Washington County Environmental Literacy Public Dialogue
Thatcher Brook Primary School
Monday, March 15, 2010
Participants responded to the question, “What do you see when you picture an
environmentally literate community? What’s happening? What are
individuals, schools, businesses, organizations, etc. doing in your future
vision?” as follows:
“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.
Businesses receive benefits for educating about renewables.
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.
Grow new ideas and nurture what works.
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
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
VTrans – RideShare, commuter parking lots
Building and General Services – recycling in state offices, building thermal
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
The Link Express
Park and Ride programs
Union Institute and University – progressive education for adults,
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) – Tom Hark
University of Vermont’s University Transportation Research Center –
Clean Cities Program – promotes alternative fuel vehicles at UVM
State fleet car system and hybrids
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
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
High Mowing Seeds
Craftsbury Outdoor Center
High Fields Composter
Moretown recovers methane from the landfill to produce energy (2,500
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
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
Joseph Kiefer does FoodWorks
George Gay – National Wildlife Federation, Northern Forest Alliance,
Vermont Wildlife Partnership Coalition
Tom Stearns – High Mowing Seeds, Hardwick
Jens Hilke – Connect Vermont (wildlife habitat), Vermont Biodiversity
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
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
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
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
ReSource – green energy training programs
Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) – youth sustainable building
Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
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 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
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.
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.).
Dialogue participants chose not to address individuals for this question.
Neighboring Conservation Commissions could hold meetings, projects and
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
The “Green Up” model could be emulated in other areas (ie. waterways).