Conference energizes town for future development
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | April 25,2013
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Stacey Adamson of Cody, Neb., was the keynote speaker Wednesday during Poultney 2020.
POULTNEY — An all-day conference Wednesday on the future of development in town generated four potential projects residents want to see accomplished.
Dozens of residents, college administrators and students at “Poultney 2020” voted to focus resources on accomplishing a community art center on Main Street, a localvore restaurant, a park on Main Street and a hub for recreation trails in town.
Conference organizer Matt Mayberry, professor of business and economics at Green Mountain College, said groups were formed to start tackling each of these proposals. They will meet within a month to discuss how to start each project.
“People thought it was a good day,” Mayberry said. “It’s things like this that show how close the community is. It was a nice mix of students, faculty and town residents.”
He added, “If we get these things done, it will be amazing. And Poultney is already an amazing town.”
The Poultney 2020 conference was a partnership between the Downtown Poultney Revitalization Committee, the college and members of the community.
The goal was to determine ways to revitalize the community with projects, in similar fashion to how it was done more than a decade ago.
“It went beyond our expectations,” said Chuck Colvin, a member of the revitalization committee who was there for the last community conference in 2002. “It was wonderful. Very positive.”
The day consisted of several panels with local and state leaders discussing what has been done across Vermont, in Poultney and what still needs to be done.
Colvin said the morning panel with community leaders from Hardwick, Middlebury, Bellows Falls and Morrisville was “fantastic” as they explained what they did and how it worked.
“You get obsessed with it and that’s how you succeed,” he said. “This is going to be a couple of years and it’s going to be a lot of work.”
This was also the message delivered by keynote speaker Stacey Adamson, a teacher from Cody, Neb. She was part of her town’s three-year community project to construct a student-run entrepreneur supermarket. It is set to open later this week.
She left Poultney residents with three key points to remember while they tackle their own projects.
Regardless of the project, it will take a lot of work but the reward will be well worth the effort.
If a community wants to grow, its residents must expand their horizons.
If her Nebraska town with a population of 151 can build a new community supermarket, Poultney can meet its goals, too.
“Just do the work,” Adamson said. “If you do the work, the right people will show up.”