Poultney 2020 Revitalization Effort
Poultney 2020 is a deep partnership between members of the College and the larger community of Poultney. It was initiated by students due to their strong desire to become more involved with the local community and create new ways to build social connections in town.
In the spring of 2013, the effort evolved into an official program, representing a partnership between the John F. and Dianne S. Brennan Professor of Business and Economics Matt Mayberry, the Poultney Revitalization Committee, and the Sustainability Office’s Community Outreach Program. The program launched with a conference, which took place at both college and town venues. By the end of the day, over 150 attendees voted on four priorities to focus efforts on to build the vibrancy of the community. The priorities included the creation of a community art center, enhancement of our local food system, a main street park, and promotion of Poultney's outdoor recreational resources. Three of the groups have continued work based on members’ interests and are making significant progress in achieving their goals. Students have played a critical role in each group as they bring in their creativity, youthfulness, and great talents to the table. Groups consist of Poultney community members, faculty, staff, students, and even people from out of Town who have a vested interest in seeing Poultney flourish as a hub of arts, culture, and recreation for the region. In the spring of 2014, the program celebrated its one-year anniversary with an all-day green up effort throughout the Town, followed by a festival of free food and music at Li High School on Main Street. Each of the group’s shared progress on their focus areas and hosted activities to engage the community, including Shakespeare performances, poetry readings, slate drawing for kids, and recreational runs on the trail system.
Poultney-Mettowee Natural Resource
Created in 1942 as the first district in Vermont, PMNRCD continues to work with agricultural producers as well as landowners, communities, youth and the public on issues related to water quality and natural resource conservation. The PMNRCD covers the watershed area for the Poultney and Mettowee Rivers in Vermont. Marli Rupe, District Manager for the Poultney-Mettowee Conservation District, works closely with the college. She houses interns from the environmental science and natural resource management programs and partners with the Green Mountain College Watershed Alliance. The PMNRCD also hosts the annual Eco Exposition at Green Mountain College.
In the fall of 2008, the town of Poultney partnered with Green Mountain College to form the Poultney DREAM Program. In its first semester, the Poultney DREAM Program created 22 mentoring matches. Programming continued through the summer of 2009 and the 2009-10 academic year. Special events included caroling to three senior centers through collaboration with Southern Vermont Council on Aging, a clinic on making bird feeders at the Poultney Earth Fair and a Thanksgiving dinner for mentees on the GMC campus.
The Green Mountain College Watershed Alliance (GMC WA) is offered through partnerships between Green Mountain College, University of Vermont Extension, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. The primary objective is to increase awareness in Vermont youth of water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. GMC WA provides curriculum, equipment, and instructors to schools and youth groups, as well as support to teachers integrating watershed education into their curriculum. GMC students studying environmental education, environmental studies and natural resources may apply and serve as Watershed Alliance Educators. They are trained to teach students in grades 5 - 12 about watersheds and how to protect water quality in their communities while making use of scientific inquiry skills to collect data.
Slate Valley Community Connection
The Slate Valley Community Connection is a small consortium of representatives from Green Mountain College, Castleton State College, Poultney Rotary and Fair Haven Rotary. The mission of the Slate Valley Community Connection is to foster volunteer service and community spirit throughout the Slate Valley. The Slate Valley Community Connection held the first Slate Valley Community Day on April 17, 2010. A total of 74 volunteers from Green Mountain College, Castleton State College and the local communities (plus five AmeriCorps members) braved a cold, rainy afternoon to serve a total of 222 hours.