‘Dorset Tomorrow’ to Be Launched on July 24
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) will launch the Climate Economy Model Communities Program in Dorset on Wednesday, July 24. The program, named Dorset Tomorrow by a local planning team, will begin with a series of forums and a free community dinner at the Dorset School for residents to identify and advance priorities that will improve economic opportunity and affordability, and strengthen the community in the face of climate change. The community will gather again in the following months to choose from a list of possible action ideas brainstormed by local residents, and then will form task forces to implement the chosen initiatives.
“This program capitalizes on the creativity and neighborliness of participating citizens as they come together to make their community more vibrant, affordable and sustainable,” noted VCRD’s Model Communities program director, Jon Copans. “As a place that attracts visitors from far and wide, Dorset is well-positioned to serve as a model of rural vitality for other towns in Vermont and across the country.”
An application team was led by longtime energy committee members Jim Salsgiver and Ellen Maloney, who came together with support from the Selectboard to successfully apply during a competitive process. Salsgiver is a member of Dorset’s Selectboard. “Our selection to participate in this program provides a great opportunity to come together as we consider the future of our town,” he noted. “I’m looking forward to hearing the ideas of fellow citizens and to connecting with key partners who will help turn those ideas into reality.”
“Dorset has so much going for it, from our passionate residents, rich natural resources, and picturesque landscape” added Maloney. “This process will help us consider how we build on these assets to make this place even better to live and to visit.”
Joining community members at the kick-off and dinner will be an invited Visiting Team of agriculture, energy, transportation, business, recreation, and economic and community development leaders from around Vermont who will come to listen and learn about what is happening in Dorset and to provide some reflection about what they have heard.
The event takes place entirely at the Dorset School off Morse Hill Road. The kick-off schedule is as follows: ‘Working and Natural Lands: Agriculture, forestry and Recreation’ and ‘Energy Generation and Efficiency’ forums will be held from 5 to 6:15 p.m. A free community meal will be held from 6:15 to 7:15., with the main dish and drinks provided; those who are able are asked to bring a potluck salad or dessert to share. The evening will wrap up with ‘Dorset Tomorrow’ and ‘Improving Local Transportation Options’ from 7:15 to 8: 30 p.m.
For more information, visit vtrural.org/model-communities/communities/dorset or contact VCRD at 802-225-6393.