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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.

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.

Flood Resilient Communities Fund

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: July 31, 2023

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. 

VCF Equitable and Inclusive Communities Grant

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: Application deadline October 5 at 5PM, notification in November

Description: The Vermont Community Foundation is seeking proposals from Vermont villages, towns, and cities that close the opportunity gap by supporting local efforts to foster inclusion and belonging for people of all races and backgrounds. We recognize the powerful leadership roles that local governments can play in removing structural barriers and building a more inclusive and diverse state, and want to support communities in fulfilling that potential.

Intersections Initiative

Category: Funding Opportunity & Technical Assistance

Description: The Intersections Initiative connects community leaders, organizations, and local government agencies to technical assistance and funding that make our streets safer and more accessible for people to walk, roll, and bike.

Municipal Planning Grants

Category: Funding Opportunity 

Date: Application opens Sept. 1; Due Nov. 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

Municipal Energy Resilience Program 

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: Applications open!

Description: The MERP will provide 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. Stay tuned for several funding opportunities opening in March 2023.

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.

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.

Community Recovery and Revitalization Program

Category: Funding Opportunity 

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.

Previous Opportunities

Spark Connecting Communities Grants

Category: Funding Opportunity 

Date: Round 2 – July 18

Description:Spark Connecting Community grants put building and nurturing community front and center. We aim to support grassroots work that builds social capital—the connective tissue of our communities. Grants will be in the range of $500-$5,000, and will accept applications from hyperlocal, place-based projects (applications from a single community or a few towns working in partnership in the same region) or statewide/regional projects that support a community of individuals with a shared identity or interest, such as a project supporting visual artists throughout the state.

Caring Commutes 

Category: Event

Date: Nov. 1-20

Description: Record your greener trips in your Go! Vermont account and when a total of 2,500 trips have been recorded we’ll donate $1,000 to the Vermont Foodbank. Not a member yet? It’s not too late to sign up.

Stewarding Community Forests Webinar

Category: Education & Training

Date: Nov. 15, 2022

Description: ​​This is the first webinar in the series Building the New Forest Future, presented by the Northern Forest Center. Panelists from across the region will discuss the value of community-owned and managed forests and how to develop priorities to meet community needs. The series is free.

VT Statewide Housing Conference

Category: Event

Date: Nov. 16, 2022

Description: The 2022 in-person event will cover a range of topics like housing development, single family financing, affordable housing, homelessness, housing policy, local planning, and other special topics. Hilton Burlington, 7:45am-7:00pm.

VCDA Fall Conference

Category: Event

Date: Dec. 6, 2022

Description: VT Community Development Association Fall Conference will be held at The Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph. Registration opens soon.

Bonus round of funding for the Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program

Category: Funding Opportunity

Date: Jan. 16, 2023

Description: A BONUS round of funding for the Downtown and Village Center Tax Credit Program is available for projects that improve building safety and enhance the historic character of commercial and community buildings in designated communities. The credits support general rehabilitation work, facade improvements, code compliance work, and flood mitigation projects. Questions? Caitlin.Corkins@vermont.gov