Conference Program

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Friday, May 20, 2016

register_buttonThis dynamic conference day will bring together local and statewide resilience leaders, practitioners and community members to get new ideas, share resources, and make plans. Sessions include panel discussions, keynote speakers, problem-solving collaboratives, field trips, and networking opportunities.

Time

Day 1: Building a Resilient Vermont

8:00-9:00 AM

Registration, coffee, breakfast

9:00-9:50 AM

Welcome Plenary: Redefining Vermont Strong

10:00-11:15 AM Rivers, Roads & Resilience Plan It! Economic, Community and Other Benefits of Planning for Resilience Field Trip: Education for Sustainability at Northfield High Housing Vulnerable Populations Cybersecurity
11:15-11:30 AM

Break

11:30-12:45 PM River Corridors 101: Introduction to Corridor Science and Protection DIY Resilience: Sparking Grassroots Community Action Finding Funds: Statewide Funding for Resilience Connected Landscapes Around the World: Resilience in the Global Context Strength Training: Identifying and Supporting Vulnerable Populations
12:45-2:00 PM

Lunch & Keynote: Christa Daniels

2:00-3:15 PM Building Watershed Resilience in Vermont Drink up! Planning to Protect Vermont’s Drinking Water Community Energy Planning Education for Action Report Card: Vermont Infrastructure Soil and Water on the Farm
3:15-3:30 PM

Break

3:30-4:45 PM Hone Your Message GSI: Northfield – Walking Tour of Green Infrastructure and Flood Recovery Resilience 2.0: High-Tech Tools for Resilience Resilient Vermont: Continuing the Collaboration
5:00-6:30 PM

Social & Networking Hour


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday is all about taking it home, giving you the concrete skills to plan and take action on the ground in communities and watersheds. We’re offering two tracks:

  • Resilience Team Bootcamp: Bring a team from your community and develop a resilience action plan from start to finish. This full-day training by Community Resilience Organizations (CROs) will help your group build a team, assess your local resilience, develop project ideas, map community networks and create an outreach plan, and plan a resilience action project or day of action and celebration for the 5th anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene.
  • Resilience Skills: Choose from a variety of workshops and sessions that will help you improve your game. These diverse sessions will offer concrete, hands-on skills to help community leaders, planners, nonprofits and others boost their work in outreach, planning, and action.

Time

Day 2: Taking it Home

8:00-8:30 AM

Registration, coffee, breakfast

8:30-9:20 AM

Plenary: On the Ground

9:30-10:45 AM Assessing Community Resilience GSI: Northfield – Walking Tour of Green Infrastructure and Flood Recovery Flood Resilience Property Management Tips
10:45-11:00 AM

Break

11:00-12:15 PM Designing Solutions Social Media for Local Action Drones for Resilience: Intro & Demo
12:15-1:25 PM

Resource Lunch

Pick a table and pick some brains! Join our speakers and resource team members for an informal lunchtime conversation. Choose from topics including funding, communications, team building, watershed protection, hazard mitigation, and more.

1:30-2:45 PM Community Network Mapping & Outreach Money Makers: Fundraising for Resilience Projects Better Buffers: Planting Trees Along Rivers
2:45-3:00 PM

Break

3:00-4:15 PM Roadmap to Success Hone Your Message Resilience Toolbox: Strategies for Protecting & Enhancing Land & Communities

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Day 1 Full Event Descriptions

Welcome

  • Steve Nicholas, Vice President for Urban Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Richard W. Schneider, President, Norwich University
  • Deb Markowitz, Secretary, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Plenary: Redefining Vermont Strong

Irene is nearly five years in our past. How will we build a resilient future? Hear lightning stories from four Vermont projects that are redefining resilience, collaboration, and what it means to be Vermont Strong.

  • Moderator: Steve Nicholas, Vice President for Urban Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Kelly Broker-Campbell, Science Educator, Vermont Institute for Natural Science (VINS)
  • Anne Duncan Cooley, Executive Director, Upper Valley Housing Coalition
  • Mary Coombs, Project Manager, VELCO
  • Li Ling Young, Senior Energy Consultant, Vermont Energy Investment Corp (VEIC)

Back to agenda.


Session 1: 10:00-11:15 AM

Rivers, Roads & Resilience

Tropical Storm Irene, and numerous more localized flash flood events, have taught us that our transportation infrastructure is highly vulnerable to catastrophic failure. This catastrophic failure can significantly impact water quality and aquatic habitat as well as cause communities to be temporarily isolated. This leads to public safety concerns, biodiversity loss, and both long-term and short-term economic impacts to communities. This hands-on session will explore the importance of inventorying and assessing transportation infrastructure and potential river-road conflicts and developing proactive solutions. You’ll watch storm damage and potential solutions in action on the river flume table, and learn how your community can best protect rivers AND roads together.

  • Staci Pomeroy, River Scientist, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Jim Ryan, Environmental Analyst, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Back to agenda.

Plan It! Economic, Community and Other Benefits of Planning for Resilience

What if resilience was part of everything you do? What if your local plans ALL helped to support safety, economic growth, environmental protection and community connections? This session will explore how resilience can be baked-into into your existing practices, and why that’s essential to helping your community achieve its other goals. You’ll hear about ways to plan for resilience by evaluating risks, mitigating hazards and improving the community – all while you’re completing other items on your to-do list. Learn about the Vermont Economic Resilience Initiative, VTrans’s work to consider flood vulnerability in transportation decisions, Barre’s evaluation and fixes for flood risks, and Richmond’s efforts to integrate resilience into a new community vision and town plan.

  • Moderator: Faith Ingulsrud, Planning Coordinator, Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development
  • Chris Cochran, Director, Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development
  • Steve Mackenzie, City Manager, City of Barre
  • Clare Rock, Town Planner, Town of Richmond
  • Joe Segale, Policy, Planning and Research Director, Vermont Agency of Transportation

Back to agenda.

Field Trip: Education for Sustainability at Northfield High

In the STAR program, Northfield High School students learn by doing – by building gardens and greenhouses, finding grant funding for projects, engineering bridges and trail design, and managing their forest campus. Visit the STAR campus and see how this program is integrating education into real world challenges, and challenging students to become leaders. Go for a hike on their trails, see the gardens and outdoor classrooms, and hear directly from students about their projects and the impact. You’ll come away inspired and informed, and ready to connect education and action in your community. This group will carpool from the conference to the Northfield STAR campus, about 10 minutes away.

  • Luke Foley, STAR Program Teacher & 2014 Vermont Teacher of the Year, Northfield High School
  • Andrea Burnell, STAR Program Student
  • Robby Clark, STAR Program Student
  • Sam Marble, STAR Program Student

Back to agenda.

Housing Vulnerable Populations

Providing affordable, safe housing for vulnerable populations is challenging, but there are exciting new models to learn from. This rapid-fire Pecha Kucha update will share lessons learned since 2011 from the VT Mobile Home Park Project, Irene Cottage and VERMOD housing demonstrations, Norwich University’s Energy Efficient and Affordable Tiny House Contest Contestants, and more. You’ll get insights from four years of research and outreach to those needing housing, and you’ll be ready to raise awareness among the general public and incorporate new ideas into local hazard mitigation and town plans.

  • Moderator: Peg Elmer Hough, Director, Community Resilience Organizations (CROs)
  • Jonathan Bond, Director of Vermont Tenants and the Mobile Home Programs, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO)
  • Anne Duncan Cooley, Executive Director, Upper Valley Housing Coalition
  • Kelly Hamshaw, Lecturer, University of Vermont
  • Li Ling Young, Senior Energy Consultant, Vermont Energy Investment Corp (VEIC)
  • Edwin Schmeckpeper, Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwich University

Back to agenda.

Cybersecurity

The Internet age has brought us many benefits, but also significant risks. Is your town or organization protected? Computer security is critical for all sectors of government, organizations, and individuals: municipalities and schools in Vermont have faced data tampering, fraud, cyber attacks, and breaches of sensitive information. In this interactive session, you will learn some of the basics of computer security, including basic terminology and what it involves. You will learn how to determine if a link is safe to click on, and how to spot the latest hacking scams that can impact local and regional government entities. We will also cover what you can do to minimize risks and better protect your information and operations, and leave you with a set of best practices and helpful links to take your security to the next level.

  • Huw Read, Director of the Center for Advanced Computing and Digital Forensics, Norwich University
  • Kris Rowley, Professor, Norwich University


Session 2: 11:30-12:45 PM

River Corridors 101: Introduction to Corridor Science and Protection

What are river corridors? How are they different than floodplains and fluvial hazard areas? How can we protect them, and why should we? This session will get you up to speed with a succinct overview of river corridor science, conservation and protection techniques using examples from around Vermont. You’ll leave with a toolbox of strategies that can be implemented to protect, enhance, or conserve local river corridors, as well as tips on implementation and some recent success stories.

  • Mike Kline, Vermont Rivers Program Manager, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Steve Libby, Executive Director, Vermont River Conservancy

Back to agenda.

DIY Resilience: Sparking Grassroots Community Action

Vermonters don’t wait for someone to solve their problems. All across the state, communities are finding creative, local solutions to restore riverbanks, save energy, build community gardens, share tools & resources, build relationships and celebrate place. This session will explore how communities can collaborate and activate at the grassroots level, taking action on resilience and climate change. You’ll hear about Vermont’s Community Resilience Organizations program, which gives towns a way to break down silos and engage diverse leaders and residents in local resilience projects. You’ll also hear lessons and stories of grassroots resilience projects from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund’s grant program, and lessons on what works best to engage and activate community members. Bring your own specific challenges and community needs – the session will close with a chance to workshop your ideas and design projects together.

  • Leigh Cameron, Energy & Climate Program Coordinator, New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF)
  • Peg Elmer Hough, Director, Community Resilience Organizations (CROs)

Back to agenda.

Finding Funds: Statewide Funding for Resilience

There’s a lot of funding available for resilience work these days, but you have to know where to look. Join leaders from state agencies to hear about the variety of funding sources available for environmental, transportation, economic development and other resilience projects, as well as stories of successful projects they’ve funded. At the end, sit down in the hot seat to share your project idea, and get advice from the panel on how to fund it.

  • Chris Cochran, Director, Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development
  • Kari Dolan, Vermont Clean Water Initiative Program Manager, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Lauren Oates, State Hazard Mitigation Officer, Vermont Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security
  • Sue Scribner, Municipal Assistance Bureau Director, Vermont Agency of Transportation

Back to agenda.

Connected Landscapes

Corridors and culverts, ridgelines and riparian buffers. Landscape connectivity is essential to building resilience, and for more reasons than you’d think. In this session, you’ll learn about benefits for wildlife, for climate adaptation, for recreation, and much more. This session will share stories of collaborative projects, strategies for maintaining and restoring connected landscapes, ways to integrate resilience thinking into decisions about transportation and floodplain management, and tools for identifying priority areas.

  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planning Biologist, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department
  • Rose Paul, Director of Science, The Nature Conservancy

Back to agenda.

Around the World: Resilience in the Global Context

Climate refugees, penetrating droughts powerful coastal storms, risky urbanization and other climate change-related dilemmas have become every day problems in the developing world. Join this session to learn what’s happening, what’s working, and what’s not in such countries as Kenya, Philippines, Thailand, Jamaica, and Bangladesh, and what it means for resilience here in Vermont.

  • Mike Crowley, Executive Director, Yestermorrow Design/Build School
  • Jacob Park, Associate Professor of Business Strategy & Sustainability, Green Mountain College

Back to agenda.

Strength Training: Identifying and Supporting Vulnerable Populations

Storms, extreme heat events, and infectious diseases are not equal opportunity assailants. The impacts of climate-related (and other) challenges are much greater for vulnerable populations. This session will explore what vulnerability is, how we identify the most vulnerable people among us, what risks they face, and how we can make sure everyone in our communities is safe and protected. Learn about the Department of Health’s new tools for assessing vulnerability, lessons from helping with Irene recovery, and stories of towns identifying and meeting the needs of people locally.

  • Alice Fothergill, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Vermont
  • Jared Ulmer, Climate & Health Program Coordinator, Vermont Department of Health
  • Anne Duncan Cooley, Executive Director, Upper Valley Housing Coalition
  • Bruce Frauman, Chair, Mighty Londonderry
  • Jim Tonkovitch, Resource Specialist, Vermont 2-1-1

Back to agenda.


Session 3: 2:00-3:15 PM

Building Watershed Resilience in Vermont

Rivers and floods don’t stop at town boundaries, so why should resilience action? This session will feature stories from five watersheds that are collaborating across town boundaries to tackle flood and climate resilience. The High Meadows Fund is currently supporting these teams – including at least three towns each – in collaborative two-year projects. Project leaders will share successes, challenges and examples with each other in an interactive fishbowl discussion, and then invite the audience to join the conversation.

  • Moderator: Katie Michels, Environmental Philanthropy Associate, High Meadows Fund
  • Seth Jensen, Senior Planner, Lamoille County Planning Commission
  • Dan Potter, Planner, Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission
  • Mary Russ, Executive Director, White River Partnership
  • Hilary Solomon, District Manager, Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District

Back to agenda.

Drink up! Planning to Protect Vermont’s Drinking Water

With PFOA making headlines and increasing regulation ahead, there’s no better time to start planning to protect your community’s drinking water. Join this timely session to talk about a variety of topics relevant to your town, from contamination to climate change to community shortages. Learn about a variety of strategies and tools for protecting drinking water, from online mapping tools to municipal planning and zoning options. And learn lessons from Vermont communities, including one that exceeded its available water supply.

  • Moderator: Milly Archer, Water Resources Coordinator, Vermont League of Cities and Towns
  • Marjorie Gale, State Geologist and Director, Vermont Geological Survey
  • Kira Jacobs, Drinking Water Protection Program State Coordinator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Rodney Pingree, Section Chief, Water Resources Section, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Back to agenda.

Community Energy Planning

Energy efficiency impacts every home, business and street in our communities, as well as our town budgets and operations. And yet it’s often just a footnote in town plans and planning processes. This session will share models and examples for conducting community energy planning processes that look at comprehensive strategies for increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions, increasing renewable energy sources, and saving money. Learn about resources available for your community, and how how towns in Massachusetts and Vermont are tackling energy head-on.

  • Kate Desrochers, Senior Analyst, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC)
  • David Healy, Vice President, Stone Environmental, Inc.

Back to agenda.

Education through Action

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” If we want our youth to truly learn about climate change, resilience and sustainability, how can we truly involve them in our communities? Educators will share three exciting stories of school programs that are involving students directly in resilience action and place-based projects. We’ll follow that with a lively discussion on how we might better integrate climate resilience education into school and community education efforts, improving education and meeting community needs.

  • Moderator: Jen Cirillo, Director of Professional Development, Shelburne Farms
  • Luke Foley, STAR Program Teacher & 2014 Vermont Teacher of the Year, Northfield High School
  • Jillian Joyce, Humanities Teacher, Burr & Burton Academy Mountain Campus

Back to agenda.

Report Card: Vermont Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers created the Infrastructure Report Card to assess infrastructure condition and performance in the familiar form of a school report card— letter grades indicate physical condition and needed improvement. Vermont’s infrastructure was awarded an overall grade of “C” according to the 2014 Report Card for Vermont’s Infrastructure. This session will explore our rating – why it’s going up, how it relates to a statewide Infrastructure Bond, gas tax, and Tropical Storm Irene, and how different types of infrastructure measure up. Hear from the engineers who developed Vermont’s report, and the join interactive group discussions on the types of infrastructure and how we can improve them.

  • Moderator: Amanda Hanaway-Corrente, Director of Engineering & Environmental Compliance, Burlington International Airport
  • Tara Kulkarni, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwich University
  • Jessica Louisos, Project Engineer, Water Resources, Milone & MacBroom

Back to agenda.


Session 4: 3:30-4:45 PM

Hone Your Message

You know how important it is to protect river corridors, prepare for emergencies, build diverse local economies and connect your neighbors. So why is it so hard to communicate that to others? Bring your posters, press releases, or general challenges to this interactive workshop and get help developing powerful, simple messages that will resonate with people and get results. This interactive session will share tips and best practices on effective messaging, and give participants time to workshop their own materials and work together on developing effective messages for resilience outreach.

  • Kathleen Murphy, Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Norwich University

Back to agenda.

Resilience 2.0: High-Tech Tools for Resilience

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…the next best tool for disaster response? This session will introduce you to a suite of cutting-edge applications and technologies that are making resilience work more efficient, accurate, and effective. See a live demo flight and learn how UVM’s Spatial Analysis Laboratory has been using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (or drones) during disaster recovery and flood tracking, and learn how Stone Environmental and other agencies are collaborating on new digital apps to evaluate transportation resilience, runoff and erosion. You’ll get a snapshot of what’s ahead in the high-tech landscape, and how you can start putting technology to work for resilience. This session will close with a demo flight at Disney Field, which is about a 10 minute walk from the conference site.

  • Mary Coombs, Project Manager, VELCO
  • David Healy, Vice President, Stone Environmental, Inc.
  • Rejean LaFleche, General Manager District 5, Vermont Agency of Transportation
  • Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne, Director, University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab
  •  Zoe Davis, GIS Technician, UVM Spatial Analysis Lab
  • Sarah Leidinger, GIS Technician, UVM Spatial Analysis Lab

Back to agenda.

Soil and Water on the Farm

Healthy farms and healthy watersheds both need one critical thing: keeping healthy soil where it belongs. This session will focus on ways of managing soil, water and the agricultural landscape to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and help farmers hold onto their land. You’ll learn techniques for boosting soil health and reducing erosion, and potential projects that volunteers and conservation groups can take on to protect town-owned land, local farms, or your own property. After a panel discussion, this session will finish with a field trip to Kingsbury Market Garden in the Mad River Valley to see firsthand how one farm is protecting soil, water, and its future. This session runs from 2:00-4:45. Participants will carpool to the farm in Warren, VT, about 30 minutes away.

  • Moderator: Joshua Faulkner, Farming and Climate Change Program Coordinator, UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Pat Sagui, Director, Composting Association of Vermont
  • Rachel Schattman, PhD Candidate, Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont

Back to agenda.

GSI: Northfield – Walking Tour of Green Infrastructure and Flood Recovery

Northfield’s Dog River took a bite out of the town during Tropical Storm Irene, but Northfield’s new This session will start out indoors with an overview of green storm water infrastructure practices (Tara) and an opportunity to look at maps of the areas we will visit during the field trip. We will then step out on a walking tour through Northfield to look at three sites that posed challenges in the town of Northfield. The trip will offer participants to look at solutions in each case (one is in the works) that is helping making Northfield more resilient toward storm water fluctuations. One of the three sites includes the proposed Dog River Park area where participants will get a chance to hear about the FEMA buyout process and involving K–16 in education and outreach on various water projects in the community. This session will involve about 30 minutes of easy walking to sites around Northfield.

  • Michele Braun, Hazard Mitigation Planner, Town of Northfield
  • Tara Kulkarni, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwich University
  • Ann Smith, Executive Director, Friends of the Winooski River

Back to agenda.

Resilient Vermont: Continuing the Collaboration

As evidenced by the day’s agenda, building resilient communities will require working across sectors, jurisdictions and levels of government. It also means developing projects and solutions with diverse and extensive benefits, that make our communities healthier and more livable everyday – not just in times of disaster. This facilitated session will explore how we can continue to build and support statewide collaboration. Please bring your ideas, challenges and needs and help us identify specific strategies to sustaining the momentum and continuing to build a resilient Vermont.

  • Steve Nicholas, Vice President for Urban Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities
  • Debra Perry, Program Director, Institute for Sustainable Communities

Back to agenda.


Day 2 Full Event Descriptions

Welcome

  • Peg Elmer Hough, Director, Community Resilience Organizations (CROs)
  • Bill McKibben, Author and Founder of 350.org (video message)

Plenary: On the Ground

Local resilience projects have evolved far beyond standard tree plantings and culvert replacements. Today, Vermont communities are tackling resilience in collaborative and integrated ways, ensuring that projects have diverse benefits for the community and engage diverse partners. In this session, you’ll hear about four Vermont communities that are finding creative ways to advance resilience and break down barriers, strengthen local economies, build social capital and more.

  • Moderator:Rebeccca Sanborn Stone, Principal, Community Workshop
  • Dylan Kreis, Chair, Community Resilience Organization of Hartford
  • Steve Lotspeich, Community Planner, Town of Waterbury
  • Mary Russ, Executive Director, White River Partnership

Community Resilience Bootcamp Track

This track is offered by Community Resilience Organizations and geared especially toward teams of attendees coming together. Teams that work together through the day will leave with a full plan, from assessing needs to identify stakeholders and creating projects. Sessions are also open to individuals, and people may participate in as many sessions as they like.


Session 1: 9:30-10:45 AM

CROs Bootcamp: Assessing Community Resilience

It’s hard to move forward if you don’t know where you’re starting. This session will introduce you to the Community Resilience Self-Assessment – an interactive tool that communities can use to evaluate their resilience, prioritize goals and action steps, track progress over time, and prompt meaningful discussions about where they are and where they’re going. This flexible tool can be used by individuals or groups, alone or in facilitated discussions, for education or comprehensive planning. You’ll learn how to put it to use in your community and give it a shot. Teams will work through the tool together, leaving with a clear sense of where their town is strong and where they want to get stronger.

  • Rebecca Sanborn Stone, Principal, Community Workshop

Back to agenda.


Session 2: 11:00-12:15 PM

CROs Bootcamp: Designing Solutions

You have a challenge, and now you need solutions. Design thinking and rapid prototyping are two current approaches for moving quickly from ideas to tailored solutions, whatever challenges and opportunities your community faces. First you’ll hear inspiring examples of grassroots resilience projects from communities around New England. Then you’ll walk  through simple steps to designing strategies for tackling any resilience need, and have a chance to play with these highly successful strategies using situations from your own experience. Teams will walk through the exercise together, designing solutions to the needs identified in the first session, and resulting in concrete project ideas.

  • Delia Clark, Principal, Confluence
  • Leigh Cameron, Energy & Climate Program Coordinator, New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF)

Back to agenda.


Session 3: 1:30-2:45 PM

CROs Bootcamp: Community Network Mapping & Outreach

Who’s in your community? What are the formal and informal community networks? How can you reach people and engage them in your work? This session will focus on strategies for identifying community groups and networks, connectors and hubs; targeting outreach; and developing creative community engagement strategies that build relationships and lead to action. You’ll start developing your own community network analysis and engagement ideas, which you can take home and use to improve outreach on any initiative. Teams will work together to map their networks, identify priority audiences and connectors, and identify outreach opportunities.

  • Rebecca Sanborn Stone, Principal, Community Workshop

Back to agenda.


Session 4: 3:00-4:15 PM

CROs Bootcamp: Roadmap to Success

Close out the day with a session devoted to action planning. We’ll give you a simple action planning template, and put you to work planning next steps for your resilience project. Sketch out a timeline, to-dos, people to involve, and benchmarks along the way. Coaches will be available to help talk you through your strategy and ensure that you have a solid plan. Teams will work together, leaving with a clear roadmap in hand for a community resilience project in their towns.

  • Delia Clark, Principal, Confluence

Back to agenda.


Day 2: Skill Building Track Descriptions


Session 1: 9:30-10:45 AM

GSI: Northfield – Walking Tour of Green Infrastructure and Flood Recovery

Northfield’s Dog River took a bite out of the town during Tropical Storm Irene, but Northfield’s new This session will start out indoors with an overview of green storm water infrastructure practices (Tara) and an opportunity to look at maps of the areas we will visit during the field trip. We will then step out on a walking tour through Northfield to look at three sites that posed challenges in the town of Northfield. The trip will offer participants to look at solutions in each case (one is in the works) that is helping making Northfield more resilient toward storm water fluctuations. One of the three sites includes the proposed Dog River Park area where participants will get a chance to hear about the FEMA buyout process and involving K–16 in education and outreach on various water projects in the community. This session will involve about 30 minutes of easy walking to sites around Northfield.

  • Michele Braun, Hazard Mitigation Planner, Town of Northfield
  • Tara Kulkarni, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Norwich University
  • Ann Smith, Executive Director, Friends of the Winooski River

Back to agenda.

Flood Resilience Property Management Tips

From elevating your home to diverting stormwater, this session will offer a set of practical ideas that you can use to protect homes, businesses, town property, farms and other land in your community. Hear from experts in construction and flood management about simple fixes and best practices, and learn from a property owner who’s done the work. You’ll leave with a toolkit full of ideas to keep your property high and dry.

  • Peg Elmer Hough, Director, Community Resilience Organizations (CROs)
  • Rebecca Pfeiffer, Floodplain Regulatory Team Lead, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources
  • Pat Sagui, Director, Composting Association of Vermont
  • Bob Stevens, Founder & President, Stevens and Associates, P.C.

Back to agenda.


Session 2: 11:00-12:15 PM

Social Media for Change

Are you ready to put social media to work for your project or community? Have a Facebook page, but need help making it thrive? Can’t sort out the differences between tweets and posts and likes and favorites? You know social media is good for more than just sharing cat videos, but if you need help figuring out how to put this powerful tool to use, then this interactive workshop is for you. You’ll learn how to choose the right platform for your project, how to create effective posts that get noticed, and how to build an audience for your work. Participants will leave with an understanding of social media and a plan for using it effectively in your town, organization or project.

  • Nicole Ravlin, Partner, People Making Good PR

Back to agenda.

Drones for Resilience: Intro and Demo

Join UVM’s Spatial Analysis Lab to get a glimpse of the future of resilience technology. They’ll show you how they’re using Unmanned Aircraft Systems (or drones) to track floods, evaluate road conditions, and prioritize projects during disasters and other challenges. They’ll finish with a demo flight, so you can see these exciting new tools in action. This short session will last approximately 45-50 minutes. Participants will walk to the site of the demo flight — approximately a 10 minute walk from the conference venue.

  •  Zoe Davis, GIS Technician, UVM Spatial Analysis Lab
  • Sarah Leidinger, GIS Technician, UVM Spatial Analysis Lab

Back to agenda.


Session 3: 1:30-2:45 PM

Money Makers: Fundraising for Resilience Projects

Do you need $500 to plant trees or $5,000 to restore a riverbank? Local projects take money, and it’s not always easy to find. This workshop will teach you where to find funding for local resilience projects, how to be a savvy fundraiser and make successful requests, and how to create projects that attract funding. Leigh Cameron of the New England Grassroots Environment Fund will share information about the types of funding sources available, tips on writing grant applications and putting together budgets, and strategies for creating a fundraising plan. Bring your project ideas and needs; the workshop will close with a chance to brainstorm funding sources and discuss how you can find the resources you need for your projects.

  • Leigh Cameron, Energy & Climate Program Coordinator, New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF)

Back to agenda.

Better Buffers: Planting Trees Along Rivers

What is a riparian buffer? Does my riverside site need one? If so how do I get one? These are some of the questions we’ll answer at the Planting Trees Along Rivers workshop. We’ll spend a few minutes discussing the definition and benefits of riparian buffers (aka native riverside vegetation). Then we’ll conduct a virtual field assessment to determine whether your riverside site needs a riparian buffer. We’ll wrap-up by developing a planting plan for your site, complete with a list of suitable tree species. By the end of the session you’ll have the tools you need to identify and design a riverside tree planting project that will improve water quality, habitat, and flood resilience!

  • Mary Russ, Executive Director, White River Partnership

Back to agenda.


Session 4: 3:00-4:15 PM

Hone Your Message

You know how important it is to protect river corridors, prepare for emergencies, build diverse local economies and connect your neighbors. So why is it so hard to communicate that to others? Bring your posters, press releases, or general challenges to this interactive workshop and get help developing powerful, simple messages that will resonate with people and get results. This interactive session will share tips and best practices on effective messaging, and give participants time to workshop their own materials and work together on developing effective messages for resilience outreach.

  • John Barstow, Consultant, John Barstow Associates

Back to agenda.

Resilience Toolbox: Strategies for Protecting & Enhancing Land & Communities

Need some new tools in your toolbox? This session will share idea for ways that your community can protect, enhance and conserve land and natural resources. You’ll learn how community land use planning connects to resilience, why it matters, and how can it set you up to take local action. This session will start with an overview of land use trends and how they relate to resilience, and then will talk about the types of actions – regulatory and non-regulatory – that communities can take to keep both their communities and the overall landscape healthier and more resilient. The focus of this session will be on land use strategies with a particular emphasis on natural resources. We’ll end with time to share experiences and potential projects, and discuss possible solutions for your town.

  • Kate McCarthy, Sustainable Communities Program Director, Vermont Natural Resources Coalition

Back to agenda.

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