The Northeast Kingdom Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation has announced $117,219 in grants to 24 organizations in its 2022 competitive grant round. The awards will support nonprofits and municipalities in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties. The grants include support to organizations working with youth and families, education, and community enhancement. Thanks to several generous fundholders who contributed through the Community Foundation’s Giving Together program, the fund is providing grants to more nonprofits than in previous years. Contributions demonstrate the importance of philanthropic collaboration and partnership in advancing the good work in the Northeast Kingdom.
“Connection—to place, to the outdoors, to neighbors—is a key theme of this year’s grant awards, and that is just what is needed after two years of isolation,” says Holly Morehouse, vice president of Grants and Community Impact at the Vermont Community Foundation. “We are so grateful for our fundholders who stepped up to support these inspiring grantees, extending our impact and showing how we are truly better together.”
The Northeast Kingdom Fund was established in 2011 by the Community Foundation and local partners as a permanent philanthropic resource to support the people and communities in the region. A committee of residents living and working in the Northeast Kingdom reviews all proposals and chooses the grant recipients.
To learn more about the Northeast Kingdom Fund, visit vermontcf.org/nek.
The Bend Revitalization Initiative received $5,000 to hold community forums, engaging youth and families in reimagining programs and events at Greensboro Bend Park in anticipation of the new Rail Trail—scheduled to open in 2023—which will run through the park property. County to be served: Orleans
Canaan Schools received $5,000 to engage families of young children in a weekly literacy-based playgroup, strengthening relationships and providing community support connections with area agencies. County to be served: Essex
Center for an Agricultural Economy (CAE) received $5,000 to support Produce to Pantries, a partnership between CAE, farms, and food pantries to purchase over 30,000 lbs. of locally grown produce for distribution at sites in Hardwick, Craftsbury, and Albany. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Orleans
Craftsbury Saplings received $5,000 to support work with an architect to create a conceptual design for an expanded childcare center. The center’s expansion seeks to support job growth, families, and community vitality. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Lamoille, Orleans
Dailey Memorial Library received $3,469 to support a partnership with NorthWoods Stewardship Center to establish two permanent StoryWalk® installations, showcasing up to 12 children’s books per year. County to be served: Orleans
Danville Senior Action Center received $1,800 to promote greater senior participation in its dining room meals and offered activities, and to decrease contagion for all who share the space by purchasing an air purifier. County to be served: Caledonia
Encore After School and Summer Programs of the North Country Supervisory Union (NCSU) received $5,000 to support high school youth with training and guidance when visiting NCSU elementary afterschool programs to offer service-learning opportunities. Counties to be served: Essex, Orleans
The Town of Brownington Food Sovereignty and Business Task Force received $5,000 to support the Brownington Harvest Market, connecting local agricultural producers, businesses, and community members to increase local food access and business resiliency, and catalyzing further community connection. County to be served: Orleans
Friends of Dog Mountain received $3,950 to support the creation of a fenced-in area on the Dog Mountain property, providing dogs and dog owners in the NEK with a safe space to play, socialize, and build community in the outdoors. Counties to be served: Statewide, Caledonia
Greater Barton Arts received $5,000 to support completion of its kitchen renovation, ensuring the organization continues to serve as a center of community activity. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Essex, Orleans
Green Mountain United Way received $5,000 to support expansion of the Working Bridges program, introducing Farmers to You and the 185 Fund to the NEK. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans, Washington
Helping Other People Everyday (HOPE) received $7,500 in general operating support as a follow-on to a multi-year commitment made in 2021. This award will be distributed in 2023. County to be served: Caledonia
John Woodruff Simpson Memorial Library received $5,000 to offer a series of workshops and programs to support and benefit families and child care providers in the Craftsbury area. County to be served: Orleans
Lyndon Institute received $3,000 to host a Career and Apprenticeship Fair for high school students, connecting students with employers, as well as certificate and apprenticeship programs. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Essex, Orleans
Northern Border Running Club received $5,000 to provide free, family-friendly races in communities around the NEK, bolstering support of local businesses and strengthening community connection. Counties to be served: Essex, Orleans
Northern Forest Canoe Trail received $5,000 to permanently protect access to NorthWoods Landing, a boat launch and campsite located along the Clyde River in East Charleston used for youth programing and family outings. County to be served: Essex
Orleans County Historical Society received $5,000 to support the hiring of three NEK middle school students for the 2023 summer as youth museum professionals at the Old Stone House Museum & Historic Village. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Orleans
Rural ARTS Collaborative received $5,000 to support, educate, and empower youth through group mentorship, introducing skills and concepts that excite them to try new things and develop confidence. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Orleans
Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center received $5,000 to support and further develop the Farm & Forest Fridays program at the Lunenburg Elementary School, a weekly program that connects students to place and each other. County to be served: Essex
The Civic Standard received $5,000 to bring together Hardwick residents to reflect and rejuvenate cultural life by operating a centrally located space for community-driven events and programs. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Orleans
Town of Lyndon received $5,000 to install a public art sculpture at the historic Sanborn Covered Bridge, welcoming visitors and residents into Riverfront Park and downtown Lyndonville. County to be served: Caledonia
The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the Burke Conservation Commission, received $5,000 to support acquisition of 283 acres of forestland for the creation of a new, town-owned community forest. County to be served: Caledonia
Umbrella of St. Johnsbury received $7,500 in general operating support as a follow-on to a multi-year commitment made in 2021. This award will be distributed in 2023. County to be served: Caledonia
Vermont Rural Education Collaborative received $5,000 to support development of community engagement methods for school communities. The training will include theory and practice of effective, authentic, and constructive community engagement methods through four interactive sessions with school community stakeholders. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans
The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love. The heart of the Community Foundation’s work is closing the opportunity gap—the divide that leaves too many Vermonters struggling to get ahead, no matter how hard they work. We are aligning our time, energy, and discretionary resources on efforts that provide access to early care and learning, pathways to college and career training, support for youth and families, and community and economic vitality. We envision Vermont at its best—where everyone has the opportunity to build a bright, secure future. Visit vermontcf.org or call 802-388-3355 for more information.