Intro GIS/GPS, Intro ArcGIS trainings offered in July and August

Vermont Center for Geographic Information is partnering with VT Technical College to offer up to 5 days of GIS training!  Trainings are offered at both the Williston and Randolph campuses so pick the dates, locations, and topics that meet your needs.

*Intro to GIS/GPS ($100) :*

Participants will gain an understanding of fundamental geospatial concepts which they will then apply in learning how to use online mapping applications, consumer grade GPS receivers, and QGIS open source GIS software. QGIS will be used to explore and display geospatial data, to create new geospatial data, to perform simple geospatial analysis, and to compose basic maps appropriate for printing or publishing. Participants will develop a mapping question or project that they will explore and build on throughout the course.

July 22-23 (Williston):
August 5-6 (Randolph):

*Intro to ArcGIS ($300):*

Participants will learn how to use ESRI’s ArcGIS 10.0 software to explore and display geospatial data, to create new geospatial data and include it in their map projects, to perform geospatial analyses, to find and acquire free and public GIS data, and to compose basic maps appropriate for printing or publishing. Participants will develop a mapping question or project that they will explore and build on throughout the course.

July 24-26 (Williston):
August 7-9 (Randolph):

For more information, contact:

Leslie Pelch, Outreach Coordinator
VT Center for Geographic Information
58 S. Main St, Suite 2
Waterbury, VT 05676

Free Online Floodplain Management Trainings offered in June and July

These trainings will be hosted by STARR, one of the FEMA contractors that has been working on FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) updates throughout New England and the rest of the United States.  The trainings that will be offered cover several different topics that may be relevant and helpful to anyone who has some involvement with or interest in floodplain management.  Many of the courses are eligible for CEC credits for Certified Floodplain Managers. 

To register for a course or to check on upcoming courses, navigate to and click the “Upcoming” tab. Below are the available courses offered in June and July.

June 6, 1:00 pm Eastern – Elevation Certificates
Training on the proper way to complete FEMA Form 81-31 and best practices for using the Elevation Certificate in the floodplain development review process.  2 CECs for ASFPM Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs) that register and attend individually and pass the learning objectives quiz at the end of the session.
June 19, 1:00 pm Eastern – Elevation Certificates for A Zones
Training on the proper way to complete FEMA Form 81-31 and best practices for using the Elevation Certificate in the floodplain development review process. Special consideration to using the form in A Zone without a BFE. 2 CECs for ASFPM Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs) that register and attend individually and pass the learning objectives quiz at the end of the session.
June 20, 12:00 pm Eastern – Determining a Base Flood Elevation\
Training on methods for determining base flood elevation in AE and A Zones using the FIRM/FIS and other resources, including tips for developing BFEs for A Zones.  1 CEC for CFMs.
July 3, 12:00 pm Eastern – NFIP Basics
This one-hour session will cover the history of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), basic terminology, governing authority, and provide an overview of the community’s role in floodplain management through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The target audience are state and local officials who need a general understanding of the ins and outs of the program and guidance on where to go for more training and answers. Continuing Education and Professional Development Credits are available.
July 25, 1:00 pm Eastern – Elevation Certificates
Training on the proper way to complete FEMA Form 81-31 and best practices for using the Elevation Certificate in the floodplain development review process.  2 CECs for ASFPM Certified Floodplain Managers (CFMs) that register and attend individually and pass the learning objectives quiz at the end of the session.
If you have questions about the webinars or course information, please contact the New England region STARR contact, Alex Sirotek:
Alex Sirotek, CFM
FEMA Region 1 Regional Service Center
99 High Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110

VTrans now accepting applications for the 2013 Bicycle & Pedestrian Program

VTrans is now soliciting applications for projects this year through the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program. The intent of the VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program is to improve access and safety for bicyclists and/or pedestrians through the planning, design and construction of infrastructure projects.
The Bike/Ped Program provides funding for either the scoping or design/construction of the following facilities:
• Bicycle lanes (on-road facility delineated with pavement markings and signs)
• Shoulders (generally a minimum of 3-feet wide to accommodate bicyclists)
• Sidewalks
• Pedestrian crossing improvements, including medianpedestrian refuge islands
• Pedestrian signals
• Improvements that address requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act
• Shared-use paths (designed for use by both bicyclists and pedestrians)
• Pedestrian-scale lighting (not likely to rank highly as a standalone project, but eligible as a project component)
Projects may be combinations of any of the above facilities.  Projects with the following emphasis will be considered favorably:
• Facilities that address a documented safety concern such as a high crash location
• Connectivity to other bicycle and pedestrian facilities
• Proximity and access to and within village centers and downtown areas
• Facilities that serve multiple uses e.g. access to businesses, residences and schools
For a copy of the VTrans 2013 Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Guide and Application, visit the VTrans website:, and look under the Spotlight heading or go to
You may also obtain a copy or ask any questions about the program or application process by contacting Jon Kaplan by phone at (802)828-0059 or email A Word file of the application form is available by contacting Jon Kaplan as well.
VTrans is conducting a mandatory training for potential applicants on two different dates: Monday June 3rd (1-3 PM) and Wednesday, June 5th (6-8 PM). The training will review the application process and program requirements.  Attendance at these workshops is mandatory for any entity planning to apply this year.
Final and complete applications are due to Jon Kaplan, postmarked or in-hand by July 26, 2013.

Ecosystem Restoration Grants – VT DEC

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VTDEC) is pleased to announce the state fiscal year (SFY) 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) for grants under the Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP). These grants are supported by capital construction funds contained in the fiscal year 2014 state budget. The ERP’s goal in awarding these grants is to reduce surface water pollution from runoff containing nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) and sediment. The VTDEC anticipates this round to be the only opportunity to apply for SFY2014 ERP grants. However, VTDEC does anticipate releasing the SFY2015 RFP in January, 2014. All future funding cycles will keep to a January RFP release date.

While budgets for proposals are expected to vary widely, typical project budgets range between $10,000 and $75,000. Funding for projects is contingent upon availability of Ecosystem Restoration and Protection Capital Construction funds.
The attached SFY2014 RFP along with model procurement procedures and performance measure tables are available online at Please note that grantee procurement policy and certificate of insurance are not required unless a project is selected for funding. Guidance on stormwater master planning will be available online May 17th.
The deadline for pre-proposal submittal is 4:30 on June 13, 2013.

Heather Bullett
ERP Grants Management Specialist

*Please note new mailing address and phone number below.
VT DEC Watershed Management Division
1 National Life Drive, Main 2
Montpelier VT 05620-3522

Check out Vermontivate!


Vermontivate! is an award-winning community sustainability game that brings fun, playfulness, and collaborative competition to the serious work of tackling the global climate crisis.

Anyone can play Vermontivate! The 6-week game is designed to entertain and edify a wide range of ages and experience levels – from Total Newbies to Green Living Pros.

Players take on a wide range of real-world sustainability challenges, earn points for their towns, and at the end of the game, the winning town gets a community ice cream party from Ben&Jerry’s and their town’s name on the giant Scoop Trophy. Everyone gets the satisfaction of a Big Job Done With Awesomeness!

Operators of Small Water Systems – Training

I would like to let you know that the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) will be hosting a Leadership Training Workshop for small water systems in EPA Region 1 on June 19 & 20, 2013. The workshop will be held at the EPA New England Regional Laboratory (NERL) in North Chelmsford, MA. The attached flyer gives more information about the place, dates, registration, and the topics that will be covered.

The EFCN is a university-based organization creating innovative solutions to the difficult how-to-pay issues of environmental protection and improvement. The Smart Management for Small Water Systems project is funded under a cooperative agreement with the US EPA, and we are offering this training in each EPA Region as part of that project.

Here are some details:

Audience: Local government staff or elected officials who work closely with their local small water systems, and small water system managers and supervisors. For the purposes of this project small systems are defined as those serving populations 10,000 or under.

While operators are welcome, this training is best suited to individuals who make decisions for the water system.

Cost: The workshop is FREE but all food and travel costs are the responsibility of participants.

The attached flyer describes how to register on-line or by mail. Interested persons can also call Martha Sheils at the New England Environmental Finance Center at 207-228-8164 to register by telephone.

Our website has more information about the available programs and services we offer under the Smart Management for Small Water Systems project.

Please let me know if you are willing to spread the word about our Leadership Workshop for Small Water Systems, and please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions. Thank you!


Martha Sheils
Program Manager
New England Environmental Finance Center
Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine
304I Wishcamper Center, PO Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300
office: 207-228-8164
cell: 207-841-2246

Registration Open for the State Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference

The Department of Housing and Community Development Preservation Trust of Vermont present  the:

 2013 Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference

Friday, June 7th 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Barre Opera House in Downtown Barre, Vermont

Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 22, 2013

Conference Check in & on-site registration from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. – Barre Opera House Lobby 

Rock of Ages Tour – Bus will load at 9:00 a.m. in the back parking lot behind the Barre Opera House
Everyone wants to see the quarry! Rock of Ages Smith Quarry is nearly 600 feet deep! Watch the quarriers as they cut enormous blocks of granite and the derricks (cranes) lifting up to 250 tons!  Bus will take 45 registrants – sign up at conference registration.
Education Workshops

 9:00-10:15 AM

  • Brownfield Area-wide Planning Supports Community Revitalization
  • Downtown Master Plan
  • Design Downtown for Women – Men Will Follow

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Conference Welcome & Keynote Address
Vermont Downtown & Village Awards Presented!

Keynote Speaker – David Feehan
President, Civitas Consultants LLC; former CEO & President of the International Downtown Association

The Vermont Downtown Program is celebrating 15 years of success in downtowns throughout the state. So after this milestone, what’s next for the future?

Over the last decades, downtowns have seen an unparalleled resurgence. Millennials and empty nesters alike are moving in, restaurants and clubs are booming, and nationwide cities are even resurrecting street cars. And yet, there are troubling signs which, unheeded, could send many downtowns in a downward spiral. Dave Feehan explores the lessons learned as downtowns return to become the center of community life — and the challenges that may be just around the corner.

David Feehan is a world-recognized expert in downtown revitalization. For more than 40 years he has provided leadership and management expertise to successful downtown and business district organizations: He founded and directed a technical assistance center for community development organizations and a public policy organization, authored numerous books and articles, and has taught at two universities.

Lunch – 12:30 – 1:45 – Lunch around Downtown Barre

1:45 – 3:00 PM   First Afternoon Session

  • More than Just Buildings: Digging Deeper As You Survey
  • Plan Today for Tomorrow’s Flood – Achieving Flood Resilient Downtowns & Villages
  • Fundraising – Shaking the Money Tree – Part 1 (Double Session)
  • Downtown Vermont: Why Main Street Still Matters

3:15 – 4:30 PM   2nd Afternoon Session

  • Lightning Talks
    Social Media, Downtown Program Changes, Historic Tax Credits, the Care and Feeding of Media Relations…
  • Elm Street – The Five Points to Create Successful Neighborhood Revitalization
  • Fundraising – Shaking the Money Tree – Part ll 
  • Walking Tour of Downtown Barre – The Success Behind “We Dig Barre”

4:30-6:00 PM – Reception at Vermont History Museum
Please join us for a very special closing reception and a chance to thank the Barre Partnership, the Vermont History Museum and Barre residents for welcoming us to their community.

Conservation Commission funding available

Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions
2013 Grant Information
Grant range: $250 – $600
Grant application due: June 15, 2013
Grant award announcement: July 1, 2013
Mailing address: 89 Main Street, Suite 4, Montpelier VT 05602
Email address: Karen Freeman,
• To assist local committees/groups to become Conservation Commissions

• To increase the functioning capacity of existing Conservation Commissions, and

• To provide seed money and/or matching funds for specific projects in the broad categories of land conservation, education and outreach, stewardship and management, and planning.
Eligibility: Conservation Commissions or local committees/groups that are working towards becoming a Conservation Commission and partner of the Association of the Vermont Conservation Commission. Group must be municipality or IRS certified 501(c)(3) public charity, or fiscal sponsorship by a municipality or IRS certified 501(c)(3) public charity is required. Groups must have completed and closed out prior grants received from AVCC. Applicants must be members of AVCC.
Grants cannot be used for: general funds, dues or subscriptions.
Timetable: Applications must post marked on or before June 15, 2013. Grantees will be notified of funding approval by July 1, 2013. Projects must be completed and final report submitted by May 1, 2014. Extensions may be considered.
Evaluation Criteria:
• Demonstrated need
• Evidence of matching funds and/or in-kind services
• Closely aligns with grant goals
• Project readiness
• Local support and volunteer involvement
• Recipient of funds from previous AVCC tiny grant cycle
Payment Process: The funds awarded under this grant will be available once awards are announced. Please allow one month from award announcement to receive check, which will be issued by the Vermont Community Foundation.
Grant Closeout: Grantees will be required to present evidence of grant completion by submitting photographs, paragraph of outcomes and/or final product.
Acknowledgement: If awarded, grantees should credit AVCC in any publicity.

Help protect Vermont’s environment and join VNRC!
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Kate McCarthy, AICP
Sustainable Communities Program Director
Vermont Natural Resources Council
9 Bailey Avenue
Montpelier, VT 05602
Phone: (802) 223-2328 ext. 114
Fax: (802) 223-0287

We’re on Facebook!

Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission now has a Facebook page!

Our new Facebook page allows us to send quick updates to your newsfeed regarding everything from events, workshops, grant alerts and legislative updates to scenic photos and interesting tidbits about special places in Central Vermont.  We can also respond to comments from interested citizens and stay tuned-in to happenings in our region’s 23 towns by connecting to their Facebook pages.   Our Facebook page also helps us to stay up-to-date with news and events from our partners in land use, transportation, community & economic development, working lands, housing, energy, brownfields and hazard mitigation planning.

“Like” us on Facebook and share with your friends to help us build an engaged online community around news, issues and success stories tied to planning and sustainable place-building in Central Vermont!