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Vermont Council on Rural Development

From VCRD's Plans to Our Progress: A Bennington County Retrospective


Years have passed since the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) outlined its visionary plans for our communities. As we reminisce, it's crucial to question and assess our progress. Have we realized our ambitions?

We'll be hearing from the VCRD Climate Economy Initiative at the 1st Annual Community Resilience Forum  to find out more about their work and how we can access resources as a community to develop and implement these plans for all of Bennington County. 

Now, let's get into it.

May contain: nature, outdoors, neighborhood, countryside, and rural

 1. Bennington's Blueprint: 2012

  • A Community Center: Did we truly build inclusive space for all ages? What challenges do we face in maintaining that space?
  • A New Town Green: Has downtown Bennington seen this green transformation? How have we fallen short of our goals, and what can we do to live up to our highest ideals?
  • Bike and Walking Paths: Are they connecting our communities as envisioned? What new challenges have these paths created and how can we work together to solve them? 
  • Addressing Poverty: Have our collaborative efforts borne fruit? Where are we falling flat, and where are we succeeding? 

 2. Manchester's Dream: 2013

  •  Community and Youth Centers: Did we provide our youth with the spaces they deserve?
  •  Expanded Riverwalk: Is it the serene escape we hoped for? What roadblocks have we run into?
  •  Regional Marketing: Has our promotional push made a difference, was the push made at all?

 3. Pownal's Prospects: 2017

  • Town Plan: Has it effectively steered Pownal's growth?
  • Community Center and Library: Are they the bustling hubs we imagined?
  • Recreation Path and Park: Are they the family favorites of Pownal?

 4. Dorset's Direction: 2020

  • Affordable Housing: Have we welcomed a diverse community?
  • Community Unity: Is Dorset more cohesive now?
  • Energy Initiatives: Are we a beacon of renewable energy?
  • Transportation: Have our streets become more accessible?

In reflecting upon these ambitious blueprints set by the VCRD, it's evident that Bennington County's journey has been both challenging and rewarding. While we've made strides in certain areas, there's still work to be done in others. As we continue to shape our communities, it's essential to keep these questions at the forefront, ensuring that our collective efforts align with the vision we once dreamt of. Together, let's celebrate our achievements, address our shortcomings, and recommit to a brighter future for all of Bennington County. 

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