Mobile Workshops


NACDEP/ANREP Mobile Workshops
[Note: Some of the tours have limited participation. Signups will be accepted on a first-come/first-served basis. Where participation is not specified the maximum size of the group will be determined by the bus (usually 50). Most of these larger tours are set up so groups will be divided into smaller clusters for the actual tours.]

1.      A Guided Paddle on the Winooski River - SOLD OUT
Join us for a guided paddle down one of Vermont's most significant rivers. This gentle and slow-moving river is perfect for any level of paddler, including beginners. Enjoy a 4-mile paddle, as you float slowly through Vermont farmland, awed by views of Camel's Hump Mountain. You may see otters, deer or even an occasional moose as they come to drink from the river. Along the way, we'll learn about the rich natural and human history of the river, from its original name the Onion River, to modern day stream restoration and monitoring efforts. Limited to 20 participants. A $45 charge covers boat/pfd rental.

2.      Following the Flow; A Water Quality Walking Tour of Burlington
We’ll follow the flow of water from UVM campus on the hill to the shores of Lake Champlain. This tour will take you on a 2-mile walk highlighting the successes and the failures of Burlington’s innovative green infrastructure program.  We will visit at least 7 sites, including pervious concrete, rain garden and pervious paver projects, as well as a Silva Cell installation and Storm Crete installation.  The tour will highlight the practical elements of green stormwater infrastructure, such as design, installation and maintenance approaches. We’ll also share lessons learned from Burlington’s experiences- showcasing successes as well as some of our more challenging projects. Then, we'll step inside Burlington’s premiere science center and aquarium, ECHO, for a behind the scenes tour and some free time to explore the exhibits. Limited to 20 participants
 
 3.      Seeing the Forest for the Trees;  A Walking Tour of Burlington's Urban Forest
Spend an afternoon getting to know the trees of Burlington's urban forest and the ways in which they benefit the community and its residents.  We'll start on UVM's campus to learn how trees help define the character of Vermont's land grant institution and how students have become increasingly involved in tree stewardship in recent years.  Then we will walk downtown along Burlington's tree-lined streets to meet with the city's Trees & Greenways Team.  Burlington's City Arborist has had a 35-year tenure managing 8,500 street trees, 3,100 park trees, and 150 acres of forested parkland.  The 2-mile walking tour will highlight specific trees and projects, meandering from downtown to Waterfront Park.  Topics will include how Burlington is utilizing trees as it renovates its aging infrastructure, how the city recovered from losing 11,000 elms to Dutch elm disease, and how volunteers are involved in growing the trees that line the city's streets. Limited to 25 participants.
 
4.        Adapting Our Communities, Our Businesses and Our Forests to a Changing Climate SOLD OUT
Burlington has a long history of climate change planning. In 1996, Burlington became one of the first cities to join the “Cities for Climate Protection” campaign. These efforts continue today with a Climate Action Plan that is comprised of over 200 strategies to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. On this tour, we will learn about Burlington's collaborative approach to climate change, see first-hand the impact of a changing climate on Vermont's agricultural and forested landscapes and visit the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center to learn why climate change is not so sweet for Vermont's maple syrup industry.  Then, we’ll head out into the woods to learn about strategies being used to adapt Vermont’s forest to climate change.  

5.        Creating a Sustainable Energy Future (CANCELLED)
Vermonters are working toward a clean energy future.  This tour will highlight local initiatives to help Vermont communities advance a more sustainable energy future.  We'll visit Meach Cove Farm in Shelburne, a 1,000-acre certified organic farm with the goal of identifying alternatives to petroleum fuel for space heating that can be grown on the property. We'll learn about their research, from a grass biomass project to a 2.96 MWdc solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Then we'll head to Hinesburg where we will learn about Vermont Fuels For Schools (VFFS), a statewide renewable energy-use initiative to promote and encourage the use of renewable, local natural resources to provide reliable heat for Vermont schools.  Lastly, we'll delve into local energy planning.  We'll learn how Vermont communities and energy committees have become increasingly pivotal and powerful players making positive change happen in their communities.

6.         Engaging the Next Generations: Innovative Programs that Inspire Community Connections and a Sustainable Future
Join us for a tour of Shelburne Farms, a nonprofit organization educating for a sustainable future through knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet.  Shelburne Farm is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark. We’ll learn about four innovative programs, Forests for Every Classroom, Farm to School, the Sustainable Schools Project and the Shelburne Explorers 4H.  Then we’ll tour the Farm in an open-air wagon (truck-pulled), explore the working farm and historic landscape, visit the children's farmyard, and take a walk on the trails.  We’ll leave plenty of time for you to explore this popular Vermont destination--there's so much to experience at Shelburne Farms.

7.        Foresters For the Birds: An Innovative Approach to Forest and Songbird Habitat Management SOLD OUT
This tour will highlight the USFS award-winning Foresters for the Birds project.  The project engages foresters and woodland owners in managing forests with songbird habitat in mind.  It was developed with extensive collaboration between foresters and bird biologists. The project gives foresters the tools and training to help landowners protect and improve habitat for interior forest nesting species that are characteristic of specific regions and stands while producing forest products and services.  Join us as we visit the Audubon Center Demonstration Forest in Huntington, VT which has implemented three silvicultural treatments from the Foresters for the Birds toolkit options. We’ll tour the demonstration sites, discuss the goals of these treatments, the economics, and the short- and long-term impacts on bird habitat, diversity, and abundance.  We’ll also learn about Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Maple Project--a way to support and promote sugarbush management that’s good for Vermont’s birds, forests, and forest-based economy. Limited to 20 participants.

 8.       Resilient Shorelines: Restoration and Protection along Vermont’s Waterways - SOLD OUT
Come learn about Vermont’s journey to shoreland protection. We’ll tour a natural shoreline demonstration site at Lake Iroquois to help lakefront property owners and contractors better understand the goals of natural shoreline restoration and related legislation.  Then we’ll turn our attention beyond the shores to learn about efforts underway to manage Eurasian Watermilfoil through Vermont’s Boat Greeter and Aquatic Invasives Citizen Monitoring Program.  Next we’ll get back on the bus and head to the Intervale Conservation Nursery, which grows native, locally sourced trees and shrubs for riparian restoration projects throughout Vermont. We’ll learn about their growing techniques and about their work to restore vegetation along Vermont’s Waterways.  We'll end at Burlington’s premiere science center and aquarium, ECHO.

9.        Burlington Edible History Walking Tour - SOLD OUT
This tour takes you on a 1.5-mile leisurely walk to experience the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of a bygone Burlington when farm-to-table was a way of life. We begin on the waterfront, where the Abenaki first harvested from the ancient Champlain Sea and continue today to harvest in and around the lake. The area was teeming with Yankee, Irish, French-Canadian, Lithuanian and Lebanese immigrants cutting ice from the lake, or peddling fresh fruits and vegetables in their new neighborhoods. We then walk uptown, following the route of those who prospered and moved to more affluent areas of the city.  Along Church Street, hear stories of Greeks, Chinese, African Americans, and Latvians. We also revisit the images and aromas of an Italian neighborhood that passed into history with urban renewal projects.  Along the way, we sample foods from 3 restaurants committed to serving local fare. This tour takes 2 to 2 ½ hours and ends in downtown Burlington, leaving you time for some shopping or exploring.   [Max. of 15 people per tour. Two tour options available.]

10.      Burlington Edible History Walking Tour - SOLD OUT
This tour takes you on a 1.5-mile leisurely walk to experience the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of a bygone Burlington when farm to table was a way of life. We begin on the waterfront, where the Abenaki first harvested from the ancient Champlain Sea and continue today to harvest in and around the lake. The area was teeming with Yankee, Irish, French-Canadian, Lithuanian and Lebanese immigrants cutting ice from the lake, or peddling fresh fruits and vegetables in their new neighborhoods. We then walk uptown, following the route of those who prospered and moved to more affluent areas of the city.  Along Church Street hear stories of Greeks, Chinese, African Americans, and Latvians. We also revisit the images and aromas of an Italian neighborhood that passed into history with urban renewal projects.  Along the way, we sample foods from 3 restaurants committed to serving local fare. This tour takes 2 to 2 ½ hours and ends in downtown Burlington, leaving you time for some shopping or exploring.   [Max. of 15 people per tour. Two tour options available.]

11.      21st Century Transportation: Challenges and Opportunities; Bicycle Tour
Hosted by Local Motion, a member-supported organization promoting people-powered transportation and recreation for healthy and sustainable Vermont communities, this 3-hour bike tour will feature some of the opportunities and challenges of getting us out of our cars. Bike around Burlington neighborhoods as you learn about some of the initiatives involved in keeping Burlington’s multi-modal streets safe and operational for all. Learn about the BikeSmart program for youth, the Safe Streets Project, and bike commuter workshops all designed to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Limited to 15 participants. A $25 supplement charged to cover bike/helmet rental.

12.      Community and Economic Development on Two Wheels: Bicycle Tour - SOLD OUT
Shared-use paths and trails are important for communities in numerous ways. First, they provide non-motorized transportation routes for commuting and other travel. Second, they provide active recreational opportunities that improve quality of life and promote healthy activities. Finally, paths and trails attract visitors and contribute to the economy of a community. During this 3-hour bike tour you’ll visit Burlington’s well-loved waterfront bike path and learn about the economic impact the path has had on the community and the various challenges faced over the years. You’ll also learn about other related initiatives such as the Island Line Trail, the bike ferry, and the policy implications of shared-use paths and trails. Limited to 15 participants. A $25 supplement charged to cover bike/helmet rental.

13.      Food, Culture and Agritourism
Vermont's food traditions, culture and tourism are closely connected. Tourism is big business for this small state. Each year Vermont hosts about 13.7 million visitors who leave behind approximately $1.4 billion dollars. On this tour we'll visit two farm businesses that have found ways to capture tourism dollars. We’ll begin with a visit to Allenholm Farm, a seven-generation apple orchard and farmstand. From there, we’ll travel down the road to visit Snow Farm Vineyard, Vermont’s first vineyard and grape winery. At both farms, we’ll sample their products and hear about challenges and opportunities of agritourism in Vermont.

14.      Revisiting the Creative Economy
The South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA) was founded in 1986 by a group of artists and business owners who shared the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the South End of today. The on-going goal of SEABA is promoting the community and economic vitality of the South End of Burlington. As more and more artists and business owners moved to the South End in search of affordable rental spaces, the South End has grown to accommodate what is now the largest concentration of incubator businesses per square mile in the entire State of Vermont.  Learn how this vital neighborhood came to be a creative hub and the opportunities and challenges it has met along the way. There will be plenty of time for gallery hopping, shopping or a cool drink at the local ciderhouse or brewery. This is primarily a walking tour. Limited to 20 participants.

15.      Folk Art, Quilts, Furniture and More at Shelburne Museum
Located in Vermont’s scenic Lake Champlain Valley, Shelburne Museum is one of the finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds. Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings, and a dazzling array of 17th-to 20th-century artifacts are on view. Shelburne is home to the finest museum collections of 19th-century American folk art, quilts, 19th- and 20th-century decoys, and carriages. This is a destination site for many visitors to Vermont.

16.      The Vermont Food Experience - SOLD OUT
The quintessential Vermont food experience can be found on this tour. Join us as we visit the home of Ben and Jerry’s, the Cold Hollow Cider Mill and then up the road to the Vermont Annex for some shopping and tasting of some of Vermont’s finest specialty food products -- it’s here that you can nibble a literal smorgasbord of Cabot Cheeses, indulge in Lake Champlain Chocolates, and then wash it all down with samples from Smuggler’s Notch Distillery. A good choice if this is your first visit to Vermont.

17.      Skill builder: Digital Photography
We live in a world where the digital image is more important than ever before. Whether you are building audiences on social media, updating websites, or publishing annual reports, chances are your need for fresh, attention-grabbing photographs has increased. Join colleagues in a small group setting to brush up on the basics of digital photography. Local photographer Jenny Brown will discuss photo composition, using different angles, light and shadow, and using different settings on your camera. This workshop will include some walking outside to practice these skills. Participants will need to provide their own cameras but cell phone cameras are fine. Limited to 12 participants.

18.      Tales from the New Economy
In this tour we’ll begin with a visit to the Intervale Food Hub, an innovative leader in building local foodsheds. The Intervale Food Hub is a growing enterprise that markets and distributes local food (hence the word “hub”). The Food Hub’s goal is to provide the greater Burlington community access to high-quality foods while returning a fair price to farmers. Over 20 Vermont family farms sell products to hundreds of community members right where they work through a multi-farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. This program also delivers shares to public schools and Burlington-area colleges.  We’ll finish the tour with a visit to Gardener’s Supply, one of Vermont’s growing number of employee-owned companies (ESOPs) providing environmentally friendly gardening products and information through its website, catalogs, and retail stores. The Vermont Employee Ownership Center staff(VEOC)will discuss the opportunities and challenges of ESOPs.