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What's New at VCRD

Lyndon Community to Set Priorities for Action on March 14
All members of the Lyndon Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Lyndon. The meeting, to be held on Tuesday, March 14th 6:30-9pm at the Lyndon Town... read more
Climate Economy Model Communities Program Launched: Vermont Communities are Invited to Apply
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) joined with Governor Phil Scott and partners including Green Mountain Power, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Electric Coop and Washington Electric Coop today to launch the Climate Economy Model Communities... read more
Lyndon Community Visit Day ~ February 16, 2017
On Thursday, February 16th, 2017, all members of the Lyndon community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 25 federal, state, business, nonprofit, and... read more
Brighton Community Visit Report - 2017
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Brighton. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Advance a Brighton Recreation Program; Revitalize and Beautify the Downtown; Make... read more
Jon Copans named director of VCRD's Climate Economy Model Communities Program
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) announced today that Jon Copans has joined the organization as Director of its Climate Economy Model Communities Program. The Program, starting in 2017, will work with Green Mountain Power and other... read more
Brighton Community Action Plan to Be Developed on December 8th
The Vermont Council on Rural Development will hold its last major session in the Brighton Community Visit process on December 8th; all residents of the town are welcome to help line up action plans to move priority projects forward. On November 4th... read more
Brighton Community to Set Priorities for Action on November 3rd
All members of the Brighton Community are invited to participate in the second phase of the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s (VCRD) Community Visit to the Town of Brighton. The meeting, to be held on Thursday, November 3rd 5:30-9pm at the... read more
Vernon Community Visit Report - 2016
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Vernon. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas and built task forces to take action to: Develop the Riverfront and Improve Trails and Outdoor Recreation;... read more
VCRD Annual Reports
Here is a link to VCRD's 2015 annual report as well as those from the past few years: 2015 Annual Report 2014 Annual Report 2013 Annual Report 2011 Annual Report 2010 Annual Report 2009 Annual Report 2008 Annual Report 2007 Annual Report... read more
Brighton Community Visit Day Schedule ~ October 4th, 2016
On Tuesday, October 4th 2016, all members of the Brighton community are invited to participate in a series of forums in town to share their concerns and ideas. VCRD will bring a team of close to 20 federal, state, business, nonprofit, and... read more
Video ~ Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum: July 19, 2016
The Vermont Council on Rural Development, with sponsoring partners Vermont PBS and Northfield Savings Bank, presented the Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Forum: Vermont's Economic Future in a Time of Climate Change" Tuesday July 19th at the... read more
Progress for Vermont: Report and Action Plan of the VT Climate Change Economy Council
Progress for Vermont is the final report and action plan of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC) which was founded in February 2015 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. This broad-based nonpartisan group spent a year... read more
Join the Climate Economy Partnership
It is time for action to advance Vermont's climate economy. The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) invites both individuals and organizations/businesses to join the Vermont Climate Economy Partnership in a united effort to advance Vermont... read more
2016 Community Quotes and Policy Work
VCRD serves as a convener, catalyst, and leader for Vermont to build and advance policies to support the working landscape, economic innovation, and strong communities! This snapshot shares quotes about our work with communities and our recent... read more
Hardwick Community Visit Report - 2016
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Hardwick. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Open a Recreational Center and Expand Recreation Opportunities; Expand Jeudevine Library... read more
2016 Climate Economy Summit Report
Over 420 participants came together on February 22, 2016 for VCRD’s 2nd Climate Economy Summit: IDEAS to ACTION. Participants reviewed PROGRESS FOR VERMONT, the report and action plan of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council and worked to... read more
Craftsbury Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Craftsbury. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Advance Craftsbury Land Protection; Improve Cell Phone and Broadband Access; and Build... read more
Video ~ PEG-TV show about the Climate Economy Forum in Rutland, August 26th
A public forum in Rutland on August 26th 2015 (7-9pm, Paramount Theatre) will discuss "What’s Next For VT’s Climate Change Economy?" Host Tom Donahue interviews Paul Costello (Executive Director, Vermont Council on Rural Development) and Joe Fusco (... read more
Final Report of the NEK Collaborative "Ideas for the Future of the NEK" Forum Series
The “Ideas for the Future of the NEK” forum series was produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development for the NEK Collaborative to gather ideas and set directions for work to advance the prosperity and vitality of NEK communities. This Final... read more
St. Johnsbury Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in St. Johnsbury. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 5 priority areas for future action: Improve Community Communications and Promote a Positive Town Image; Develop a St.... read more
Video ~ Course allows students to explore Vt. food systems
As broadcasted by WCAX-TV, June 10, 2015: http://www.wcax.com/story/29288672/course-allows-students-to-explore-vt-food-systems A group of college and grad students is taking a first-of-its-kind course this month a tour of Vermont’s local food... read more
The NEK Collaborative and VCRD invite NEK Residents to set Directions for the Future of the Region
Northeast Kingdom leaders, organizations and citizens are invited to share their ideas for action that can boost opportunities, support the economy and advance the quality of life in the Kingdom. Three “Ideas for the Future Sessions” will be held... read more
Swanton Community Visit Report - 2015
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Swanton. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 5 priority areas for future action: Expand Outdoor Recreation Opportunities, River Access, Bike-ability and Bike Tourism;... read more
Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change - 2015
The Summit on Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change brought together over 400 innovative business, non‐profit, and community leaders, elected officials, public policy advocates, students, and interested residents to begin to... read more
VCRD Awards its Annual Vermont Community Leadership Award and a new Community Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award
MONTPELIER, VT – On Wednesday , February 18th the Vermont Council on Rural Development  presented the Vermont Community Leadership Award to the community leader who have led the renaissance of downtown St. Albans over the last few years. The award... read more
Cambridge Community Visit Report - 2014
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Cambridge. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Plan and Develop a Senior Living Center and Expand Senior Services; Advance a Cambridge... read more
Vermont Digital Economy Project: Online Report
The Vermont Digital Economy Project was created by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to address vulnerabilities of Vermont business and communities that are not fully utilizing online tools. The project offered free support that sped-up flood... read more
Vermont's Digital Stories - Final Report of VCRD's Vermont Digital Economy Project
VCRD launched the Vermont Digital Economy Project to offer free support to speed flood recovery, spur economic development and job growth, and improve community resilience to disasters. The project worked directly with Vermont towns affected by 2011... read more
New Initiative to Advance Vermont’s “Climate Economy”
Can Vermont be a national leader in incubating small businesses that answer climate change? The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) thinks so. The organization is announcing a new initiative designed to rally business, policy and community... read more
Announcing the Summit, "Vermont Connected: Envisioning the Future of Vermont’s Digital Economy"
Find the Most Up To Date Information on the Summit by Clicking Here. As the Vermont Digital Economy Project winds to a close, we are happy to announce that its end will only be the beginning of an ongoing conversation around technology, digital... read more
Wi-Fi and Broadband Spreading Through Vermont
by Alex Rose Waterbury, Vt.- Some people are attached to their phones, and connecting to Wi-Fi on your Smartphone, brings the internet to our fingertips. "Internet access is a basic need for participation in the economic life, civic life, social... read more
Vergennes Community Visit Report - 2014
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Vergennes. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Improve Transportation & Parking; Advance the Vergennes Economy & Expand the... read more
Costello Commentary: Vergennes on the Move
Vergennes — With all its assets, Vergennes epitomizes so much that Vermont communities statewide strive for: a strong village center, surrounded by a beautiful working landscape, strong, committed community members, a dynamic and balanced downtown... read more
VCRD and IBM partner for a more resilient Vermont
Final IBM disaster preparedness workshop with the Vermont FoodBank wraps up $150,000 IBM grant MONTPELIER - On Thursday, June 5th, IBM specialists will deliver a disaster preparedness workshop to Vermont FoodBank members from flood-prone... read more
Vergennes Community Visit Ends on a High Note
On Wednesday May 21, VCRD and a Community Visit Resource Team went back to Vergennes for our last session as facilitators of the Community Visit process. At this final visit, we kicked-off the Task Forces that address the three community priorities... read more
More Wi-Fi Projects Take Shape Thanks to Collaboration with the VTA
  One of the most exciting services that we are delivering through the Vermont Digital Economy Project is the installation of Wi-Fi zones and hotspots in communities throughout the state. Our goal is to positively impact 25 towns with this... read more
Guilford Community Visit Report - 2013
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Guilford. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 3 priority areas for future action: Develop a Small Business Incubation Space in Guilford; Redevelop the Grange Building; and... read more
New Consortium Will Make Vermont a Global Center of Food Systems Education
Vermont took a giant step today towards becoming a global center for food systems education. The leaders of six of Vermont’s higher education institutions were at the State House to sign a groundbreaking agreement to create a premier destination for... read more
Pride in Vermont is Alive and Well!
Last week, VCRD hosted a “State Rural Policy Innovation Roundtable” reviewing key rural development action led by states and how this work can contribute to national rural policy. We had folks from California, Wyoming, Oregon, Vermont, Illinois,... read more
Manchester Community Visit Report - 2013
We completed our 3-month Community Visit process in Manchester. Read the Report and Action Plan. Community members identified 4 priority areas for future action: Develop a Small Business Incubator; Become a Biking Center and Destination; Attract... read more
Free Certificate Programs for Digital Skills Coming to CCV Rutland, Thanks to Microsoft
Offering highly accessible digital workforce education is a key part of the Vermont Digital Economy Project.  Project partner Microsoft is delivering the cutting-edge Microsoft IT Academy Program ® (ITA) to provide free online digital workforce... read more
Free Individual Digital Advising to Help Farm & Forest Ventures Improve Operations
Photo courtesy of Earthwise Farm And Forest The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) has its roots in the 1992 Farm Bill.  The organization has also taken strong leadership in the creation of Vermont’s Working Landscape Partnership, a non-... read more
What a Wi-Fi Zone Means to One Vermont Town
Neal Fox, Bethel Business Association Chairman, speaks at Bethel Wi-Fi zone opening In a bright renovated Town Hall in Bethel Vermont, with sunlight flowing into the room from large windows lining two walls, locals gathered for an evening of... read more
Working Lands “Service Provider” and “Capital and Infrastructure” grants will be announced at June 18 Press Conference
16 Grantees will Receive Over $750,000 in Total Funding Governor Peter Shumlin, Agency of Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross, Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lawrence Miller, Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner... read more
Civility & Political Discourse in Vermont: How do we compare the the nation?
Paul Costello served on the panel of this forum about Civility was hosted in Montpelier on June 1, 2013 by the Vermont Bar Association in partnership with the ABA Division for Public Education & The Vermont Humanities Council. We've posted... read more
Waterbury Pub Owners Leverage Social Media to Grow Their Business
More than 20 years ago, Vermonters Jeffrey and Maryanne Larkin opened Arvad’s Grill & Pub in Waterbury. From the very beginning, they put high emphasis on featuring local products and serving their local community. “We strive to use local... read more