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Town of Waitsfield Awarded $5,000 Small Grant for Smart Growth for Community Wastewater Project

Montpelier, VT – Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and the Preservation Trust of Vermont (PTV) are pleased to announce the award of a $5,000 grant to the Town of Waitsfield’s Community Wastewater Project as part of the Small Grants for Smart Growth special round of funding. This collaborative grant aimed to support flood-impacted communities in building resilience within their historic centers.

The Town of Waitsfield is in the midst of an ongoing initiative to establish a municipal wastewater system for both the historic Waitsfield Village and Irasville. The Small Grant award will help the town engage community members and communicate the significance of wastewater infrastructure to enhance both public and environmental health, including its ability to safeguard water quality, alleviate the financial burdens associated with replacing septic systems, and allow for expanded residential and commercial use within Waitsfield’s village centers. 

“A thoughtfully planned municipal wastewater system is critical to achieving smart growth development and flood resilience,” said Kati Gallagher, Sustainable Communities Program Director at VNRC. “The Waitsfield Community Wastewater Project will provide opportunities for infill development, while also mitigating flood impacts on existing septic systems located within floodplains and river corridors.”  

Waitsfield intends to leverage the $5,000 grant to maximize public engagement and ensure that residents are well-informed and involved. The communications and outreach plan includes the development of a webpage, design and distribution of informational materials, social media, public meetings, door-knocking, interviews with local media outlets, and educational videos. 

Ben Doyle, President of PTV, shared, “By prioritizing smart growth principles and equitable community engagement, Waitsfield sets an important example for enhancing climate resilience while preserving the integrity of our historic village centers.”

VNRC and PTV look forward to seeing the successful implementation of the wastewater system in Waitsfield and its potential to inspire communities across Vermont. 

Small Grants for Smart Growth, launched in 2018, provides seed money for community-based initiatives related to smart growth, encompassing advocacy for better land use; advancing transportation choice; supporting housing choice and affordability; promoting downtown or village revitalization; promoting conservation of natural resources; and more.

Applications for a flood resilience Small Grant up to $5,000 are due April 26th, 2024; applications for a general Small Grant up to $2,500 are open year-round, on a rolling basis. Learn more at https://vnrc.org/small-grants-for-smart-growth/.

This special round of Small Grants for Smart Growth is made possible with the support of  the Preservation Trust of Vermont, and Beth Humstone, co-founder of the Vermont Forum on Sprawl and former VNRC board chair, and her son, Chris Gignoux.

About Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC):

Through research, education, collaboration and advocacy, VNRC protects and enhances Vermont’s natural environments, vibrant communities, productive working landscapes, rural character and unique sense of place, and prepares the state for future challenges and opportunities.

About Preservation Trust of Vermont (PTV):

PTV builds community through the preservation of Vermont’s historic buildings, villages, and downtowns. For more than forty years, PTV has been working at saving buildings in each corner of Vermont and every town in between, helping communities keep gathering places alive and encouraging the vitality of our downtowns and village centers while retaining the integrity of the surrounding rural landscape.


Kati Gallagher, Vermont Natural Resources Council, kgallagher@vnrc.org, 802-223-2328 ext. 114