Connecticut River steward
  • Chris Sleasor – Amphibians Crossings
  • Nature artists
  • Ecoliteracy participants
  • Sustainability Coordinators – Gioia Thompson (UVM), Heather Ellis (St. Mike’s), Christina E. (Champlain College) and others across the state
  • Christmas Bird Count
  • Environmental Education students
  • Lake Champlain Walleye Association members

Associations

  • Lake Champlain Basin Programs
  • Way to Go Program (Deb Sachs)
  • Button Up Program (CVCAC)
  • Safe Routes to Schools – different schools and towns
  • Environmental committees
  • Islanders Caring for the Environment
  • All the community, housing and land trusts
  • Outdoor activity groups that steward the area in which they recreate (Fellowship of the Wheel)
  • CSA’s and farmers’ markets
  • Town Energy Committee – Jericho, Essex, etc.
  • Co-ops (food and housing) – City Market
  • Africans living in Vermont
  • New Farms for New Americans
  • Vermont Refugee Resettlement
  • Healthy City Youth Farm
  • Composting Association of Vermont
  • ECHO’s teen environmental leadership program
  • Shelburne Farms
  • Wilderness River Expedition Art Foundation (North American, Bolton headquarters) – Boreal Forest and wildlife, art and science coupled with adventure
  • Transition Towns (Shelburne and Montpelier) – peak oil transition to sustainability
  • Group condo composting in Colchester
  • New opportunity – hanging laundry from condo
  • Governors Institute regarding science and technology
  • Vermont Clean and Clear (clean water)
  • Friends of Potash Brook
  • Watershed Associations
  • Friends of the Mad River
  • Front Porch Forums
  • Intervale (conservation and nursery)
  • Food Works
  • Land Trusts – South Burlington, Lake Champlain, South Hero, etc.
  • Lake Champlain Walleye Association
  • Grow Team O.N.E.
  • Lewis Creek Association
  • Ruffed Grouse Society
  • Vermont Coverts
  • Valley Futures Network
  • Burlington Permaculture group
  • Nature centers – Audubon, North Branch Nature Center, etc.
  • Vermont Food Bank
  • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
  • GMC
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association
  • Vermont Sugar Makers Association
  • Vermont Family Forests
  • Vermont Associations of Snow Travelers
  • Vermont Farm Bureau
  • Vermont Outdoor Guide Association
  • Catamount Trail
  • Vermont Institute of Natural Science
  • Vermont Center for Ecostudies
  • Keeping Track
  • Vermont Forest Products Association

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

  • There could be more sustainability curricula.
  • Sustainability could be a part of every institution.
  • There could be full-cost reporting by institutions.
  • Local food could be produced and served in schools and FAHC.
  • Service learning could be increased or mandated.
  • Carbon control
  • There could be more urban planning – keep downtown, downtown; clusters of villages, etc.
  • Methane control
  • Truck, rail, commercial transportation could be integrated.
  • Healthcare could be “greened.”  (Cleveland healthcare as a model – healthy people)
  • Public transportation could be improved (ie. Montreal’s system).  Bike swap, better bus system, etc.
  • There could be watershed-based pollution control.
  • Coal-based energy production could be reduced.
  • We could switch to renewable energy (solar, hydro, methane, wind).
  • Wildlife habitats could be conserved (riparian zones, forests, etc.).
  • Public buildings could be models for LEED architecture (and follow to private homes).
  • Sustainable buildings could be built.

Private Sector

  • The full impact of business decisions could be understood both locally and globally (triple bottom line).
  • 1509000/14000 – voluntary environmental planning
  • Incentives/subsidies/rebates (government mandates) could be used.
  • There could be a LEED-type certification for professional associations.
  • How do we level the playing field?
  • Whole cost/benefit could be considered (true costs, not just price; cost = full price).
  • Pollution/accounting
  • There could be product stewardship – manufacturers take full responsibility for waste (cradle to cradle).

Individuals

  • Individuals could drive change in systems and institutions.
  • Changes in individual behavior could drive cultural behavior and systems change.
  • There could be incentives to change – “good” environmental behavior results in individuals and businesses receiving economic, education and tax credits.
  • There could be more public discussion – environmental literacy plan to instill/share common goals to see its intrinsic value.
  • The reach could be engaged/broadened into the community.
  • There could be short, sweet ad campaigns that are glop-on-able.
  • Policies could be put into place to “force” change (recycling, energy efficiency, etc.).
  • Grassroots, incremental change toward environmental literacy could be the tipping point.
  • Success toward a/the goal could be measured – engaging in the dialogue, are we going in the right direction?
  • Parents and children could learn from each other and be the reason for change (also start early).

Associations

  • There could be public/private partnerships – sometimes one is more efficient and can facilitate/leverage other work/funds.
  • There could be partnerships of social and environmental organizations (e.g. Planting Hope in Montpelier).
  • Environmental includes people
  • There could be more little pieces of everything to attract and have something for everyone (art, science, adventure, etc.).
  • There could more interdisciplinary service learning projects.
  • Associations could mobilize manpower.
  • There could be leadership and communications training (business, fundraising, etc.).
  • Benefit is motivation.
  • We could focus on problem solving.
  • Social justice could seamlessly be integrated into the environmental literacy effort.
  • Financially sustainable – bottom line
  • There could broad-based involvement/inclusion.

Bennington Meeting Minutes

Bennington County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Manchester Elementary Middle School

Tuesday, February 9, 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

  • Individual travel for business and organization meetings is limited.
  • Communication is fluid, interactive and accessible to all.
  • Every neighborhood has its own transfer station for trash and refuse.
  • Middle school students help to revitalize and run a county store.
  • Infrastructure meets awareness.

Private Sector

  • Our food is grown locally.
  • There is a commitment to healthy employees.

Individuals

  • Consuming is replaced by exchanging.
  • Adults and children explore nature without hesitation, and everyone recognizes his/her place in nature.
  • People are more self-reliant and share resources (food, energy, transportation).
  • Everyone loves the place they live.
  • Towns host one environmental event a season.
  • Home, family and community are important.
  • There’s less fretting about children’s free exploration in nature.
  • Resource-based industries are valued stewards.

Associations

  • Associations and boards represent the whole community.  (This vision was added while the participants answered the third question.)

Additional Visions

  • The earth belongs to ALL.

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

  • Keene, NH hospital and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) in Bennington make commitment to recruit community to move toward best health in their region
  • Blueprint for Health – VT hospitals initiative
  • Initiatives to resolve the rail issue
  • Green initiatives – tour energy committee
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food program
  • Walloomsac Farmers’ Market in Bennington
  • Green Mountain Bus is expanding routes.
  • Bike racks on buses in Bennington
  • Mt. Anthony Middle School has a children’s garden and farmers’ market.
  • Windham Conservation Commission is doing invasive species removal.
  • Bennington Conservation Commission is doing storm water management education.
  • Wallingford pedestrian bridge
  • Green-up Day
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Dorset School
  • Stafford Tech
  • Town Wetland Commissions, Conservation Commissions, etc.
  • State invasive coordination
  • Town recycling efforts
  • Bennington Energy Committee
  • Farmers’ markets – Manchester, Dorset, Arlington, etc.
  • Vermont Community Energy Management Program (VCEMP)
  • Bennington Free Medical Clinic has 40 doctors, and is in a Baptist Church.
  • Post Carbon Group in Bennington shows films.
  • Manchester Library has meetings, films, speakers, etc. (resource sharing)

Private Sector

  • Recycling by commercial businesses
  • Products from recycled materials
  • Efficient bulbs are sold.
  • Green roofs, low impact and run-off
  • Organic food is available at markets and farmers’ markets.
  • LEED buildings
  • Berkshire Bank and Orvis fund grants.
  • Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) has Cow Power, Smart Grid, corporate policies, etc.
  • Vermont ski areas
  • JK Adams and Northshire Books sell local products.
  • Vermont Country Store funds community grants.
  • Chittenden Bank funds community grants.
  • Solar power facility in Pownal at the former Green Mountain Race Track
  • Educators book club
  • Yellow Bike Program – Bikes can be signed out for use (South Street Café, Highlander Bicycles, Spice and Nice).
  • Vermont Country Store Right to Drying
  • Renew Brattleboro – recycle and salvage of building materials
  • Friends of Algers (Brattleboro) – community to revive the country store and Guilford school is involved
  • Manchester Chamber of Commerce encourages green initiatives.
  • Hand Motors uses energy saving practices.

Individuals

  • Jim Hand’s micro-hydro water power (renewable energy)
  • Paul Meyer – info/resource guy in Peru, also an artist
  • CFL purchasers and replacers
  • Folks taking “stuff” to ERC to exchange material
  • Bennington area website that allows people to exchange things
  • Book club reads environmental titles.
  • In Richmond, VA there is a college free swap meet, where people swap/exchange books and other goods (similar to a ski swap).
  • Vegetable gardening, gleaning, canning and putting up food
  • Seasonal and local eating
  • Selling Vermont products
  • Taylor Farm in Londonderry has an educational component.
  • Keyline plowing is good for the soil.
  • There’s an increased use of nature trails by the Bennington public.
  • Interest in outdoor-based education is increasing.
  • Awareness of personal environmental impact is increasing.
  • People are buying local food year-round from farmers’ markets and friends.
  • Fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Bruce Bentley’s heat pumps
  • Jesse Herbert’s course on renewables and sustainability at Bennington High School
  • Greening Rosie’s Girls

Associations

  • Merck Forest – organic farming, field gleaning, education and outreach, maple sugaring, renewable energy, land management
  • Vermont town libraries share books and computers.
  • Food cupboards
  • Churches have tag sales, thrift shops, community meals, food pantries, etc.
  • Farmers’ markets in Londonderry, Dorset, Manchester and Bennington
  • 350.org – local effort to plant 350 trees in Dorset and Manchester
  • UVM extension programs
  • Equinox Preservation Trust
  • Farm to School programs
  • Vermont Arts Council grant to get kids in nature – “Happy Days” in Arlington
  • Local train/rail group – Southwestern Vermont Rail Committee
  • Local, sustainable food – Bennington Transition Team
  • Wood heating with a mostly local wood shed at Hildene
  • Solar electricity in goat dairy production at Hildene
  • Storm water demonstration site, nature walk, adult/youth environmental education at New England Tropical Conservatory (NETC)
  • Collaboration among organizations
  • Battenkill Watershed Alliance conserves habitat
  • Four Winds Nature Institute and SWEEP – environmental education
  • Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)
  • Farm and Wilderness
  • Smokey House
  • Green Mountain Club
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Vermont Coverts
  • Vermont Land Trust
  • Bennington Energy Committee is included in town plan and has an organized CFL exchange.
  • Vermont Community Energy Management Program (VCEMP) – volunteers do energy visit, education and connect folks to resources and contractors
  • Safe Routes to Schools in North Bennington – Parents and community members get kids to school safely.
  • Rosie’s Program – for girls ages 10-13 to learn non-traditional trades like alternative energy
  • Transition Towns – Bennington and Manchester

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

  • Spend stimulus money.
  • There could be more partnerships between schools, environmental organizations and communities so that curriculum is related to the needs of the communities.  Also, more and better communication sharing.
  • UNH Cooperative Extension has developed a community asset map for organizations to collaborate and form partnerships.  Vermont could do something similar.
  • Human services system in Vermont could be expanded to include environmental services.
  • Projects could be required to meet basic environmental standards for efficiency, local materials, sustainability, etc. (especially municipal projects)
  • It could be a requirement for new construction to have solar panels, etc.
  • Health Care could promote healthier populations better by advocating for more bike paths, pedestrian incentives, etc.
  • Tax credits could be given for in-fill development.  Downtowns could be made denser.
  • New businesses could be required to analyze the true costs of doing business (carbon footprints, etc.).
  • Infrastructures could be retooled to meet the needs of smaller and more diversified farms.
  • More recycling laws and requirements could be put into place.

Private Sector and Individuals (two groups combined)

  • We could think of new ways to get food to homes (more delivery of foods to local homes).
  • We could do more farm sharing.
  • People without garden space could use fallow garden sites.
  • We could teach the old methods for preserving food (canning, drying, etc.).  These could be community events.
  • We could co-locate food, arts, community spaces, etc.  This could be co-op driven.
  • The private sector could partner with clubs and associations.
  • We could design private markets to support community activities and projects.
  • A private market could host booths/kiosks for individuals and organizations.
  • Private sector (Chamber of Commerce, newspapers, etc.) could support environmental literacy and local food.
  • Employees could be empowered by goals to conserve energy and not just by following policy.
  • The entrepreneurial model could be used for youth to implement environmental improvements.

Associations

  • Representation could be sought from across communities
  • Associations could help to fill the resource gap in public institutions.
  • Activities could be better publicized.
  • Organizations with different interests could partner.
  • Associations could provide more opportunities for diverse groups of people.
  • Associations could help to articulate local culture/sense of place.
  • Find diverse groups of decision-makers.
  • Re-awaken the historic knowledge of environmental issues.

Washington Meeting Minutes

Washington County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Thatcher Brook Primary School

Monday, March 15, 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

  • “Systems” make living light easy.
  • Flexible work locations (work from home)
  • Economic benefits for renewable energy
  • Environmental education is incorporated/integrated in school curriculum (systemic) and is not an add-on.
  • ALL public buildings must be renewable educational centers.

Private Sector

  • Businesses receive benefits for educating about renewables.

Individuals

  • Trees and shrubs growing along lakeshores
  • Local foods are easy to come by and common
  • There is a connection between our actions and the effects on climate change.
  • We willingly pay for necessary environmental services.
  • We turn off the lights.

Associations

  • Grow new ideas and nurture what works.

Additional Visions

  • Public transportation would be available and convenient.

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

  • Mad River Solid Waste was changed to Mad River Resource Management, which sends the important message about stewardship – it shouldn’t be looked at as waste.
  • Trail to Every Classroom recruits teachers to include the Appalachian Trail in their classroom.  It’s happening in Woodstock, VT.
  • Biomass Curriculum at Vermont Technical College and Randolph Center grade school (also Fayston)
  • Vermont Technical College’s Center for Sustainable Practice (weatherization skills) – Phil Petty and Joan Richmond Hall
  • Outdoor Classroom at Union Elementary School in Montpelier
  • Statehouse inviting localvore folks into the cafeteria
  • Agency of Natural Resources (ANR)
  • Agency of Transportation – animal migration, aquatic organizations and culverts
  • VTrans – RideShare, commuter parking lots
  • Building and General Services – recycling in state offices, building thermal renovations, etc.
  • University of Vermont’s (UVM) formula hybrid
  • University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Natural Resources
  • Green Mountain National Forest
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife
  • Go Vermont – commuter program/van pool program
  • Safe Routes to School – Federal money for kids to bike/walk to school
  • Way to Go Week – annual event for folks to try out alternative transportation
  • Amtrak
  • The Link Express
  • Park and Ride programs
  • Union Institute and University – progressive education for adults, environmental studies
  • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) – Tom Hark
  • University of Vermont’s University Transportation Research Center – sustainable transportation
  • Clean Cities Program – promotes alternative fuel vehicles at UVM
  • State fleet car system and hybrids

Private Sector

  • National Life and NRG Systems are given incentives to showcase/educate visitors/users about their conservation efforts.
  • Mountain School has curriculum about the Long Trail.
  • Methane digesters for renewable energy (Avatar Energy)
  • Ben and Jerry’s environmental packaging
  • Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS)
  • Green Mountain Power
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters – carpooling, solar collectors, reducing energy footprint, compostable cups and lids, working on K-cups, “major force in the world”
  • Localvore Restaurants – Claire’s in Hardwick
  • Black River Produce
  • Abbey Group – working with organizations to offer local foods and to connect with local farmers
  • Gardener’s Supply
  • Intervale
  • Seventh Generation
  • Green Hotels in the Green Mountain State
  • Governor’s Awards (Smuggs, NE Woodwork, Green Mountain Power)
  • Vermont Business Environmental Partnership (VBEP)
  • National Life commuter program
  • Concept 2
  • High Mowing Seeds
  • Local CSA’s
  • Craftsbury Outdoor Center
  • Shelburne Farms
  • High Fields Composter
  • Moretown recovers methane from the landfill to produce energy (2,500 homes)

Individuals

  • Bob Walker in Thetford – Sustainable Energy Resource Group (SERG), emails, writes and is engaged in communities
  • Robin Gannon is a teacher in East Montpelier who is doing/including environmental education.
  • Susan Barnard is a physical education teacher who does snow shoeing.
  • Laurie Thygesen is a physical education teacher who takes kids outside.
  • Chip Darmstadt does teen naturalist programs at North Branch Nature Center (NBNC)
  • Joseph Kiefer does FoodWorks
  • George Gay – National Wildlife Federation, Northern Forest Alliance, Vermont Wildlife Partnership Coalition
  • Anson Tebbetts
  • Bryan Pfeiffer
  • Tom Stearns – High Mowing Seeds, Hardwick
  • Jens Hilke – Connect Vermont (wildlife habitat), Vermont Biodiversity program/project
  • Brian Slopey – U32 teacher (air and water)
  • Nancy Bell – Land Trust (Shrewsbury)
  • Judy Geer – Concept 2/Craftsbury Outdoor Center
  • Pete Johnson – Hardwick, Center for Ag. Economy
  • Lisa Ransom and Scott Bothman (unsure of spelling) – grow compost in Moretown, diversion of stuff from landfill
  • John Malter – Rotary, Farmers’ Market, Resource Management Alliance, facilitator to different entities
  • Nicole D’Agata – Waterbury Farmers’ Market Manager, growing and nurturing market
  • Doug Weber
  • Gregor Barnum – “Carbon Shredders” making carbon footprint tangible with workbook encouraging individuals and towns to reduce carbon footprint
  • The E Team – youth developing environmental education program at ECHO
  • Earth Day at Rumney School – 1 child got it started
  • Duncan McDougal – Waterbury LEAP, meeting of energy planning groups at Crosset Brook

Associations

  • EarthWalk (Goddard College)
  • Vermont Energy Conservation Action Network (VECAN)
  • Northern Rivers Land Trust (Albany, Craftsbury, Woodbury, Greensboro)
  • Association of Vermont Recyclers (AVR)
  • Youth Environmental Summit (YES)
  • Connect Vermont – NGO’s and Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife working to protect wildlife conductivity – corridors with partners and communities
  • Town Conservation Commissions
  • Four Winds Nature Institute
  • HEART – energy committee in Hardwick
  • Vermont Off-highway Vehicle Recreation Association (VORA) – won the “Vermont Trails and Greenways Trail Project of the Year Award,” different user groups partner to improve water quality, land use and land stewardship, sharing a resource in a responsible manner
  • Waterbury Rotary Club – “Hunt for Sunzilla” in conjunction with Arbor Day – Hand out 40,000 sunflower seeds to kids and the community; tallest, heaviest, etc. are judged; sunflower seed spitting contest, etc.
  • Waterbury Farmers’ Market – food council has gotten involved
  • Green Mountain Club teacher workshop focusing on Long Trail curriculum (environmental education on the Long Trail)
  • Similar program at Shelburne Farms – Forest in Every Classroom?
  • Green Mountain Club partnering with Audubon to provide education programs
  • ReSource – green energy training programs
  • Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) – youth sustainable building skills
  • Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
  • Efficiency Vermont
  • Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC) weatherization
  • Local Agricultural Community Exchange (LACE) in Barre, Arielle Zevon; restaurant, boutique, grocery, craft makers, community kitchen

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

  • Public could be better informed about their choices – We can’t regulate everything.  We can educate and motivate.
  • Energy could be taxed – allow market forces to help change behavior.
  • Bike lanes could be a part of new roads and people could want to pay for them!
  • Work/play/home could be in close proximity – Smart Growth.
  • We could look at places with density and find corridors that connect these places.  Livable communities
  • We could integrate school transportation with public transportation.
  • People could be incentivized to do things.
  • State government could shift priorities and become the change, then fund priorities (comparative risk), share knowledge and skills (Transition Towns)
  • Measure environmental literacy of all Vermonters.

Private Sector

  • Thatcher Brook Primary School could use Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s conservation measures as a lesson/data.  Local schools could take field trips to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
  • There could be financial incentives for companies to initiate measures to reduce their footprints.  For examples, there could be an incentive to lease lower mileage vehicles (make them the best deal).
  • Private companies could provide educational opportunities for the public or associations (labor training, job shadowing, etc.).

Individuals

Dialogue participants chose not to address individuals for this question.

Associations

  • Neighboring Conservation Commissions could hold meetings, projects and events together.
  • Associations could partner with public schools on a regular basis.  The model of connecting content specialist with schools/teachers could be expanded.
  • Rotary clubs could provide community service opportunities for schools and classes.
  • The “Green Up” model could be emulated in other areas (ie. waterways).

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.

Orleans Meeting Minutes

Orleans County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Newport State Building

Wednesday, April 7, 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:

  • No trash (litter)
  • Sharing of resources among community members (wood splitter, canoes, bikes, etc.)
  • A lot of walking, buses, few cars
  • Seeing people outside playing, etc.
  • School kids are out of the classroom working with members of the community.
  • More incentives for renewable energy – community owned photo voltaic and solar voltaic energy
  • Community gardens
  • Multi-age energy education events
  • Collaboration of non-profits working on similar goals and longer range visioning
  • Kids and everyone feel whole.
  • Tolerance
  • Basic needs are met – safety, self-esteem, etc.
  • Root causes are addressed.
  • Schools are measured by how well they produce citizens and critical thinkers (not based on standardized tests).
  • 80% of food is local and people are connected to farms and welcome to visit them.  Farmers’ markets sell food.
  • Greater connection between businesses, communities and schools
  • Steady state economy, economy of scale
  • Bartering is alive and well.
  • State bank that handles taxes and pension funds, loans money to Vermonters and there’s no interest that leaves the state
  • 10% obesity rate
  • Volunteerism is the norm – not just in crisis situations – barn raising model
  • Zero waste
  • Ecosystems have full complement of organisms again – healthy and intact ecosystems
  • Community transfers values to newcomers – welcoming communities
  • Jobs pay for housing
  • Folks who own second homes are connected to and engaged in the community.

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:

  • Coventry landfill generates energy from methane – Washington Energy Co-op offers tours, education, etc.
  • Cabot School, especially 8th grade (but the whole school), Peter Stratman – school owns canoes, PFD’s etc. that the community can check out (just one example), industrial arts teacher does great stuff
  • Coventry School – Irene Degasse, alternative education and environmental education
  • Hazen – energy efficiency, work with Efficiency Vermont, students got school to replace all lights, replace water heater, got federal grant to do solar, Mark Considine
  • Montgomery’s Café – local foods
  • Jay Peak – local food in cafeteria, support Farm to School, recycling for condos, etc.  Bill Stenger
  • Science teacher at North Country – Chris Shafer
  • Transition Towns – prepare for life beyond peak oil, plan for survival when energy supply changes, Hardwick Area Transition Towns (HATT), Caledonia Transition Towns
  • Sustainable Living and Agricultural Fair – Done by HATT, Hardwick Energy Action Resource Team (HEART) and Center for an Ag Economy – local farming, cooking demos, environmental groups, etc.
  • Bug Works – Missisquoi River Basin Association (MRBA) person, John Little, takes kids on river and shows them what bugs should be there
  • MRBA works with WHIP to plant trees, stabilize banks, etc.
  • Hazen’s Notch Association – summer camps, school groups, etc.
  • North Woods Stewardship Center – employ kids to do conservation service work
  • Green Mountain Farm to School
  • Siskin Ecological Adventures – citizen science, environmental education, team building, adventure education, etc.
  • Bournes Energy – hybrid trucks
  • Lowell’s wind project
  • Northeast Kingdom Waste Management District – sponsors environmental education, outreach with schools, set up composting, works with Green Mountain Farm to School
  • Wildlife Habitat Improvement Project (WHIP) – similar to current use
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in St. Johnsbury promotes pasturing, rotational grazing, composting, etc.
  • Center for an Ag Economy
  • Community Supported Restaurants (CSR’s) – Claire’s in Hardwick
  • Wild and Scenic Study Committee working to get Upper Missisquoi River and Trout River the Wild and Scenic Designation – will get federal money each year to do restoration, was started by MRBA but is now different
  • Newport Renaissance Project – economic development, is making sure that folks do “green” things, Trish Sears
  • Ann Brown at Lyndon State coordinates AmeriCorps, very helpful
  • Cross country ski trails – MSTA
  • Memphremagog Watershed Association (MWA) works with Memphremagog Conservation Inc. (Canadian organization)
  • Katherine Sims – Farm to School
  • Northeast Kingdom Collaborative
  • Amy Robinson from Newport writes grants, works for organization that helps small businesses get grants, she has an office at Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA)
  • Kingdom Trails – Tim Tierney

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:

  • Smaller organizations could work together to accomplish bigger tasks – bring strings together, create less insulated towns.
  • Northeastern Vermont Development Association (NVDA) could look at agriculture and energy (not just tourism) and focus on them too.
  • An umbrella organization could have enough money to share with similar organizations so they work together (ex. Bring together Siskin, Hazen’s Notch, etc.).
  • Environmental literacy could be made personally relevant to a broader audience.
  • Local folks could be brought together to talk about what they care about (fisherman, fur bearers, turkey hunters, etc.).
  • Environmental organizations could go talk to existing groups like the Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.
  • We could do more things and educate people about doing things that support the local economy.
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) could borrow bond money and loan it out to people/businesses in the district to make homes/businesses more energy efficient.  Local contractors need to get certified.
  • There could be a shared biodiesel bus that can be borrowed by schools and organizations to use for field trips, etc.
  • Amy Robinson could write grants for organizations.

Lamoille Meeting Minutes

Lamoille County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue

Green Mountain Technology and Career Center

Monday, April 26, 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:

  • 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.