Workshop Responses

Responses to “Something that I learned tonight that I’m excited about…”

At many of our public dialogues, we asked participants to write down something that they learned during the course of the evening that was exciting to them.  Participants wrote their responses on small sheets of carbon paper.  They left one sheet of the paper with us, and they took the other sheet home to hang on their fridges, stick on their bulletin boards, etc.  Their answers to the question are varied.  Some responses included helpful feedback for our process, others contain websites that the participant hoped to look up when he/she got home and still others serve as a reminder for what the participant wants for his/her community or daily life.  Responses are listed below.  Enjoy!

Addison County

  • Good critical thinking is the first step towards environmental literacy.
  • Smart power grid
  • Coordination of listing public education happenings in county; zoning regulation training (to charge f or density); Environmental Literacy Speakers Bureau (SWEEP organized) for high schools
  • I want to learn about steps in critical thinking; interested in Little Houses
  • The impact of our pace of life on our consumption habits – a point made here that renewed my hope for the future – made me excited about the positives of the changes that are coming
  • Have students learn about and help with what’s going on in the community.
  • I’m left with a question:  why are we doing this?  It has the feel of a political club like Young Republicans.
  • Regional (county) coordination of conservation efforts – have a master planning calendar
  • ACRPC coordinate all the education programs in Addison County; promote campaigns; expand weatherization programs to be on-going in all towns; change zoning to expand town center and encourage energy savings; active energy committee in all towns; active conservation commission in all towns; farmers’ markets in all towns; put on website survey for those who couldn’t attend; permeable education in nature/science

Bennington County

  • Centralized canning and food preservation facility
  • I’m encouraged by the connections that we made as a group tonight and the process of sharing our thoughts and ideas.
  • The role that needs to be filled seems to fall towards institutions made up of individuals. Our leaders need to…
  • Hildene is moving towards demonstrating sustainable living.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other organizations; ways for associations to fill a vacant community niche (not occupied by a public or private entity)
  • Expand existing information resource services to include environmental choices.
  • MAU High School teacher who develops energy products, electric transportation; provide historical perspective – the good, the bad in our past, and our resourcefulness in addressing our needs effectively and as communities
  • Vermont is being proactive about promoting environmentally conscious development of communities.
  • VT Coverts, pool of private landowners who have shown a committed interest in how their land is used. May be open to letting youth from Smokey House Center (SHC) visit and understand a working landscape.

Rutland County

  • I would like to know more about partnerships among organizations:  “Together we will do more!”
  • www.gogoverde.com and “Green as a given”
  • I was excited about the group talking/discussing ways to turn our visions into realities.  It brought great dialogue and allowed me the opportunity to talk with people I wouldn’t have had the change to share ideas with.  Thanks.
  • How can we get more people concerned about/involved in environmental literacy when many folks have much greater concerns from day to day?  How not to make this a red vs. blue issue?
  • I learned about many more community programs than I had known – different trail systems, people sharing farmland, etc.
  • I was interested to hear about the Vermont Earth Institute community sustainability project.
  • Literacy is learned.  If you’ve got it, teach.  If you need it, listen.  I’ll do both.
  • Stonyfield recycling its own waste
  • Education is key.  Schools need to model what is appropriate.
  •  Made a connection with Green Mountain Bottle Redemption, will utilize their services knowing that they have made important corporate decisions with environment and community in mind
  • I hadn’t realized the extent of our community gardens – at local schools and a Rutland City garden near MacDonald’s (I’ll have to check it out).  It would never have occurred to me to bring cloth napkins and silver and plates and cups that aren’t throwaway to a meeting like this.  Food for thought!
  • I wasn’t here very long…however, what I heard about expanding the Bottle Bill, I think this is a fantastic idea.  To me, it only makes sense.  A bottle is a bottle.  We shouldn’t discriminate.
  • Potential and desire for public announcements or physical/virtual space to educate the state; amount of people who shared interest in making shared things a mandated thing within communities; extroverted idea that for every action there’s an opposite/equal reaction everywhere on Earth.  Thanks!
  • I’m excited about, and would like to know more about ways to reach people who wouldn’t usually be involved in the environmental conversation.
  • Home heat pumps that are used for both cooling and heating
  • Sharing resources; learning how to evaluate trade-offs; learning in groups to share gaps and ideas
  • I found out about www.gogoverde.com and I plan to check it out.

Sterling College Conversation

  • Micro-hydro and Mega Communities
  • Encouraging educators and politicians to become more locally involved with their environment is something I personally would be excited to see.
  • I want to learn more about Green Up Days.
  • “Slow Fashion;” environmental cost of production; economical benefit of wilderness; wholistic health practices; choice!
  • The Employee Assistance Program one person described
  • Growing extra food for the food bank
  • I haven’t been living in Vermont long, so learning about all of the awesome things going on and organizations in the local area was really interesting to begin to learn about.  I’m definitely going to continue to grow as a community member.  Thanks!
  • PARADIGM SHIFT:  Businesses cooperate to reduce waste, share resources and make our communities healthier, rather than just struggling to make money and survive.
  • “Next Steps;” hospitals integrate more wholistic health practices
  • Having an opportunity to share in the future vision of Vermont!
  • Hardwick Trails – cross county skiing free for the community
  • I’m now thinking about starting a ride-share board/trash n’ treasure website for Vermont.  Thank you.
  • Stowe dump’s free room; library eco-pass; ink cartridges at Staples
  • Different categories in which everything falls into.  I liked seeing how many local things are happening right now that are considered environmental literacy within our community.  It’s great to see!
  • Mega Communities – would like to learn more about them; also co-op power – buying into a power utility like you do a CSA
  • Positivity
  • I wish there were some sort of umbrella organization that assisted with businesses for better practices.
  • Online “bulletin board” for ride shares in a community – works in Jackson Hole, WY – we could do it here!
  • Mega Communities (shared vision of organizations and associations on local/regional level)
  • I am aware of the importance of community volunteers and how their actions can influence an entire community.

Washington County

  • I was reminded of the need for a holistic approach to developing our understanding of environmental literacy.
  • Go Rotary Clubs; Green Mountain Club school initiative
  • Coordinate and support local Rotary Club
  • Learn more about teacher workshops at Shelburne Farms to help my organization develop our new teacher workshop idea.
  • VTRANS has folks thinking about solutions!  I previously thought about it as the logo for the problems.
  • Schools partnering with private to move environmental education faster and deeper!
  • I’m going to visit my neighboring towns’ conservation commissions.  Maybe we can help each other.
  • Working together with conservation commissions – share ideas and resources – don’t reinvent the wheel
  • What we have here in Vermont is something many others hope to attain.  We need to remember this and respect it.

Chittenden County

  • Learned about SWEEP
  • In the near term, I would be interested to explore cooperative efforts in educational initiatives.  My organization (WREAF) is mainly an environmental education project working with groups in the U.S. and Canada.
  • We’re already doing it.
  • Efforts toward sustainability made by private sector (ex. Mad River Glen, etc.)
  • Rosie’s Girls – career and science development for teen girls could be a great connections for teens I work with and inspiring next generation of environmental literacy advocates.
  • Four Winds; sustainability institutes
  • Transition Towns – post peak oil changes; instituting whole cost accounting for goods/services
  • Raising the next generation
  • Excited about helping every school in Vermont to integrate sustainability in curriculum, campus practice/operations, and community engagement
  • Interesting to learn about other local environmental initiatives in Burlington and Chittenden County that I hadn’t heard of
  • The list of individuals
  • A lot of participants are involved with cool environmental organizations.
  • Tonight’s event put me in touch with SWEEP and Four Winds and will give me an opportunity to pursue my desire to be an active participant in environmental education and connecting others to the natural world.
  • Want to know about Front Porch Forums
  • I was interested to learn specifically about the Trees for Streams project and heartened to see how much is already being done.
  • The process of looking at the four sectors – individual, associations, public and private – highlights how they are separate, but also very interlocked and impact each other.  Great session.  Good luck!
  • Develop the enthusiasm to invigorate motivated individuals to support group actions to achieve targeted objectives.

Windsor County

  • Regional plan as driver for environmental literacy
  • I know a lot of people and groups at this meeting, but have met many more.
  • Hartland Library bringing local associations together
  • Learned about “association roundtables” – looking forward to learning more!
  • Power of one
  • Four Winds
  • Seed saving
  • “There is no such thing as garbage.”
  • Find ways to get to 100th Monkey with Farm to School Network
  • Time Bank
  • The need for more communication and cooperation between varied groups and individuals in the environmental areas
  • I did not know about SWEEP and the Four Winds Nature Institute and the fourteen dialogues around the state!  Wow!  An open space meeting!  Excellent!
  • Town Meeting initiatives
  • Open Space model
  • Importance of reaching out to young people, involving their heads and hearts.
  • The realization that there are so many amazing people/groups/organizations in small little ole Vermont.
  • An affirmation that I really love the town I live in
  • Connect with Regional Planning for program opportunities at the library.
  • Capitalize on/work with Transition Town efforts

Caledonia County

  • Continuing conversations with people I met tonight as we all work to make Vermont more sustainable
  • I really thought it would be really great to have a waste day in Waterford; more recycling in the school and talk with the school
  • Shared calendar:  my community needs to expand its Chamber’s calendar to get the word out about what is going on.
  • Vermont has a coordinated effort to improve environmental literacy with a goal of a community-based strategic plan.
  • Networking of all the organizations into one coalition:  like “Chicago Wilderness” (see online)
  • Basically, I learned there’s a lot more going on around here than I though regarding environmental literacy!
  • This really opened by eyes about the large number of resources/groups/organizations in the area.  Perhaps for that reason, some organizations I belong to have trouble getting people out to programs.  It would be great to coordinate somehow.
  • The large number of environmental groups, which currently exist.  How to get them interconnected?
  • No Child Left Inside as a government program that we can tap into.  Four Winds wasn’t just in Plainfield!
  • There are a lot more organizations than I realized acting locally.  I look forward to connecting with more of these groups.
  • I am motivated to gather a group of friends together for an engaging, interactive, inspirational evening with an environmental theme/focus that results in the group creating an action plan where we collectively take action to make change in our community.
  • The diversity of the group tonight was inspiring!
  • I would be very excited to see the shared calendar of groups and/or a Speakers’ Bureau come to fruition.  A collection of resources under “one roof” would create ease of access for more people to get involved actively.

Windham County

  • I figured out how involved my community is outside the school sector, which is very exciting to see the spread of this positive energy.
  • I can recycle florescent tubes at my hardware store!
  • I like how you organized the vision to include associations, individuals, public and private.  It is a great way to start an envisioning process.  The role of associations is often under counted.  Thanks.
  • Windham County Recycle and Share
  • A Forest for Every Classroom – education; what environmental literacy for Vermont looks like; www.environmentalliteracyvt.org
  • Re-emphasized the need to be involved in the community to learn more about what is happening and what I can do; www.environmentalliteracyvt.org
  • Post oil solutions group
  • Inclusive ideas were common at this meeting.  You kept us from focusing on our own projects or narrower ideas.  Ideas for state-national levels to our own compost bins!
  • How inter-related (public, private, organizations, individuals) everything is – so how efforts should include many sectors
  • Project Cow
  • Tonight I learned that when people come together and exchange ideas, everyone can then go out and keep it rolling.  Too often people become disconnected from their communities and that’s where most of our troubles lie.
  • No Child Left Inside
  • VT Product Stewardship Council; the “status” of No Child Left Inside