Strong Communities

Woods. (Photo: Blake Gardner)

Strong Communities

From Kate McCarthy, VNRC Sustainable Communities Director

Downtown Montpelier is Vermont Natural Resources Council’s home — we’ve been here for more than 50 years. Some of us live in Montpelier, and some of us just work here, but we all love and appreciate what the place has to offer: walkability, the opportunity to run into friends and colleagues, and of course, great local businesses.

That’s why we were sad to hear this week that two of those local businesses, Onion River Sports and the Shoe Horn, will soon be closing their doors. We’ve all appreciated having this great resource just a few blocks away. Whether buying a pair of last-minute shoelaces on the way to a hike, finding a special bike or snowshoes as a birthday or holiday gift, or enjoying the community events they hosted throughout the seasons, we’ve all benefitted from the variety, dedication, and local knowledge this small business brought to our community.

It’s no secret that it’s a tough time for bricks and mortar retail, yet they’re an important part of keeping our local economies and communities strong. This is true for Vermont communities, of all sizes, if in different ways. As we say a sad goodbye to Onion River Sports and the Shoe Horn — and as we approach a season of gift-giving — it is a great time for each of us think about how we might, within our household budgets, find ways we can each recommit to buying local and keeping our communities strong.

Here are several local gift guides to help you shop local this holiday season: