Have you heard about No Mow May? 

Sustainable Williston is partnering with the Town of Williston in promoting No Mow May and Raise The Blade this year. No Mow May yard signs will be available for pick-up at the Town Fair on Green Up Day: Saturday, May 6 from 8am-12pm on the Town Green next to the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. You can read more on Town of Williston website: https://bit.ly/WillistonNoMowMay

No Mow May is an international initiative to reduce the amount of lawn mowed during the month of May to allow more flowers to bloom. While dandelions, white clover, and other flowers may not be the first thing many people think of when they hear “healthy lawn”, these types of flowers are critical to providing the food our pollinators need. This is especially true early in the season when hungry pollinators are at a crucial time in their life cycle and other food sources aren’t yet available.

Why worry about pollinators? These important insects help fertilize our New England trees, plants and flowers. Much of the food we eat depends on pollinators. As the saying goes, “No Bees, No Food”. You may have heard of the die-off that has been recorded with a number of pollinators, with bees being the most well-known example. While there are many reasons for this, providing food for these insects early in their life is one thin
we can do to support their continued survival.

Participating in No Mow May includes a commitment to omitting the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides which can be toxic to insects and birds, as well as pets and humans. Traditional lawns that are cut short also increase the volume and speed of water runoff which carries loose soil, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides into our streams and eventually Lake Champlain. Runoff creates problems like algae blooms, which can cause serious health conditions. Keeping parts of your lawn unmown helps prevent runoff.

You may be wondering if there are other ways to support pollinators in your yard, and
the answer is “yes!”. Planting native species supports native insects, which in turn
support other native species including birds. The vast majority of birds raise their young on insects, primarily caterpillars. Feeding insects is an important part of creating a backyard habitat. (Remember to take down your bird feeders in spring when the bears are out!) Planting more native species of trees, shrubs, and perennials has the additional benefit of eliminating lawn, and the associated costs of maintaining that lawn. At the same time, it brings more wildlife to our yards.

Reducing mowing in May, and throughout the season, has other benefits as well. The most obvious is noise pollution in our neighborhoods. We’re all familiar with the experience of sitting down for a meal on a beautiful afternoon just in time to hear a mower start-up a few houses away. At least as important, though less obvious, is the air pollution that comes from lawn care equipment. In 2011, the EPA estimated that 5% of all air pollution in the country comes from lawnmowers, and in 2017 the California Air Resource Board estimated that by 2020 the pollution from mowers would be greater than the pollution from all the cars in that state.

If not mowing your lawn raises some eyebrows with your neighbors, help make them aware of this initiative with a lawn sign. In collaboration with the Williston Conservation Commission, Sustainable Williston and the Williston Energy Committee, the Town of Williston will be offering a limited number of No Mow May yard signs for participants. These signs will help let neighbors know that some temporary “rewilding” is going on and not to worry, as it’s for a good cause. No Mow May yard signs will be available for pick-up at the Town Fair on Green Up Day: Saturday, May 6 from 8am-12pm on the Town Green next to the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. These signs will also have a QR code that people can scan to learn more. Since there will be a limited number of signs available, you can also download and print your own from the Xerces Society Website: https://www.xerces.org/publications/other/no-mow-may

What if you are part of an HOA that takes care of the landscaping? Find out if your association would like to participate by leaving a section of lawn un-mowed and eliminating the use of pesticides and fertilizers for the month of May, or possibly all season. As I tell my kids, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no!

Reducing lawns and returning a piece of land to its natural state helps create important
habitats for endangered insects. You may discover that you love the natural look and all
the beauty it can bring year-round!


Bee City USA:

Town of Williston website:

by Deborah Miuccio (SW) and Kevin Thorley (Williston Energy Committee)

Documentary Showing Tomorrow! – Dorothy Alling Memorial Library

The Williston Master Naturalist program has been working on a series of events and projects around town. This Tuesday, May 21st is the next event!

Come view Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home, a documentary on how and why native plants in your own garden or yard are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30. Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. Sponsored by Williston Master Naturalists.

Hometown Habitat, Stories of Bringing Nature Home_Trailer from Catherine Zimmerman on Vimeo.

Repair Cafe Announced @ CVU – 5/18, 10 am – 2 pm

Sustainable Williston encourages Williston residents to attend this Repair Cafe event, recently announced at CVU:

“CVU EnACT is working with Transition Charlotte to coordinate a Repair Cafe here at CVU on Saturday, 5/18 from 10-2. A repair cafe is a community event where community volunteers offer no-cost repair of clothing, jewelry, electronics, small appliances, furniture and more! You bring the broken stuff and our volunteer fixers will use their skills to help you fix your stuff so we can keep it out of the landfill and learn from important skills from one another. At this point, we are continuing to recruit volunteer fixers — this is open to students, faculty, staff and CVU families. We especially need repairers who can help with: skateboards, lacrosse sticks, bikes, and small appliances like radios, cd/dvd players. We also especially need more fixers who know about computers, laptops and smartphones. Also, if you know how to mend clothing by hand or sewing machine, repair lamps–replace switches and cords, tighten wobbly lamps, sharpen garden tools, replace wooden handles, repair trimmers/weed-wackers, repair jewelry (no soldering), replace watch batteries, fix watch bands, repair furniture, sharpen knives or scissors, or tune chainsaws, we want you! If you can join us as a volunteer fixer for part or all of the event, please contact EnACT adviser Katie Antos Ketcham @ kantosketcham@cvsdvt.org or Jamey Gerlaugh with Transition Town Charlotte at Gerlaugh@gmail.com.

Event Announced: Climate Change Book Discussion

Please start by joining us Thursday, May 2 at 6:30 pm @ the DAML. We will discuss “Drawdown” by Paul Hawken. No need to read ahead! Learn the most effective ways to reverse global warming.  Books available for check out at the front desk if your interest is peaked. Beverages and dessert provided. Sponsored by Sustainable Williston and SunCommon.

RSVP via Facebook here: Drawdown Book Discussion: Local Solutions, Global Change

Sustainable Williston helps residents Button Up

This year, Sustainable Williston is a Button Up Vermont community partner. This means that Williston is one of 18 Vermont towns whose residents are eligible for a free home visit from a professional energy contractor who can identify opportunities for home weatherization. Buttoning up your home is the best way to conserve home energy and reduce heating and cooling costs. Sustainable Williston has a few upcoming events where Williston residents can get more information and take action.

  1. Curious about the increasingly popular cold climate heat pumps? Attend a free workshop to learn about cold weather heat pump options for hot water and space heating on Wednesday, November 14th at 7pm at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. RSVP on Facebook
  2. Ready to Button Up your home or just want to hear more? Attend the free Weatherize Williston Button Up workshop on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. There will be a home weatherization talk and time to meet with Building Energy, the Williston energy contractor conducting the free home visits. RSVP on Facebook
Want to participate but can’t make any of these events? Visit https://buttonupvermont.org/ and click on “Sign up for a free contractor visit” by December 15. After filling out a short survey about your home characteristics and energy usage, you will be contacted directly by the energy contractor, Building Energy. While you are at the Button Up website, review the checklist to find ways to start buttoning up right away and find out about DIY weatherization incentives (up to $100) from Efficiency Vermont.
For more about the Button Up program in Williston, tune in below to the November episode of What’s Up Williston: The Chief of Police and a Look at Sustainable Williston (Button Up information starts in minute 15).

Sustainable Solutions Tour – Sat Oct 14th, 1 PM – 3:30 PM

We’re pleased to announce our second sustainable solutions tour of 2017, this Saturday, October 14th, from 1-3:30! Plus, we’re partnering with Button Up VT this fall, so come out to receive information and a cool give-away!

Climate change got you feeling down? Come lift your spirits on this Solutions Tour hosted by the Sustainable Williston community group. Your neighbors will welcome you to their homes to show you what they’ve been doing to reduce their carbon footprint and protect our natural environment. Enjoy good company, good ideas, and get inspired!

Meet at 1PM @ 50 Spruce Lane off of N. Williston Rd. The group will carpool to the other tour stops together. Or feel free to drop in at the locations you are most interested in.

Schedule, locations and features listed below:

1:00-1:20 @ 50 SPRUCE LN: Deborah will show off her rain barrel, solar, organic gardening, composting, DIY solar heater for pool! Bonus: This bike commuter will share the best bike route into Burlington!

1:35-2:00 @ 413 BUTTERNUT RD: Living sustainably isn’t easy! Check out a mix of successes and failures with Steve.

2:15-2:35 @ 137 VILLAGE GROVE: Thinking about roof-mounted solar? Ben and Lori will show theirs off as well as perennial gardens, raised beds, and a rain barrel.

2:50-3:10 @ 497 TALCOTT RD (Allen Brook School): Did you know ABS has a wind turbine!? Principal John Terko gives us the scoop!

Tour Maphttps://goo.gl/maps/qXUsGTthtaU2
RSVP for our event and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/482188012146106/
Have questions or interested in being a stop on a future tour? Contact: ReedCarrGS@gmail.com
Learn more about our group at www.sustainablewilliston.org

Sustainable Williston Seed Starting Social this Sunday, April 9th from 2-4PM

What: Sustainable Williston is sponsoring a seed starting social.

When: Sunday, April 9th from 2-4 PM

Where: Under the gazebo on the town green.

What to Expect: Bring a pack of seeds to share (left overs from last year’s are fine) and a few clean pots if you have them (single serving yogurt containers work great).  We’ll provide soil and will have some extra pots on hand (and of course more seeds). April is a great time to plant sees that indicate they should be sowed 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. This includes winter squash, watermelon, and some types of flowers and herbs. Kids are welcome with their accompanying adult.

RSVP: Please RSVP at http://www.sustainablewilliston.org/c
 so that we know how much soil to have on hand. If you forget to RSVP, just come anyway.

Sustainable Williston meets Thursday, April 6th at 7:15 PM (Special Topic: Storm Water)

Sustainable Williston will meet Thursday evening at the Dorothy Alling Library at 7:15 PM. Becky Tharp, Manager of the Green Infrastructure Collaborative, a program of Lake Champlain Sea Grant and the Dept. of Environmental Conservation, will give an educational talk on storm water issues effecting our region. Becky’s presentation will be followed by a brief Q&A session. Come join the conversation!

Want to track your bus in real time? Your phone knows where it is


Green Mountain Transit (former Chittenden County Transit Authority, which merged a while back with Green Mountain Transit Authority in central Vermont) has just introduced a new feature: using their app on your smartphone, you can track your bus in real time. Wondering if your bus is going to be late? Need to figure out when the next bus will depart from your stop? Check out GMT’s announcement, below:

Green Mountain Transit has introduced the new RouteShout 2.0 mobile app. You won’t ever have to wonder where your bus is again!

Download our new RouteShout 2.0 mobile app. Plan your commute, set reminders, and receive notifications. The RouteShout 2.0 app gives you access to manage your commute so you can enjoy peace of mind.


• Know when your next bus is arriving.
• Plan trips with ease.
• See exactly where your bus is on the map in real-time.
• See banner alerts right in the app.

To view RouteShout 2.0 on your compute r or device: http://ridegmt.com/download-routeshout-here/.

The mission of GMT is to promote and operate safe, convenient, accessible, innovative and sustainable public transportation services in the northwest and central Vermont regions, that reduces congestion and pollution, encourages transit oriented development and enhances the quality of life for all.

Commuter Options for Willistonians

a reposted message from Emma Long at the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission


Hello, Williston!

The ice-scraping, defrosting, start-your-car-early season is fast-approaching. Are you ready to try something new?

Check out Go! Chittenden County, a one-stop resource for information about transportation options. By calling or emailing Go! CC, you can get all the customized information you need to explore some new options in and around Williston. Take the bus (it’s already warm inside!), carpool, vanpool, share a car, or gear up to bike or walk.

Go! Chittenden County is committed to helping you get to work in an easy, cost-effective and fun way.

Call the Go! CC hotline at 1-800-685-7433 to ask questions and chat with an expert to get some personalized ideas, or send an email to info@gochittendencounty.org. AND, mention this Williston Front Porch Forum post to be entered to win a CCTA bus pass for one month (valued up to $150) OR a $100 gift certificate to Earl’s Cyclery & Fitness — winner’s choice! We’ll draw a name on Friday, December 5th.

Don’t wait until you’re chipping away at your windshield after an ice storm — call or email today to see how Go! CC can help connect you to the right options to meet your needs. Even a very small change can positively impact your wallet, peace of mind, health, and carbon footprint.

Visit http://gochittendencounty.org/individual/commuter-blues/ for more details.

The Chittenden County RPC is a proud partner of Go! Chittenden County.

Photo by familymwr