Waterbury in Motion
Working with Vermont Deputy Secretary of Transportation Sue Minter, LEAP continues to coordinate a group of dozens of local volunteers who wish to create a safe, accessible, active bike and pedestrian system in Waterbury and connecting Waterbury to neighboring towns. This group is now known as Waterbury in Motion (WIM) and is creating a master plan for this multi-year effort. In February WIM conducted an online survey of bike/pedestrian preferences and patterns of local residents and employees that received more than 350 responses, and on April 27 it held a Waterbury Bike/Ped Planning Session at more than 50 locals provided detailed input and ideas, and prioritized different options. WIM plans other local events in 2011 including another Waterbury Bike, Walk & Breakfast, and will undertake its first hands-on bike/ped project shortly.
5th LEAP Energy Fair
On Saturday, April 9 from 9 AM to 1 PM the 5th LEAP Energy Fair took place at the Crossett Brook Middle School gym in Duxbury, VT. This year’s event was by far the largest and most successful ever with 65 exhibitors and more than 500 attendees, both representing a 50% increase over 2010! The fair was free and offered attendees the opportunity to tour displays and talk with dozens of experts about solar power, wind power, pellet stoves, geothermal, biomass, green building, carpooling, home energy audits, and many other topics. LEAP was delighted to have the Waterbury Farmer’s Market join the event for the first time. Many people enjoyed informative breakout sessions, and the LEAP Energy Fair was attended by many Vermont politicians including Governor Peter Shumlin and Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders was very pleased to give the LEAP Green Community Award to the Prodigy Red Team from Crossett Brook Middle School for their school lighting retrofit project (see below).
School and Ice Center Lighting Retrofit Projects
In 2010 a team of students at Crossett Brook Middle School conducted a research project and proposed specific steps the school could take to replace older, less efficient lighting with more energy-efficient technology. Students from CBMS Prodigy Red Team presented their recommendations to the Waterbury-Duxbury School Board and the plan was unanimously accepted. At the same time, with support from LEAP, the Ice Center in Waterbury conducted a lighting review and came up with a plan to conduct a similar retrofit. LEAP then wrote an application to the Vermont Climate Energy Action Network (VECAN) and was awarded a grant of $3,000 to support these two initiatives. LEAP decided to match that grant with an additional $1,500. These projects will receive other forms support, and the lighting retrofits have already begun. When they are complete they will save Waterbury roughly $10,000 in energy costs annually!
LEAP worked with teachers at Crossett Brook Middle School and Thatcher Brook Primary School to help their students learn about renewable energy and the solar arrays that LEAP helped place on the two schools in 2010. Both schools also held Solar Days for all their students.
2nd and 3rd Bike, Walk & Breakfast
In 2011 Waterbury in Motion and LEAP hosted our 2nd and 3rd Bike, Walk & Breakfast events (June 5 & September 25) for a total of almost 200 participants. Adults, children, and dogs met at Rusty Parker Park at 8:00 AM. One group headed off on an easy 5-mile, family-friendly bike ride, and another group took a leisurely 2-mile walk (including baby-strollers). At 9 :00 AM everyone returned to the Rusty Parker Park gazebo for a delicious free breakfast provided by Waterbury in Motion.
Waterbury in Motion Trail Project
Thanks to a grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Waterbury in Motion began working on its first trail project. WiM volunteers, with help from Cross Vermont Trails, are improving and extending the trail that runs behind the Waterbury State Complex. The upgrade included three volunteer work days in 2011 and it will be completed by summer, 2012.
LEAP continued identifying verifiable measures to allow us to track our town’s progress across a number of criteria and to create a town-wide energy inventory. The matrix LEAP developed thanks to Jamie Ervin will be refined and then provided to town energy committees across the state.
CLiF worked with local Crossett Brook Middle School students to obtain a grant to acquire some TED energy monitors, and then helped circulate the monitors among local businesses and schools to allow people become more aware of their energy consumption and help them make their buildings more energy efficient.