Success Stories

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Recent Success Stories

Jennifer Hunt, serving at Groundworks Collaborative in Brattleboro, VT

A Feast for the Holidays

Every year the food shelf that I serve at, offers a holiday food giveaway in mid-December. Two days after this year's event a woman came into the food shelf hoping that she might be able to get one of the hams we had been giving away. She said that her son had recently passed away, leaving her to care for her two grandchildren. It was going to be the children's first Christmas without their father and the woman did not have the money to afford a large meal.

We were serving in Richmond as a trail building crew, reconstructing a bridge and boardwalk for the bikers in the surrounding communities who used the trail. Nearly every day, at least one biker would stop and voice their appreciation for our project. One day, I went to buy bug spray with my fellow crew member, and the cashier asked us what we were doing, expressing how he wished the trail in Richmond was being fixed.

High Pond is set in a deep bowl, surrounded by peaks of the Taconic Mountains of southern Vermont. The trail up to the pond winds through hardwood forest and hemlock stands, up and down smaller hills, gradually climbing up to the rim of the pond basin. High Pond is my favorite preserve that I steward with The Nature Conservancy. The lake is cold and clear. Within a few kicks away from shore it becomes so deep you can no longer find the bottom. With the Taconic’s walling off the lake from the valley, it feels like wilderness.

Smack in the middle of a capitol city with a daunting shortage of housing, the French Block’s vacant upper stories were an unrealized resource. Today, with the lights on at night, there is a new vibrancy to this downtown block and 18 households have found stable, decent, and affordable housing within walking distance of all the amenities this small city provides.

How a small, organic Vermont dairy joined forces with local, state, and federal conservation partners to plan for the future.