Vermont Business Magazine The High Meadows Fund, a supporting organization at the Vermont Community Foundation, has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) that represents a commitment of $180,000 towards promoting planning and action to build resilience within Vermont’s watersheds. “Through this Initiative, we seek to inspire communities to work together to protect people, farms, homes, roads, and water quality, not just in their own towns, but also upstream and downstream,” said High Meadows Fund President Gaye Symington in a statement.
Tropical Storm Irene brought the devastation of extreme weather to the forefront in Vermont, but many Vermonters don’t know that since 2000 the state has had at least one federally-declared disaster every year. High Meadows is encouraging solutions that build resilience at a multi-town, watershed level. In order to reduce the risk from flooding and erosive water surges, communities must understand how their land use decisions impact upstream and downstream neighbors and work collaboratively and proactively, as a watershed, to build resilience.
High Meadows expects to support four to six teams of communities working together within a watershed. The funds are intended to support multi-town watershed planning and early action. Letters of intent are due February 10th, 2017. Applicants are encouraged to attend the Leahy Center’s Environmental Summit, to be held at ECHO March 24-25, 2017.
This RFP follows High Meadows’ 2015 grants to six Vermont watersheds. “In those grants, communities made progress in building watershed identities, engaging local government and citizens, and implementing on-the-ground, resilience building projects. However, there is still work to be done. For that reason, we are dedicating funds to support community engagement, planning, and action in new watersheds,” noted Symington.
The Fund will choose projects by July 2017 and expects them to last up to 18 months.
The mission of the High Meadows Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation is to promote vibrant communities and a healthy natural environment while encouraging long-term economic vitality in Vermont. Our communities, environment, and economy are threatened by the changing climate. High Meadows helps Vermonters mitigate that change and adapt to its consequences by supporting leadership and innovation in three overlapping areas of focus: energy, land use and farm and forest enterprises.