Winter Walk to School DayJoin Vermont families and school communities on Feb. 2 for Winter Walk to School Day! Local Motion welcomes photos of your walk: tag social photos with #VermontTough to post them on its social media! Local Motion will also be doing a drawing March 15 for prizes from #VermontTough submissions, including Darn Tough socks, reflective gear and light-up leashes. Can’t make the Feb. 2 walk? Alternate Winter Walk to School Day is any other day in February. Local Motion is working to make biking and walking a way of life in Vermont.
Two contestsVermont 4-H invites students in Grades 3-12 to explore their creativity, ingenuity and engineering skills through two contests, the Rube Goldberg Challenge and Create Your Own Invention Contest. The deadline for both contests is Feb. 19. Details and links for registration (required to access the Flipgrid contest site) can be found at www.uvm.edu/extension/youth/announcements online. One winner in each age group (Grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12) will be selected for each contest and will receive a $50 gift certificate.
Conservation campsIf you are 12 to 14 years old and want to learn about Vermont’s wildlife and gain outdoor skills, consider attending one of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Green Mountain Conservation Camps this summer. The one-week camp programs open June 19 and continue until Aug. 19 at Lake Bomoseen in Castleton and Buck Lake in Woodbury. Tuition is $250 for the week, includes food, lodging and equipment. Visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com for details.
COVID-19 remains an unknown factor in planning for the 2022 Conservation Camp program. Keeping staff and campers safe and healthy could mean last minute changes such as reducing the number of sessions held, reducing the number of students in each session, or canceling the program for 2022. For more information, email FWGMCC@vermont.gov or call (802) 522-2925.
Fall 2021 academic honors at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, include Madeline Fuller, of Brandon, named to the president’s list; Kathleen Hodsden, Noah Rawling, both of Bellows Falls, and Janelle Kitchin, of Benson, named to the dean’s list.
Fall 2021 academic honors at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, include Aislynn Kelley, of Belmont, Management Pre-Major major, and Tara Kellogg, of Proctor, Hospitality, Resort, and Tourism Management major, named to the president’s list; Kelsey Lafaso, of Brandon, Information Technology major, and Justin Tremblay, of Brandon, Biology major, named to the dean’s list.
Lillie Berkhout, of Pawlet, Early Childhood Preschool major, was named to the fall 2021 dean’s list at the University of Vermont.
Elise Hope, of Chittenden, Virginia Grey, of Fair Haven, and Jenna Atkinson, of Rutland, were named to the fall 2021 dean’s list at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
Kyla Dodge-Goshea, of Brandon, was named to the fall 2021 dean’s list at Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts.
Estelle Kearns, of Castleton, was named to the fall 2021 dean’s list at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Tree salePOULTNEY — The Poultney Mettowee Natural Resource Conservation District is holding its annual plant sale fundraiser. This year, a variety of native trees and shrubs are offered for landscaping, naturalizing and foraging (including balsam fir, sugar maple, serviceberry, elderberry and winterberry) as well as a variety of berries (blueberry, raspberry and strawberry) and fruit trees (apple, peach, pear and cherry). Many of the native plants are locally grown at the Champlain Valley Native Plant Restoration Nursery located in Poultney. The nursery is a partnership between the Poultney Mettowee Conservation District and the Nature Conservancy, with support from the Village of Poultney.
Visit www.pmnrcd.org/champlain-valley-native-plant-restoration-nursery to view the catalog and order form. If ordering after March 10, inquire about availability before sending payment and mailing an order. Orders will be taken until April 10. Pick up is Saturday, May 7, at the Champlain Valley Native Plant Restoration Nursery. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (802) 287-6606.
Frostbite preventionFrostbite is a common injury caused by exposure to severe cold or contact between the skin and ice, cold metal or freezing liquids. The body parts most commonly affected are fingers, toes, cheeks, nose and ears. The reduced blood flow from damaged blood vessels can cause gangrene. Another lingering effect is body parts that have suffered frostbite damage are more susceptible to suffering frostbite in the future. Some helpful hints for prevention include:
— Limit your time outdoors in cold, wet or windy weather.
— Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing. Air trapped between layers of clothing acts as insulation against the cold.
— Wear a hat or headband that fully covers your ears.
— Change out of wet clothing as soon as possible, especially gloves and socks.
— Wear mittens rather than gloves. Mittens offer better protection. Try wearing a thin layer of glove liners made of a wicking material such as polypropylene under heavier mittens or gloves.
— Wear socks and sock liners that fit well and wick moisture.
— Don’t drink alcohol if you plan to venture outside. Alcoholic beverages cause your body to lose heat faster. If you become cold, drinking a warm, sweet beverage such as hot chocolate, can warm you up quickly.
— Keep moving. Exercise helps keep the blood pumping to your extremities. Be sure not to overdo it to the point of exhaustion.
— Watch for signs of frostbite. Early signs include red or pale skin, a prickling sensation and numbness. If you think you may have frostbite, seek medical attention.
Agritourism resourceAgritourism is a way for farms to diversify their revenue sources and establish new connections within their communities. However, developing overnight farm stays, on-farm experiences and connecting with target markets, can be challenging. University of Vermont Extension, in collaboration with Vermont Fresh Network, Dig In Vermont and Farm Stay USA, has developed a comparison table to help agritourism operators make informed decisions about listing and booking farm stays and on-farm experiences. Visit go.uvm.edu/comparisontable online.
A Virtual Agritourism Gatherings webinar from 11 a.m. to noon Jan. 18 will feature experienced agritourism operators from Vermont, Oregon and Italy, who will discuss options for listing and booking farm stays and experiences. Registration is required for the free workshop, at go.uvm.edu/agtourism-gatherings online.
Free trainingBURLINGTON — Vermont Story Lab announces winter labs offered free online to nonprofits. The storytelling trainings are designed to help nonprofits kick off their 2022 communications and development. Visit vermontstorylab.org to get information on upcoming labs in February and March via Zoom. They are:
— Introduction to storytelling: Why story matters and how it can help you. 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 2, and 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10.
— Picture Perfect: Tell your stories visually. 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17.
— Better, stronger, faster: Improve your storytelling through editing. 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24.
— Sort it out: Organize your storytelling communications calendar. 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 10.
— Strength in Numbers: Use your data to tell your story. 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, March 17.
Winter conferenceThe Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) announced registration is now open for the 40th annual Winter Conference, “Dream into Being,” happening Feb. 17 through March 5, both online and on farms around Vermont. Registration is on a sliding scale of $0-$150 dollars. The conference is free for Black, Indigenous and people of color. Visit nofavt.org/conference online for details.
Phosphorus reductionThe Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) recently opened applications for the new Vermont Pay for Phosphorus (VPFP) program. VAAFM received a $7 million grant award from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) enabling the VPFP Program to expand and support agriculture’s role in delivering clean water results for Vermont. The program will provide $4.9 million in direct payments to farms over four years for successful phosphorus management. Visit agriculture.vermont.gov/VPFP for information.
Volunteers honoredVermont Adaptive Ski and Sports program coordinators recognized this year’s three Volunteers of the Year at off-snow trainings this fall held virtually due to the pandemic. Julie Kaye, of Hinesburg, Kevin Maichen, of Killington, and Rob Galloway, of Richmond, were named 2021 Volunteers of the Year. This tribute is presented in honor of Jim Hutchinson, a Vermont Adaptive volunteer who left a legacy of empowerment to people of all abilities and a commitment toward supporting the organization.
Free ice fishingVermont’s Free Ice Fishing Day is Saturday, Jan. 29, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Residents and nonresident anglers may ice fish on any Vermont waterbody that is open to ice fishing without a fishing license on Free Ice Fishing Day. Visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com for more information. The virtual ice fishing festival has a video presentation on fish identification, safety and cooking your catch.
Ice fishing fundamentalsAnglers spend more than a combined 400,000 days each winter ice fishing in Vermont, and the state’s Fish and Wildlife Department is encouraging more people to give it a try. Visit vtfishandwildlife.com/fish/fishing-opportunities/vermonts-ice-fishing-opportunities/ice-fishing-basics for more about ice fishing for beginners.
Watershed grantsThe 2022 Vermont Watershed Grants Program is now accepting applications for projects that protect, restore and enhance the state’s lakes, streams, rivers and ponds, including Vermonters’ ability to understand and enjoy these treasures. Applications are due no later than Friday, Feb. 11.
Program grants are available to municipalities, local and regional government agencies, sporting clubs, nonprofit organizations and water-related citizen groups. Projects that seek to directly protect or restore fish and aquatic wildlife habitat are strongly encouraged. Examples of past funded projects include invasive species education, shoreline vegetation restoration and the removal of old dams and replacement of culverts to improve fish passage. Visit dec.vermont.gov/water-investment/cwi/grants/co-opportunities for details.
Conservation resourceVermont Fish and Wildlife partners with Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions announced an updated handbook to tackle 21st-century challenges for Vermonters serving on municipal conservation commissions. These local groups of volunteers take on a wide range of projects, from removing invasive species on town lands, to raising funds for conservation deals, to leading birding outings in their communities. Visit vtconservation.com/handbook to find more details.
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