This week at the WRC: 10/05 - 10/09
- October 6, 6:00 pm: Project Review Committee, WRC Conference Room
- October 8, 4:30 pm: Community Development Committee, WRC Conference Room
- October 9, 9:00 am: Municipal Shared Services Committee, WRC Conference Room
From the Director, September 2015 -Supporting the important role of Emergency Management Directors and Coordinators
Is your town doing enough to support the important role of Emergency Management Director or Coordinator (EMD)? Have you given much thought to what the EMD is responsible for and what he or she does? Often the position itself and its responsibilities are conflated with those of the town fire chief or perhaps a town manager or administrator. I would argue the EMD role is quite different and needs its own dedicated resources to minimize out of pocket expenses for these citizen volunteers.
Protecting Water Resources through Green Infrastructure: Two Upcoming Workshops
The quantity (flooding and drought) and quality of water in our region has direct impacts on all of us as municipalities, businesses, landowners, and residents. As we adapt to the impacts of climate change, it is essential that we individually and collectively seek strategies to protect life, property, and our region’s natural resources. Please join us for one of two workshops on Green Infrastructure:
♦ Wednesday, October 14th from 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm at the Brattleboro Food Co-op Community Room, 2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT (The Community Room is accessed from Canal Street.)
♦ Thursday, October 22nd from 9:30 am – noon at the Jamaica Town Hall, 3537 Route 30, Jamaica, VT
Building Flood Resiliency through Better Land Management: An Upcoming Workshop
Join us for a land management workshop on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 10am to 3pm at the Grafton Elementary School in Grafton, Vermont, to learn about best management practices (BMPs) for flood- and erosion-prone lands and the programs and resources that are available to help landowners conserve their properties. Landowners and land managers have a direct impact on flooding and the capacity of land to withstand storm events through their land management practices. Well managed lands help reduce flooding and its impacts by stabilizing soils, thereby minimizing erosion, and retaining water onsite, which reduces peak runoff and the damaging energy of floodwaters.
Guilford Apartments Wins National Award at EPA Brownfields Conference!
The Phoenix Awards Institute, Inc. presented Algiers Village Housing, a 17-unit affordable housing development in Guilford, with an award for outstanding achievement in the redevelopment of a Brownfield site. The award was presented on September 3 in Chicago as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's major national Brownfields conference on environmental revitalization and economic development.
Vt. Economic Resiliency Initiative (VERI) Brattleboro Report Released
Over the past year, the Vermont Economic Resiliency Initiative (VERI) has been working with five communities to examine flood resiliency and look at ways businesses can help prepare for, and quickly recover from, the next disaster. A major product of that work is a recently-released report for Brattleboro, outlining municipal policy and program recommendations, high-priority site-specific projects to improve channel and floodplain, infrastructure, and public safety, and next steps for the community.
Saxtons River Watershed Collaborative Receives $32,000 Grant to Address Flood Resiliency
Flooding is, by far, the most costly and devastating natural disaster that the State of Vermont has experienced in recent history and the Saxtons River is no exception. Significant flood events in the Saxtons River occurred in 1927, 1936, 1938, 1973, 1996 and 2011. Scientists project that the northeast may see an increase in the frequency and intensity of storms, which could result in an increase in flood events. These conditions require that we creatively, collaboratively, and actively explore new ways of addressing flood resiliency..
Connecticut River Bikeway Routes Map Released
Are you looking for suggestions on bike rides in the Tri-State region this summer? The recently-released map of bikeway routes along the Connecticut River Scenic Byway can help you out. The map covers parts of three states and shows bike routes from Putney, VT and Walpole, NH in the north to Easthampton and South Hadley, MA in the south.
Governor Speaks at WRC's 50 Year Celebration
On Tuesday, June 23rd the WRC celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gathering of current and past Commissioners and staff, elected officials, state agencies, and many other friends overlooking the Connecticut River Valley from the vantage point of the School for International Training in Dummerston. The warm and humid evening didn't dampen the energy among the approximately 150 people in attendance, and the threatening storms skirted north and south of the gathering.
Brattleboro Area Farmers Market Receives Grant from WRC
The Brattleboro Area Farmers Market (BAFM) received a $35,000 grant on May 18, 2015 through the Windham Regional Commission Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund. BAFM will use the funds from the WRC to remediate contamination on the former Planet Gas site, located at 70 Western Avenue in Brattleboro..
New Local Emergency Plan Appendix Developed for Animal Planning
LEPC-6, at their April meeting, hosted the newly forming Windham Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) along with Joanne Bourbeau, the Northeastern Director of the Humane Society of the United States and the Vermont DART statewide Chair. What came out of that meeting was a desire for Emergency Planner and LEPC-6 Secretary, Alyssa Sabetto, to develop a an animal planning element to be included as part of the Local Emergency Operations Plan (LEOP) that gets updated yearly by towns.
"Get to Know the WRC" Video Unveiled at 50th Anniversary Celebration
An epic cinematic debut! Get to know the Windham Regional Commission. We unveiled this 5 minute video at our 50th anniversary celebration. Please share it. Thank you to Mondo Mediaworks for their great job on this video, and to the Windham Foundation for underwriting the effort.
Bees, Bats and Habitats Forum a Success!
News articles about our bee and bat populations in the last decade repeatedly emphasize the staggering losses of these populations and the many perils that have caused them: habitat loss, disease, pesticide use impacting bee populations, white-nose syndrome decimating bat populations, and the list goes on. On Friday, June 12, over 55 members of the public, from throughout the Windham Region, attended a forum entitled "Bees, Bats, and Habitats," at the Marlboro College Graduate School in Brattleboro, VT.
Opportunity for Wood Heat Conversion in Windham County's Public Buildings
The Windham Wood Heat (WWH) Initiative has been developed to yield community benefits, business success, and high performance public buildings based on a sustainable local forest industry. This $1.6 million program-funded through of the state's settlement agreement with Entergy Vermont Yankee via the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF)-will assist municipal and school buildings convert to heating with local, sustainable wood while addressing those buildings' energy efficiency and durability needs. This two-year program also includes public education, training for local building professionals, fuel supply procurement and other elements needed to make Windham County a long-term hub of advanced wood heat technology and practice.
Upcoming Grant Opportunities
WRC Releases Forest Stewardship Report
Do you know what threats, both global and local, face our forests and our forest economy? Are you concerned that climate change and invasive species could change the composition of forests as we know them? Is Windham County really the “Timber Capital of Vermont?” The Windham Regional Commission’s recently-released report, “Landscape Based Forest Stewardship,” provides insight into topics such as these, including what strategies exist to preserve the region’s forestlands.