Over the past decade, the Ridge to River Coalition was developed in order to address flood resilience and stormwater management across the five towns in the Mad River watershed. By creating opportunities for collaboration and sharing, as well as identifying best practices that could be adopted from one end of our community to the other, the coalition was successful in creating programming, securing grant funding, and setting the foundation for successful collaboration between our towns.
In the past few months, the Ridge to River Coalition has reconvened, this time with a broader focus on climate and community resilience. In response to the Vermont Climate Assessment and Vermont Climate Action Plan, the group decided to expand its scope to take a more inclusive look at how our community can become more resilient in the face of climate change. With projects spanning the whole gamut of community development, from green spaces to transportation, and from energy efficiency to wastewater, our group has been having conversations around community priorities for climate action.
Our first meeting, held back in September, focused on becoming familiar with the Vermont Climate Action Plan, and brainstorming some of the ways that the towns in our watershed might be able to take action within that framework. At our most recent meeting at the end of October, our group decided to focus on three main areas of climate resilience - Smart Growth, Healthy Spaces and Beings, and Community Education and Workforce Development.
Our next meetings will be held within these Working Groups, and will take place by the end of this calendar year. Our first priority will be to define each of the Working Group titles, we will work collaboratively to create a vision for what success would look like, and then we’ll begin creating priorities for action within the Working Groups.
It has been wonderful to join forces with so many motivated, intelligent, and creative people from across the watershed. With a strong contingency of folks returning from the original Ridge to River Coalition, as well as some wonderful new members of our team joining the effort, it is very exciting to consider the potential for how our community can work together to address climate change and the many ways it will impact the Mad River watershed.
Climate and Engagement Manager
of the Mad River