New Video – YERTpod10: Seeding is Believing in Vermont

Dear YERTians,

The only things more pervasive than uplifting environmental stories in Vermont were the Subarus. Everybody we met seemed connected to everything…

…to the land
…to the food
…to each other
…to a Subaru
…even to a peaceful kind of inner wisdom.

Just click here or the picture below to watch "YERTpod10: Seeding is Believing in Vermont"

Somehow Vermont was unique, and delightfully so, but why? As we explored these connections in conversations with all stripes of Vermonters, including Mayor Bob Kiss of Burlington, we repeatedly encountered the concept of a “land trust

Wikipedia helped us understand that “A community or conservation land trust is an organization established to hold land and to administer use of the land according to the charter of the organization.” We’re still learning about what all that means, but it seems that land trusts can help local communities increase their control over the way their land is used. If the words confuse you, try this imagery instead: A large, pristine, flowering meadow on what appears to be extremely valuable real estate next to a highway. Completely undeveloped. Simply a beautiful view. And it makes all the difference in the world. It makes us love Vermont.

We had difficulty boiling down our Vermont experience into a tiny little video, so we’re asking you, our viewers, to tell us what additional footage you’d like to see in one or more longer videos. Our editing time is painfully limited, so please vote in the poll below on the following options…

  1. Kit Perkins, Executive Director of the Intervale Center. This unique institution acts as a farming incubator, and their stated mission is “To develop farm-and land-based enterprises that generate economic and social opportunity while protecting natural resources.”
  2. Guided tour of the McNeil Generating Station, a power plant fueled by wood chips from sustainably-harvested forests. John Irving, McNeil’s Plant Manager, gave us a personalized tour of every nook and cranny in this facility, not to mention a candid assessment of the pros and cons of wood-fired power generation.
  3. Gil Livingston, President of the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), helped us get our heads around the concept of a land trust and its benefits to folks (and critters) in Vermont.
  4. Dan Bradley, Transportation Planner for the City of Burlington, gave us a ride in the city’s experimental hydrogen-powered Prius while discussing the challenges and opportunities of hydrogen-based transportation.
  5. Bob Ferris, Executive Director of the Yestermorrow Design/Build School. This creative institution gives designers, architects, and hobbyists an opportunity to hone their eco-building skills.
  6. Phil Rice and Daniella Malin, from the Sustainability Institute in Hartland, Vermont, showed us around the Cobb Hill intentional community and introduced us to some award-winning cheese cows, not to mention the innovative systems-based approach they bring to environmental sustainability research.
  7. Mayor Bob Kiss of Burlington helped us connect to many of the various “dots” in our Vermont eco-exploration. Mild mannered, friendly, and full of common sense, it was refreshing to speak to such an interesting and interested community leader.

With Love for Vermont, and All Y’all,

Julie, Mark, and Ben (Your YERT Team)

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P.S. And now for Breadcrumbs! If you want to learn more about the topics in this video, check out these resources:

  • By at least one Canadian measure, Burlington VT is the "Greenest City in the U.S.A." This article in the Toronto Star also names Mayor Bob Kiss America’s greenest mayor. We’re absolutely un-stunned by this result, but the article is a fun read from a foreign perspective. (Country Home magazine also names Burlington the "Best Green City in America" in 2007.)
  • It seems that the Vermonter way of life is good for citizen health. This survey found Vermont to be the "Healthiest State" in 2007.

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