It’s winter in Vermont, and that means it’s road salting season. On January 14th, ~15 Ridge to River Taskforce member gathered on Zoom to follow up on conversations initiated through past Taskforce and Road Roundtable meetings and learn more about the topic of road salt. Kris Stepenuck, Extension Assistant Professor at UVM, shared a brief presentation that summarized the environmental, economic, and social challenges and the many perspectives associated with using salt to keep our roads, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks safe during winter months. She also described some best management practices that can be used to minimize the use of salt. The group discussed the challenges local road crews and budget decision makers face and the pros and cons of a few of the possible best management practices. Watch the recording here, and download Kris' slides here.
Friends of the Mad River recently sponsored a two-part workshop, “A Happy and Healthy Valley,” to encourage cooperation, enhance communication and integrate community actions toward achieving long-term goals for the Mad River Valley. Working with Regenesis Group, between 50 and 75 people participated online. Thanks to everyone who dug in together!
To follow up, Friends of the Mad River offers a deeper dive with roughly eight two-hour workshops facilitated by Regenesis that will help a smaller group “build muscle” for public involvement and achievement of shared goals for The Valley. There are many different planning and program activities sponsored by our regional and local groups and agencies. How can we, the public, be more effectively and cooperatively involved in these important public processes?
As in nature, of course, everything is connected. Can our public create a sustainable balance that is good for our people and communities and for the natural systems that we live within? Can we avoid unnecessary conflict by sharing goals and priorities? Certainly, we can. Some intensive, facilitated practicing can bring us together in cooperative relationships with the foundational skills to do so for the long term.
The workshops are expected to start in the first quarter of 2021 with a frequency shaped by the group. There’s no cost to participants because we would like to attract a wide diversity of people interested in major issues of concern in The Valley, from the economy and the environment to housing, agriculture, health care and recreation.
If you are interested in participating in the eight-session program with Regenesis learn, you can watch recordings of the first two meetings online at https://www.friendsofthemadriver.org/happyandhealthyvalley.html. When signing up to participate share the issues and challenges that most motivate you. We hope to accommodate everyone who expresses interest, but we also want to ensure a diversity of viewpoints and areas of concern.
We need to hear from you by December 21.
Thanks for caring about The Valley’s present and future, and we look forward to hearing from you.
Ned Farquhar, board president
Friends of the Mad River
Originally Published in the Valley Reporter (December 10th, 2020)
Facilitated by Regenesis Group
Sponsored by Friends of the Mad River
The Mad River Valley community faces challenges and an uncertain future. We have an opportunity to try a new way to imagine and create our community’s sustainable future so that it is more sustainable, resilient, and just.
Friends of the Mad River has worked for 30 years to support healthy land, clean water, and a vibrant community. We are excited to focus on the whole community and bring Bill Reed and Joel Glanzberg of Regenesis Group to facilitate an interactive, innovative 2-part workshop that explores the role regenerative thinking can play in envisioning and building the future of the Mad River Valley.
Regenesis Group has worked for over two decades to bring together leaders in the worlds of business planning and organizational development and the fields of permaculture and ecological design. The result is a unique approach to community planning that works to develop a common language, shared understanding, and mutual commitment to who we are in this place and what we can become together. The philosophy is grounded in the idea that human activity can be a source of health and regeneration, rather than destruction and degradation.
Bring your curiosity, your experience, and your commitment to build a thriving community here at home. Share the stories that speak to you about this place and help shape a future for all to enjoy and love. The workshop will take place over two Zoom meetings and will be a conversation that explores the vital roles we have as a part of an ecologically healthy and thriving Mad River Valley community. Your voice is important.
Let’s work together and try a new approach to land use, community development, and the built environment that recognizes our place in the systems we depend on.
We can’t chart the course to a better future without you – get involved.