Nestled in the Otter Creek Valley on Route 7 is the Town of Wallingford. It was founded in 1761, when Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire granted a charter to Captain Eliakim Hall and other settlers for a six square mile tract of land. This size area was chosen because a person could travel anywhere within it between morning and evening chores to get to church, the market, or a town meeting.
Wallingford has three village centers: Wallingford Village, South Wallingford, and East Wallingford. All three have been designated as such by the State of Vermont, in a program which uses tax credits and other means to spur the revitalization of the state’s traditional village centers.
Within walking distance of Wallingford Village is Stone Meadow, a former gravel pit which the Wallingford Conservation Committee is working to develop as a gateway to the public beach on nearby Elfin Lake. When complete, Stone Meadow will have birding trails which wind through the woods, informational kiosks to identify trees, and a rain garden.
In 2009 the town formed an Energy Committee to help improve the efficiency of the town. Members of the committee are working with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to take an inventory of the energy usage of public buildings, and others are working with the Prudential Committee and the non-profit Efficiency Vermont to replace the town’s 104 streetlights with LED’s, which could save up to 75% in energy costs. The Energy Committee’s other main goal is to add a section to the town plan on Energy.
Since Wallingford’s beginnings, both the village center and the surrounding countryside have been carefully protected and developed. With so many strong programs in place, these traditional values look to continue.