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Upcoming Sustainable Communities Events, Resources, and Opportunities

Sustainable communities that are inclusive, diversified, and connected are key to strengthening the resilience of Vermonters in the face of environmental, economic, and social change. Your voice is a crucial part of achieving this vision for Vermont’s communities.

AARP Vermont’s Winter Placemaking Grants

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: October 16, 2023

Description: AARP Vermont’s 2023 Winter Placemaking Grants will provide financial support to non-profit or other ad-hoc groups, which meet the eligibility requirements, and that are also focused on reinventing a space that improves the safety, accessibility and overall appeal and are either temporary or permanent projects. The Placemaking Project is intended to inspire and educate community leaders and residents in their aim to have a positive impact on older adults living in your community.
We will select up to five communities for funding of up to $4,000 each. This is a one-time opportunity with no further expectation or commitment of additional funds.

Animating Your Community Through the Arts

Category: Education & Training

Date: October 17, 2023 | 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Description: Public art, in many forms, helps build a welcoming and engaged community. ​​Part of the “Building the New Forest Future” webinar series, the Northern Forest Center brings together leaders from across the region to share how art has transformed their communities. 

Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Municipal Highway and Stormwater Mitigation Program (MHSMP)

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: Applications due by December 8, 2023

Description: VTrans is now accepting grant applications for SFY 2024. This year, over $4.3 million of TAP grant funding is available for all eligible activities as described in the Vermont Transportation Alternatives Fall 2023 Application Guide. Approximately 50% of TAP grant program funds are reserved for pollution mitigation projects relating to stormwater and highways, including eligible salt and sand shed projects. In addition, approximately $1.5 million of MHSMP grant funding is available for eligible stormwater pollution mitigation projects as described in the Municipal Highway and Stormwater Mitigation Program Guide.

A virtual technical workshop (via Microsoft Teams) will be held to convey requirements for both, as well as to collect any questions that arise from participants. It is strongly recommended that an official representative of the applicant attend the workshop to better understand the requirements associated with federal-aid projects. This session will be held on October 19, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Join the webinar by clicking on the meeting link on the website (no password or pre-registration is required).

If you have questions or would like more information, contact:

2023 State and Local Government Municipal Day

Category: Event

Date: October 20, 2023 | 8:30 AM to 3:45 PM

Location: National Life (1 National Life Drive, Montpelier, VT 05620)

Description: The Agency of Natural Resources will hold its 10th State and Local Government Municipal Day on October 20, 2023. Municipal Day has always aimed to strengthen the partnership between the State and local government, but this year in particular, the informational event will be key in helping communities build back stronger after the summer floods. Registration will remain open until the end of the day of the event; walk-ins are welcome. The full-day session costs $35 and includes breakfast pastries and a lunch buffet. Find the full agenda here.

New Deadline for MERP Energy Assessments 

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: October 31, 2023

Description: The Municipal Energy Resilience Program provides staff support, application and technical assistance, and funding to help energy burdened communities become more energy resilient, reduce energy use and operating costs, and curb greenhouse gas emissions in municipal buildings. The deadline to apply for free Level 1 and Level 2 Energy Resilience Assessments has been moved up to October 31. Buildings must be municipally owned (although perpetually leased facilities may be eligible). For more information contact Allie Webster at awebster@nvda.net.

Municipal Planning Grants

Category: Funding Opportunity 

Date: November 1, 2023

Description: The MPG program works to strengthen Vermont communities by funding local planning initiatives. A wide range of municipal planning and implementation activities are eligible for funding with a small local match of 10%. Individual towns may apply, or joint applications from several municipalities can be submitted. The grant program is administered by the VT Department of Housing & Community Development. Questions? Contact Jacob Hemmerick (802) 828-5249 Jacob.Hemmerick@vermont.gov

VCDA 2023 Fall Conference

Category: Event

Date: Nov. 2, 2023 | 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Location: The Brandon Inn (20 Park St, Brandon, VT 05733)

Description: “Climate Resilience and Adaptation: Ways Vermonters Can Mitigate Disasters”. The Vermont Community Development Association’s 2023 Fall Conference will investigate how our communities can become more equipped to deal with disasters. Registration opens soon.

Special BONUS Round of Funding for the Downtown & Village Center Tax Credit Program

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: January 8, 2024

Description: In January 2024, additional state income tax credits will be available for projects that enhance the historic character and improve building safety and of older and historic commercial and community buildings in designated communities. The tax credit program also funds flood mitigation upgrades and exterior facade improvements. Visit the website to download the Program Guidelines and Application or watch this webinar which covers program basics, scoring criteria, and how to compile a strong application. Questions? Caitlin.Corkins@vermont.gov

Flood Resilient Communities Fund

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: Rolling; Priority will be given to buyout projects following the July 2023 flooding. 

Description: Flood Resilient Communities Fund (FRCF) was established by the Vermont Legislature under Act 74 with the intent of improving landscape and community resilience and reducing the future public safety and water quality impacts of climate-related flood hazards in Vermont, focusing on buyouts of flood-vulnerable properties. This is a voluntary program that will prioritize projects in communities and/or for homeowners with greatest economic need and projects that mitigate repetitive loss among low-income and marginalized portions of the population. 

Health Equity and Community Design Technical Assistance

Category: Technical Assistance

Date: Applications open!

Description: From safer, walkable, universally accessible streets to more green spaces, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) in partnership with the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is excited to announce the launch of a technical assistance pilot to support community-led design, placemaking, and healthy equity projects across Vermont.

VDH and DHCD invite eligible Vermont communities* and residents over 18 years of age to apply for the Health Equity and Community Design Technical Assistance (TA) Pilot. Approximately 20 to 35 communities will be accepted for in-person and virtual engagement sessions between December 2022 and October 2023.

  • The TA Pilot will provide extra capacity and resources to communities to develop healthy community design and placemaking plans, ideas, and projects that center on equity.
  • The TA Pilot will also help prepare communities that are interested in, but not yet ready to apply for, DHCD’s Better Places placemaking grants.

*Communities are flexibly defined, and may include nonprofits, municipalities, and volunteer groups.

Intersections Initiative

Category: Funding Opportunity & Technical Assistance

Description: The Intersections Initiative helps build capacity to apply for infrastructure funding to support active and public transportation projects and identify the policies and practices that make
this a reality. In addition to the technical assistance offered by this program, the initiative has also developed an extremely useful funding sheet for bike/pedestrian infrastructure.

Better Places

Category: Funding Opportunity 

Date: Projects are accepted on a rolling basis while funding lasts

Description: If you are thinking of more parks and green spaces, a vibrant main street, public art projects, and community gardens, Better Places grants can help. Launched in 2022, Better Places is a non-competitive, community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program is supported by VT Department of Housing & Community Development, VT Department of Health, and VT Community Foundation. 

High Street Mural in Brattleboro; seed funding provided by VNRC’s Small Grants for Smart Growth!

Community Heart & Soul 

Category: Funding Opportunity 

Date: Projects are accepted on a rolling basis 

Description:  The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program is uniquely designed for small cities and towns (population 2,500-30,000). Successful applicants will receive $10,000 grants to match funding from a participating municipality or a partnering organization. Read the Grant Guidelines for more information.

Special and Urgent Needs (SUN)

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: Rolling; Requests related to storms and flooding relief will receive priority review, and applicants requesting funding for this purpose will be notified of grant decisions within 7-10 business days. 

Description: The SUN grant from the Vermont Community Foundation helps Vermont nonprofits with unexpected expenses that impact their ability to meet their mission. A SUN grant can help an organization manage an unbudgeted, unforeseen, and time-sensitive emergency or take advantage of an unanticipated opportunity that will enhance its work. For storms and flooding relief, organizations may request up to $2,500.

Community Recovery and Revitalization Program

Category: Funding Opportunity 

Date: Rolling

Description: ARPA-funded recovery intended to retain and expand existing businesses and nonprofit organizations with a preference for projects that primarily serve BIPOC populations and projects located in regions and communities with declining or stagnant grand list values. More details about project eligibility can be found here.