Free Yestermorrow Summer Lecture Series 7/11 – Long-Term Resilient and Regenerative Flood Responses

For more information click here. All lectures are free,  open to the public, and held at Yestermorrow’s Waitsfield campus. Talks start at 7:00 pm. Can’t make it to Waitsfield? You can live stream the lecture by clicking  http://www.ustream.tv/channel/yestermorrow-design-build-school .

Tropical Storm Irene caused tremendous damage to property and lands throughout Vermont. The immediate response was heartfelt and inspiring, but likely fell short of expectations for both human and natural systems in the long term. We will use the lens of water, watershed, and infrastructure to explore what could have enabled communities to hold on to — and continue to develop — the community cohesion and support that arose in an effort to establish resilient and regenerative systems and infrastructures for the future? What might those infrastructures look like? And how can this work prove useful beyond the affected areas?

Pete Muñoz, PE, LEED AP, is co-founder of SEEDS, a non-profit research, design and educational institute. He directs SEEDS’ Ecological Design Collaborative, which designs and builds systems that reconnect communities with their infrastructure, with a focus on natural water and wastewater treatment and reuse systems.

Joel Glanzberg has broad experience in environmental design and ecological restoration projects. He has also worked extensively in the field of regenerative agriculture, and as a consultant on watershed restoration projects, where he has helped to design and implement programs for restoration as well as public education and engagement.

Social Media in Business/Non Profit/Community Group Training Opportunity

Social Media Surgery is described as a gathering at which volunteer “surgeons” with expertise in using new/social media tools tools like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging offer free or low-cost advice to representatives (“patients”) of non-profits, small businesses and community groups. Partnering with Chamber member HigherMind Mediaworks, the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce is offering such a gathering on Thursday, July 12 and Thursday, August 2 @ Quench ArtSpace in Waitsfield’s downtown Bridge Street historic district.

  At the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored social media workshop on June 21, attendees made it clear that they understood the importance of using social media in their organizations, but lacked the knowledge or technical expertise to use the tools effectively. For our social media surgery session, attendees will submit in advance THREE specific “emergent media” challenges (as simple as uploading a photo to Facebook, or how to use Twitter hashtags, or how to “share” a Facebook post). Not all challenges need to be tied to Facebook, but could also include other “emergent media” options like You Tube, Pinterest, Twitter, Blogger, email newsletters, podcasts, or any story or information that originates on a digital platform.

  Members of the MRV Chamber may attend the Social Media Surgery workshop for $10, and non-members for $25. Sessions will run 9 am -11:30 am at Quench ArtSpace. Pre-registration and payment are required in advance.  Upon registration, attendees will be given instruction on how to prepare questions to be addressed at the workshop. Contact Susan at the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce – #496-3409 or chamber@madriver.com - to register.

Groundwater Protection in your Town

VNRC has recently released “Groundwater Protection in Your Town: A Guide.” It provides an overview of Act 199 and provides model town plan and zoning bylaw language for groundwater protection. You can download the guide here: http://www.vnrc.org/water/hot-issues/vnrc-revises-groundwater-manual/. More information is below.

I hope you’ll find it a useful resource as you work on planning and regulation for groundwater – please feel free to let me or VNRC’s Water Program Director, Kim Greenwood (kgreenwood@vnrc.org), know if you have any questions or feedback on its usefulness.

Brownfields 101 Session

Nobus Engineering invite you to attend a Brownfields Forum on Thursday, June 21 at the Capital Plaza in Montpelier.

EPA and VTDEC will provide the latest information on Brownfields and share information on how to successfully obtain funding for non profits and municipalities.   It is a great opportunity for you to interface with other municipalities, planning commissions, development corporations and non-profit organizations, along with the EPA and VTDEC.  Please forward to others that may have interest in this topic.

We are holding two sessions-a morning session (10:00am – noon) and afternoon session (1:30 pm – 3:30 pm).  Lunch will be held from 12 – 1:00 pm.

Please let Nobis Engineering (contact info below) know if you’re interested in attending and which of these sessions works for you.  A reply by Wednesday, June 13, 2012 is much appreciated.  An agenda will follow shortly for all attendees.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or Nobis with any questions.  I look forward to seeing you all soon

Thank you,

 Nobis Engineering
Jeff McCullough, PE
jmccullough@nobiseng.com
Direct: (603) 724-6238
Cell:    (603) 568-6965

Funding Opportunity – 2013 Municipal Planning Grants!!

Dear Municipal Officials,

Many of you continue to recover from the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene and from the prolonged economic recession while adapting to on-going changes facing your community.  More than ever, we see the need for effective and participatory land use planning in Vermont, so it is with great pleasure that we announce the availability of Municipal Planning Grants (MPGs) once again this year.

Approximately $400,000 will be offered in grants this year to help Vermont municipalities address their land use challenges.  Applications need to be submitted online by September 28, 2012.  Please see FY13 MPG Program Description for details.  Grant priorities for this round include:

  1. Bylaw updates intended to correct clear conflicts with the municipal plan, and to address smart growth principles.
  2. Infrastructure planning in support of compact centers and smart growth (including detailed master plans for villages/downtowns).
  3. Updating or amending a municipal plan to address inconsistencies with statewide planning goals or the regional plan.
  4. Planning and implementation for achieving greater flood resiliency including integrating river corridor planning with hazard mitigation plans, fluvial erosion hazard mapping and bylaws, etc.

The online application system is now ready for use, but we strongly recommend that you first develop your project off-line.  The Department’s new website provides step-by-step instructions for getting started with your MPG application.

Wendy Tudor, our MPG administrator, will be happy to assist you. Please feel free to contact her at: wendy.tudor@state.vt.us or 802-828-5249.

We appreciate your hard work in making Vermont communities stronger and more resilient and look forward to assisting you through the Municipal Planning Grants and our other programs.

Sincerely,

Noelle Mackay, Commissioner
Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development (DEHCD)
Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD)

Enhanced Consultations for Town Planning

Enhanced Consultation: CVRPC is currently engaged in an enhanced consultation process that involves planning commissioners, select board members, town staff, and CVRPC staff. This process includes a review of municipal plans in which, per Agency requirements, we must use greater scrutiny with regard to consistency with State planning goals and conformance with the requirements of a municipal plan. Staff will provide towns with recommendations on how their plan is or is not consistent with State planning goals and how it can “make substantial progress” toward meeting those goals. If your community is in the process of revising its town plan or is planning to do so in the near future, now is the time to have us conduct an enhanced consultation. Moretown, Berlin, Fayston, Waitsfield, and Warren completed the enhanced consultation process in May. Staff is currently working with Cabot, Plainfield and Washington. Staff has provided significant assistance to towns regarding the newly required economic development element and the energy element of a municipal plan. For more information, please contact Jen Mojo at Mojo@cvregion.com or Jackie Cassino at Cassino@cvregion.com

NJIT Roadmap to Mill Redevelopment Seminar

The NJIT TAB team is a USEPA funded technical assistance program intended to provide free independent resources to communities and nonprofits pursuing the cleanup and redevelopment of brownfields sites in New England and the Middle Atlantic states.

Under our USEPA grant, the NJIT TAB team is hosting three free seminars in New England geared to the public sector and non-profit organizations interested in cleaning up and redeveloping former mill sites.  Close to Central Vermont, there is one seminar at the Belknap Mill in Laconia, NH on Thursday, June 26. You can register for the free seminar at: www.njittabmillseminar.com

The seminar is free of charge and runs from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Lunch will be served.

See the formal invitation here.

Technology to Connect Vermont

A great 40 minute panel presentation to watch online regarding broadband technologies in Vermont!

Description

Technology is so important to economic and educational vitality no matter where you live. Charlie Baker, executive director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, hosts panelists Paul Costello, executive director for the Vermont Council on Rural Development; Tara Lidstone, executive director of Vermont Interactive Technologies; and, Deb Shannon, director of outreach, for Broadband V-T DOT ORG talking about their organization, and sharing some stories about how Vermonters are using technology now. Watch it online here: http://www.cctv.org/watch-tv/programs/technology-connect-vermonters