Vital Communities Events

To view all Vital Communities events in calendar format, please click here.

Upcoming events are listed below, in date order. Recent events follow at the bottom.

Local Investment 101: How to Reboot the Region’s Economy After COVID-19
March 4, 11, 18, 25, 5:30-7:30 pm
$100 fee for the four-part series; scholarships available; access online

A four-session virtual workshop designed to help grassroots investors and community groups develop practical, local investment strategies, to fuel innovation and resilience in the community.

Presenter: Michael Shuman, community economist and author of Put Your Money Where Your Life Is

“Local Investment 101” aims to help participants answer three essential questions:

  • How can I rebuild my community and the local economy after the ravages of COVID-19?
  • How can I make my community more resilient to better prepare for future global crises?
  • How can I move my money into the businesses, projects, places, and people I know and love?

More details here.

Register Here

Investing for Home Creation
Thursday, April 8, 5:30 pm
Free; access online; register in advance

Your savings can help create more lower-cost homes to help alleviate the Upper Valley’s housing shortage. Learn how even small amounts can bring financial, social, and environmental rewards for you and your community.

Register Here

Past Events

Back to Basics: Simple Ways To Improve Your Marketing Impact
Monday, March 15, 9-10:30 am
Free; access online

Join Nancy Clark of Drive Brand Studio, N. Conway, NH, for some straightfoward and achievable ways for NH businesses and farms to improve their marketing. Workshop attendees also can apply to receive partially subsidized 10 hours of professional consultation from Drive Brand Studio to will improve their digital presence and increase customer engagement and sales through website development, email marketing, campaign design, and more.

Topics will include:

● Defining your brand and your positioning.
● Setting goals.
● Assessing and building on your strengths.
● Target markets.
● Tactics–how to select the right ones for your business.
● Maximizing the impact of your website.
● Social media: creating a voice and a strategy, including best practices.
● Budgeting time and marketing dollars.

More details here.

Register Here

Upper Valley Climate Partners Summit
Thurs., Feb. 25, 3–4:30 pm
Free; access online

Find out the range of ways climate change impacts our region, who is doing what, and how individuals can get involved!

Hosted by the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup (UVAW), the summit starts with an update on the latest climate science followed by a panel of UVAW partners sharing how climate adaptation weaves through many areas of work. Speakers are:

  • Michael Caduto, Director – Sustainable Woodstock
  • Matt Cahillane, Program Manager – NH Department of Public Health Services
  • Kevin Geiger, AICP – Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission
  • Kate McCarthy, AICP, Sustainable Communities Program Director – Vermont Natural Resources Council
  • Peg Merrens, Vice President, Conservation – Upper Valley Land Trust
  • Erich Osterberg, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences – Dartmouth College
  • Ron Rhodes, Director of Restoration Programs – Connecticut River Conservancy
  • Jack Spicer, Clerk, Climate Advisory Committee for the Town of Hartford
  • Graham Turk, Innovation Strategist – Green Mountain Power
Access Event Recording and Resources

Local Investment: An Introduction
Tues., Feb. 23, 5:30–7 pm
Free; access online

What is local investing? What can it do for a community? Why is it important? Who can do it, and how? Join us for a panel discussion with local and regional entities that are mobilizing local capital for local businesses, projects, and people.

Panel participants:

  • The White River Investment Club – Peter Reed and Charlie Page
  • New Hampshire Community Loan Fund – John Hamilton
  • Vermont Community Loan Fund – Will Belongia
  • The Local Crowd – Jen Risley
  • Community Impact Investment Group– Norwich Solar Technologies, Dr. Norman Levy

More details here. Register here.

Watch Recording Here

From the State House to the Farm House
Wed., Dec. 16, 10 am-noon

Farmers and legislators are invited to this third annual event, hosted by farms across Vermont and focusing on citizen advocacy at the intersection of the working lands, community members, and policymakers. This virtual event is about building relationships among farmers/farmworkers and the (recently!) elected legislators who represent them, through dialogue about how policy can support the transition to a resilient and equitable agriculture that benefits all of our people, communities, and landscapes. In the midst of a year where so much has changed on farms and within our greater food web, and so many structural inequities have been exacerbated, there is much to discuss.  We look forward to this conversation.

The event will include regional breakouts with dialogue between farmers/farmworkers and legislators. Luna Bleu Farm will “host” the Windsor County session and Orange County will be “hosted” by Cedar Circle Farm & Education Center.

More details here.

Local Food and the Pandemic: What’s Been Going On?
ues., Dec. 8, 6:30-7:45 pm

Food and farmers have been center stage in 2020, from store and school closures, to a run on local meat and veggies, to milk with nowhere to go. How did our food supply and our farms make it through? What will the future hold? Join Vital Communities and four local farmers to hear details and get answers to all your questions about what our farmers have been facing and how they have contributed to our communities during this unprecedented year. We will hear from:

  • Amy Richardson of Richardson Farm in Hartland, a multi-generational dairy farm which also produces maple products
  • Jenny Sprague of Edgewater Farm in Plainfield, a family farm selling fruits, vegetables, and nursery plants at their farm stand, pick your own, CSA, and stores.
  • Lisa Davis of Sweet Doe Dairy in Chelsea, producing goat milk gelato for sale at farmers’ markets and stores
  • Shona Sanford-Long of Luna Bleu Farm in Royalton, producing pasture-raised meats

View a video of the event here.

Buy Local to Feed Local: Upper Valley Everyone Eats
Tues., Nov. 24, 1-2 pm

Join us at a virtual panel and discussion about Upper Valley Everyone Eats, our local hub of the statewide coronavirus relief program Vermont Everyone Eats. We’ll hear directly from participating restaurants, meal sites, farms, and project coordinators, as they share their experiences with Upper Valley Everyone Eats, and discuss its impacts. We’ll save plenty of time for questions, too.

Vermont Everyone Eats pays hard-hit Vermont restaurants $10/meal to prepare free, nutritious meals for Vermonters in need. Upper Valley Everyone Eats will provide ~35,000 meals to patrons across 17 meal sites between September 8 and December 18. We also may continue to the end of December, and we may be able to freeze meals for later distribution.

Vermont Everyone Eats is funded by the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund and made possible through a grant provided by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development to Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA).

Our Vermont legislators were a part of making this program possible, so thank you! We particularly invite you to attend, to gain a clearer picture of UVEE’s impacts. However, we welcome all officials to attend to hear about the innovative program. We are also inviting members of the Upper Valley Hunger Council, and Upper Valley Strong, and interested members of the public.

View the video of the gathering here.

Home Availablity in Our Region
Wed., Nov. 18, & Tues., Dec. 1, 9-10 am

Upper Valley legislators are invited to attend either of these discussions about opportunities to meet our collective housing needs, with members of Vital Communities’ Corporate Council. The Council is a volunteer group of this region’s largest and best-known institutions, businesses, and nonprofits that collectively employ more than 16,000 people and reach well over half the households in the region. Council members are deeply committed to working across boundaries to meet shared challenges.

Each session includes:

  • Update on housing-related legislative actions and opportunities in Montpelier and Concord (brief presentations);
  • Update on Upper Valley actions and opportunities, including new homes data from 2019 and in pipeline (brief presentations);
  • Identification of collaboration opportunities (breakout group discussion followed by report to the large group).