“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.

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.

Kick-Off – Williston’s Fabric Shopping Bag Sewing Group

For October we are combining our social with a special event:

Kick-Off – Williston’s Fabric Shopping Bag Sewing Group

Example bag sewn by Melinda Petter of Sustainable Williston.

Please join us as we gather to start a community group focused on Sewing Fabric Shopping Bags.

Date: Thurs, October 10
Time: 7 – 8:30 PM
Where: Isham Family Farm Barn, 3515 Oak Hill Rd, Williston

We will be sewing fabric shopping bags – in advance of VT’s new law banning single use plastic shopping bags which goes into effect July 2020. You can sew a bag for yourself, for a friend, or for a community member in need of a bag.

We will provide a simple pattern, instruction, tables, cutting boards, an iron, and ironing board.

Please bring your sewing machine, pins, scissors, and some sturdy woven fabric, and sew a bag with us. Acceptable fabrics include left-over yardage or used fabric from draperies etc., no tee-shirts or stretchy fabric please.
We should have extra fabric to share. And we certainly would appreciate any extra fabric you may consider donating!

Don’t have a sewing machine? Not ready to sew? You are welcome to just stop by, to chat, and see what we’re up to, or maybe even give someone a hand with cutting, folding, or ironing.

This initial Fabric Bag Sewing Group event will be combined with Sustainable Williston’s monthly social gathering. Simple snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring a drink. Beer/wine is allowed, BYOB.

Note, this first sewing group meeting is being held in an historic barn … which means no heating – dress warmly if the evening is chilly. The Fabric Bag Sewing Group will find an appropriate venue for the winter months ahead.

*RSVP’s appreciated, but not required*
RSVP to Melinda Petter mjpetter@gmail.com

Registration Ends 9/27 – 2019 Birth Tree Project

Williston Residents, take note! Registration for the 2019 program (children born between August 2018-Aug 2019) ends Friday 9/27! If you or someone you know has a recent birth/adoption and is a Williston resident, they can register and receive a free, native, tree/shrub to plant at their home in Williston!

Register Now!

Program Info

Volunteers still needed Sat 4/13 9-11am, Sun 4/14 8-12am…

It’s a big weekend for sustainability in Williston. We still need volunteers for both events!

Saturday is the April Stools ‘scoop the poop’ event 9-11 at the rec park behind WCS. Show up by the skate park at 9am, select a bucket and weapon, and help keep Allen Brook, the Winooski, and Lake Champlain a little cleaner – good company and warm weather included! Contact Lori Fisher at 802-658-1414 or lorif@lakechamplaincommittee.org for questions. Facebook Event

Sustainable Williston (SW) provides zero-waste support to the Williston Fire Pancake Breakfast for the second year running. Volunteers are needed for 1 hour shifts beginning at 8, 9, 10, and 11am to help visitors separate compost from trash. Please contact Caylin McCamp at caylin.mccamp@gmail.com to sign-up for a shift. No prior experience required!

Our Silverware Share will also be on show with SW volunteers washing throughout the event to limit use of single-use plastics. Thank you to the Williston Fire Department for partnering with SW again this year!

New Real and Virtual Watershed Information

From Williston Planning & Zoning Office:

”The Town of Williston Planning Department and Conservation Commission recently developed and installed a new wayside interpretive exhibit…Check out the new exhibit at the Williston Community Park and along the Allen Brook Nature Trail, or view a “virtual tour” at http://arcg.is/meuCP. To learn more about water quality and how you can help, visit the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s website at www.LCBP.org.”