How to Support the Proposed Town Energy Plan

1- Attend (and invite your friends and young people) to the Williston Selectboard’s virtual Public hearing Tuesday July 28th, 2020 at 8:00 PM:

2- Make a comment during the meeting by emailing Erik Wells, Assistant Town Manager at ewells@willistonvt.org beforehand or alert Town staff by using the Zoom chat feature. When it is your turn to speak you will be unmuted.

3-Plan your statement in advance so it is brief and clear. If you want inspiration or to be strategic, you can reinforce one of the points in the recently published Planning Commission’s letter, submitted in response to the Selectboard’s questions from the June 16th informational session.

4- Please make sure that you have signed the letter in support of adopting the Energy Plan!

See you on Tuesday!

Why Sustainable Williston Supports the Proposed Town Energy Plan

Our group’s mission is to “identify opportunities to decrease our town’s consumption of natural resources and to create sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.” The proposed Energy Plan for Williston embodies this mission!

Being a community means coming together to solve problems that we can’t solve by ourselves and an organized collective approach is the only solution to the climate crisis we face. This plan focuses on making town-wide changes that include everyone and result in a bigger impact as we act together.

In 2018 the Town of Williston passed a Renewable Energy Resolution at Town Meeting demonstrating that Willistonians care about this issue. Vermont already has a goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050, but experts say we need to act even faster! We can’t afford to wait for action at global, national or state levels to get started and be a leader in local resilience.

The Energy Plan supports the environmental and financial health of our town now and into the future. Residents and businesses are expected to save money. It also creates jobs, including hiring an Energy Coordinator, specifically for Williston, to carry out this plan and make it a reality. Plus there are real costs to not acting on climate (the Shunpike Rd culvert washout is an example) and this plan helps Williston take a proactive approach to reducing our emissions and becoming more resilient.

If you’ve been wanting to do something about climate change, or maybe you already are but feel like your individual actions just aren’t adding up to enough impact, this is a chance to make a difference! Please consider showing your support by signing this letter to the Williston Selectboard, sharing it with neighbors, and attending the public forum on this topic on 7/28 at 8pm.

“Environmental justice means racial justice”

We have homework for our July 23 meeting when we prepare a permanent website statement on Sustainable Williston’s commitment to racial and social justice. If people can commit to diving into one of the following, it would help prepare us for a productive meeting.

Read an article from the Sierra Club Racism Is Killing the Planet or another piece on this connection (Bill McKibben has been writing some for the New Yorker).

Review white supremacy characteristics and reflect on discussion questions at the end. Be ready to talk about organization level (not individual level).

Start drafting some language for a permanent website statement on racial/social justice

Read proposed Town Energy Plan – even if you just skim it.

Read A Resolution Declaring a Climate Emergency TOWN OF WILLISTON.docx

Tonight- Williston Town Energy Plan heads to the Selectboard

Town of Williston LogoThe Williston Town Selectboard will be looking at the proposed Williston Town Energy Plan tonight on Tuesday, June 16.

The Energy Plan Task force (led by Brian Forrest) did yeoman’s work drafting the Energy Plan- a local level plan towards achieving the goals of the 2016 State of Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan. The Williston Comprehensive Plan lays out the community’s vision for the future. It provides a stable framework for working on community aspirations through town investments, regulations, and programs. State law requires it to be re-written and adopted anew every eight years (next due in 2024), but it can be amended at any time through a defined hearing process.The Planning Commission unanimously forwarded it to the Selectboard after making a number of tweaks and clarifications over the past ten months. The Planning Commission recommends hiring a full-time town Energy Coordinator to lead efforts on implementation of the plan. June 16 is the first time the Selectboard will be seeing these documents. A series of Public Health-related updates to the Comprehensive Town Plan will be discussed by the Selectboard as well. They could: 1- send either or both back to the Planning Commission for questions or changes, or 2- go right to public hearings (two before Selectboard votes on adopting changes).

Here is a link to the Selectboard’s June 16 meeting agenda: https://www.town.williston.vt.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={96449592-69A6-4502-BE3E-B65A07A333CB}&DE={129B5356-6134-440A-9309-6840CCFD8E0B} Look at the three attachments that start with “Comprehensive Plan…” The first is the “Transmittal Memo” that summarizes what the other two are about and the process for adopting them: https://www.town.williston.vt.us/vertical/sites/%7BF506B13C-605B-4878-8062-87E5927E49F0%7D/uploads/Comprehensive_Plan_Amendments_(Planning_Commission_Transmission_Memo_6.2.20).pdf

Note that the Public Health updates are summarized rather than being shown in context in the 140 page town plan document. The Energy Plan is an entirely new 52-page document which will be an appendix to the Town Plan at this point and may become more integrated into the Town Plan in the next update (in 2024).

The June 16th Selectboard meeting begins at 7:00 PM with Zoom Webinar ID: 858-4954-4031. The Comprehensive Town Plan updates are scheduled for 7:55, but that could change–in front of it is discussion of F-35 noise. It is recommended to join at 7:30 if you want to be sure to be present for the discussion of the Energy Plan. Most of the discussion will be the Selectboard asking questions of the Planners, as it is their first time dicussing the proposed Town Energy Plan. Two public hearings will be scheduled with a time for public comment. We recommend attending the Selectboard meeting, as it will be valuable knowing what questions they ask. We believe that tonight is the time to express support for going ahead with the public hearings–frankly we’re not sure how it will go.

Don’t weed out your milkweed!


If you notice some large seedlings popping up right now that look like this, it might be common milkweed.

 

If you let it be, it will grow into a large (~3 feet) plant with pink blooms loved by pollinators .

 

This plant is also the preferred host species for the Monarch caterpillar, so you may even get a striped visitor later in the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, keep an eye out for a nearby chrysalis and emerging Monarch that will grace your garden before participating in the greatest butterfly migration event on Earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, you can help make that happen by allowing milkweed to grow in your yard!

Please share your pictures of native plants and pollinators.

Climate Adaptation and Forest Management at Catamount Community Forest discussion tomorrow night (Tuesday, May 5 7-8:30pm)

Click Here to Register

Climate change, shifts in disturbance regimes, and an increasing prevalence of non-native invasive insects, diseases, and plants have created considerable uncertainty around how to best care for our forests into the future. In response to this challenge, a series of forest adaptation studies are being established across Vermont, including on the Catamount Community Forest, to learn more about how to sustain key forest ecosystem functions, including wildlife habitat and carbon sequestration, under novel environmental conditions.

Join Dr. Tony D’Amato, Ethan Tapper, the Chittenden County Forester, and the Catamount Community Forest Committee for a webinar on Tuesday, May 5 at 7-8:30pm discussing the effects of climate change on our forests, opportunities for adaptation and the overview of this specific project at the Catamount Community Forest.

Register at: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=qo4r6efab&oeidk=a07eh1vlkhu5dd5164a

New Book Club- Active Hope by Joanna Macy

We will be joining a national book club discussion on Active Hope by Joanna Macy.

“Books about social and ecological change
too often leave out a vital component:
how do we change ourselves
so that we are strong enough
to fully contribute to this great shift?
Active Hope fills this gap beautifully,
guiding readers on a journey of gratitude, grief,
interconnection and, ultimately, transformation.”
Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine.

For those of you interested in participating in the Active Hope book club, please fill out this form to let the national group know that you’re joining in. They will reach out to all “registered” participants when the date of the first conversation is finalized for the week of May 18. Please finish Part 1 (~80 pages) by then. If you’d like to weigh on when the meeting to chat about Part 1 should be, fill out this Doodle Poll before May 1.

Most of the book is available for free reading via Google Books preview. It’s also free on Hoopla via Dorthy Alling Library. Contact Caylin if you would like to read her paper copy.

Regenerative Agriculture for the Home Gardener – Webinar (hosted by 350.org & SW)

Register Now

Join us Tuesday, April 14 from 7-9 pm, to learn how to build soil health and sequester carbon while growing your own food. This event will featuring CAT BUXTON, co-founder of the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition. The webinar will cover all aspects of starting your regenerative garden this spring – from cover cropping to no-till methods. Co-sponsored by 350VT and Sustainable Williston.

To receive info on how to join this webinar, please register for event at
https://forms.gle/UXWXLSHkTtieYJYS6

Sustainable Williston Virtual Meeting Tonight!

Tonight’s meeting will be a calendar planning session at 7:15 PM.

Remote meeting information (Zoom):

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/231659376?pwd=dVJScjhFaGZVRUFTYkVwQ1l4THNSZz09

Meeting ID: 231 659 376 Password: 077753

One tap mobile

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Meeting ID: 231 659 376

Find your local number: https://us04web.zoom.us/u/fb4QSBwDki

Sustainable Williston Meetings Go Virtual

virtual meeting image

Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) Sustainable Williston meetings are going virtual. Virtual meeting links will be posted by the morning of the 4th Thursday of each month.

We are considering holding virtual meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month as well, in lieu of the social, to avoid risks. The extra meeting could help keep activities moving forward. Stay tuned.