Transition Town Montpelier May Newsletter

Transition Town Montpelier Events

Transition Town Climate Talk THIS MONDAY!!!!

Monday, May 1, 6:00-7:30, Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier
Resilient VT Communities During Times of Arctic Warming

There’s a big thaw underway.  Northern Siberia, Canada, Alaska and the Arctic Oceans are getting cooked.
Find out how this rapidly-accelerating warming is affecting the world’s permafrost regions.  Dramatic developments of just the past 3-5 years are throwing the Arctic north out of balance, and are rapidly changing the weather for North America.  Vast and rapid swings of weather, smashing storm fronts and big swings of temperature are part of it, as are huge dumps of rain and snow, and high winds.
These changes will stress our community cohesion, and emphasize the fragility of modern culture.  Explore how we can respond as conditions unfold in unpredictable and perhaps extreme ways.  The New England village is uniquely positioned to develop ways to share these burdens together.
Presenter:  Plainfield resident Michael Cerulli Billingsley is a member of the International Permafrost Association and PYRN, as well as occasional member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).  He writes about science, especially long-term climate trends, and posts alerts at


Community Events and News

Montpelier Pedestrian Scramble

The newly formed Montpelier Complete Streets Group Committee will be hosting their first event, a pedestrian scramble!

Pedestrian Scrambles have taken place in cities across the United States. Destinations are marked on a map and your goal is to find as many as you can before time runs out. It’s a great way to get out, walk with friends and explore your own city!

How will the Montpelier Pedestrian Scramble Work?
-To preregister: Participants should pick up an application at Kellogg Hubbard Library. You can apply either as individuals or groups. There will be 3 age categories for individuals: Youth (18 or younger); Adult (19 to 65); Seniors 65 and above and 4 group categories: Multi-Generational such as families; Youth; Adults; Seniors. Participants should return their filled-out applications to the City Clerk’s Office in the City Hall and other locations either before May 6th or bring them on May 6h to the Gathering Place in front of City Hall before 2 PM. (Do not return them to the Kellogg Hubbard.)

You can also register the day of the event!

At the beginning of the Scramble, 2 PM, each individual or group will be given:
1) a street map of Montpelier with destinations roughly marked;
2) a descriptive list of Scramble destinations along with questions about destinations.
Each individual or group will have 15 minutes to plan which destinations to find and the routes you’ll take. Note destinations have varying point values.

All participants will start at 2:15 PM and return by 4 PM. If participants who don’t have time or energy to ‘scramble’ up to 4 PM, they are welcome to return anytime to the Finishing Location. After finding a destination, answer the questions about the destination. Incorrect answers/ late returns may be penalized.

Small Prizes for Winning Categories! Hope to see you there!

Wisdom of the Herbs School Events

Early Spring Wild Plant Walks
Annie McCleary will be leading Wild Plant Walks this Thursday, April 27 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, and Weds, May 3 from 5pm to 7pm at Wisdom of the Herbs School, 1005 County Road, Woodbury. Build your tree, shrub and herbaceous plant identification skills, and learn edible and medicinal properties. We will go out in a light rain. Sliding scale 0 to $20. Pre-register by phone at 456-8122 or email at or just show up. We are fortunate to live in an area with incredible plant-diversity!

Wisdom of the Herbs Certification Program 2017
We are accepting students into Wisdom of the Herbs 2017 up until June 15. Wisdom is a unique experiential program embracing the local herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs, home remedies,
sustainable living skills, and profound connection with Nature. Call Annie for an interview 802-456-8122 . Dates: April 22-23, May 20-21, June 17-18,July 15-16,  August 12-13,Sept 9-10, Oct 7-8, Nov 4-5, 2017. 96 hour program. Tuition $1750. Payment Plan $187.50 / month. Some of what we did during our April weekend: we dug False Hellebore (toxic) and Wild Leek (edible) so everyone knows which is which; visited our toothbrush tree (yellow birch); got wowed by the outrageous red of the pistillate catkin of beaked hazel (use a hand lens to fully appreciate); made dandelion pesto (do try it); sang to the gardens; meditated by the spring-full falls; nibbled ox-eye daisy leaves; talked about what there is to forage in April in Vermont (inner bark anyone?) and made some awesome new plant-loving friends. AND we talked intensively about living in these times of transition – climate change, the end of the age of oil, how to be resilient and live simply.  Annie McCleary, director, Wisdom of the Herbs School. 456-8122.

Prospect Rock Permaculture Classes

July 16 – 28  10th Annual Farm and WIlderness Permaculture Design Certificaiton Course
More info at
Crafting Creative Solutions for the Next Quarter Century with Burlington Permaculture
Fletcher Free Library Community Room – Burlington, VT
April 4th – 6:00-7:30pm
May 3rd – 6:00-8:00pm
After a few years of dormancy, Burlington Permaculture has sprouted once again! We’re looking for people passionate about creating a more vibrant, resilient community to join the discussion and contribute to the revival of our network.
For our first two events, we plan to create space for folks to share their vision and develop projects and initiatives for the weeks and months ahead. Community members, business owners, farmers, gardeners, teachers, builders, public officials and students… tell us how you’d like to help foster greater resilience, vitality, and interconnectedness in our neighborhood.
On April 4th from 6:00 – 7:30pm, we’ll begin with an overview of permaculture and its applicability to life in the greater Burlington community, share a bit about the history (and future) of Burlington Permaculture, and leave ample space for discussions and brainstorming about possible projects and outreach focused on environmental and social justice, urban food production, ecological building and renewable energy, food sovereignty, ecological economics, community governance, and more. We extend a special invitation to people who may be willing to be part of the organizing team.
Our second gathering (May 3rd from 6:00 – 8:00pm) features a facilitated open-ended, topic-based discussion on our vision for the betterment of Burlington. This ‘Open Space’ style event makes space for small group discussions on the topics dearest to those in attendance.  And in the true spirit of Permaculture, we hope to place far more emphasis on crafting solutions than complaining about problems. We’ll conclude the evening with a group update and discussion and make plans for our next community get-together.
We hope you can make it – all are welcome!
For more information, contact us at

May is Riparian Buffer Planting Season

Each year, Friends of the Winooski work with landowners and volunteers throughout the watershed to improve streamside buffers that help reduce erosion and improve water quality and habitat.
This May, the Friends will be planting in Plainfield, Marshfield, and Stowe. Individuals and volunteer groups from a wide range of area schools, organizations, and businesses will help us get the trees (and shrubs) in the ground.

The restoration of riparian buffers improves water quality to prevent sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, pesticides and other pollutants from reaching a stream. Last year we planted 2,250 trees and shrubs on five properties–totaling more than 6.5 acres–and performed site maintenance, such as removing knotweed, from around 8 acres of recently planted sites. Site maintenance improves the growth and survival of planted stems, accelerating buffer function.

Want to help? Take a look at our schedule below. New volunteers sign up frequently, so plantings may hit a cap and close to the public. Click here to inquire about current volunteer needs.

May 2, 10, and 11 – Plainfield

May 3 and 9 – Stowe

May 10 and 18 – Marshfield

Epic Skill Swap in Camp Wilmot NH

Epic Skill Swap is a participatory weekend festival where you can learn new skills, share the skills you have, and spend a couple days with an amazing group of people. Let’s use our knowledge and the knowledge of others to build the kind of world we want to see. Learn more at

Weekend A: May 26–29, 2017
Weekend B: June 9–12, 2017

Epic Skill Swap is a chance to teach others what you know, and learn what others have to share. It’s a chance to foster both self-reliance and interdependency by tapping into knowledge within existing social networks. Not everyone who attends will necessarily teach a workshop, but this event is all about creating an experience that is shaped more by its participants than by its organizers. We aim to create a space and a framework in which participants can share and learn, but the real magic comes from the people who attend and contribute to making this the most amazing experience it can be.

Archery and Trail Running with Mountainsong Expeditions

Spring is here and it’s time for a new session of Running With Artemis — a 7-week women’s running archery course in Worcester, Vermont.
Spring Session:  April 17-May 29th, 2017
Every Monday, 3:30-6pm, in Worcester, VT

Join our tribe of adventurous women as we run through the forest with our bows and arrows.  Cultural research suggests that all humans evolved to hunt by running down their prey as a tribal group.  Archery stills the mind and connects us with our focus and will.  Running brings us into alignment with our core strength and vitality as we do what our bodies were designed to do.  The mythological goddess archetypes of huntresses and female warriors will inform our training.  We will draw on the therapeutic principles of Somatic Psychology to learn to integrate our mind, body, and spirit in new ways.  We will build a supportive sisterhood of strong women, sharing our experience with the group as we challenge ourselves and experience new growth. Details:…

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