At the Preservation Trust of Vermont, we believe it really does take a village. We know that the Vermont village isn’t an anachronism, but a model for sustainable living in a time of climate change. And we know that for people to feel at home in these villages, for people to choose to live there, the villages need to be vital, with a strong sense of community.
This knowledge has shaped a new collaboration between the Preservation Trust of Vermont, the Vermont Council on Rural Development, and the Vermont Community Foundation. With the support of a Congressionally Directed Spending award made possible by Senator Leahy, the Village Trust Initiative will help 20 Vermont communities with populations of 2,500 or less identify and implement revitalization projects in their historic villages.
As part of the Initiative, a community might decide to reopen a general store as a community-owned business, or to improve accessibility to underutilized second floors in historic town halls, or even begin to transition large single-family homes into village-scaled affordable housing. Whatever the communities decide to do, PTV, VCRD, and VCF will be by their side helping them through every step of the process (visioning, implementation, and sustainability), ensuring that the built environment of the village is preserved along with the leadership and sense of community the project helps create.
WHO are the partners
- The Preservation Trust of Vermont will work side-by-side with 20 communities to manage and complete a village revitalization project.
- The Vermont Council on Rural Development will facilitate a public engagement process that identifies a project and the local leadership needed to make it happen.
- The Vermont Community Foundation will build local philanthropic capacity and establish individual funds to support both short- and long-term village revitalization projects.
WHAT we will do
- Select 20 Vermont villages to participate
- Support a revitalization project in each selected village
- Facilitate the formation of a “Community Trust” that can move revitalization projects forward
- Award implementation grants of up to $500,000
WHY it matters
Villages are an essential part of Vermont’s identity and future. Their revitalization preserves historic settlement patterns, strengthens community, and builds resiliency.
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