2012 Grants Listed Alphabetically by Organization

ADDISON COUNTY TRANSIT RESOURCES | 2012-2013 | Energy | $40,000 over 2 years
To develop a Smart Commute Addison County program, establish a Transportation Management Association (TMA) of local businesses and municipalities and other local transportation initiatives that reduce the economic/environmental cost of commuting. High Meadows supports this initiative because of the potential to reduce vehicle miles traveled by commuters, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing the transportation sector’s environmental impact is particularly challenging in a rural state.

In 2012, on the first anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) released two videos that highlight lessons learned during the storm regarding the positive role of conserved wetlands and farmland and properly sized culverts in protecting communities downstream. In 2013, Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) established a website designed to help communities identify ways to become more resilient in the face of flooding and other extreme weather events. CLF, CRWC, and ANR pulled together community officials and environmental advocates to provide input into the web content. The website can be accessed by visiting www.floodready.vermont.gov.

AMERICAN FARMLAND TRUST | 2012 | Land Use | $12,000
To support a regional convening of funders and state Agriculture Agency leadership to share policies that conserve farmland and keep it in production and affordable to farmers in order to encourage learning across different New England states. For example, Vermonters learned about Rhode Island’s policies to assist in conserving smaller farm parcels in more populous areas, which may be relevant in areas like Chittenden County.

CARSHARE VERMONT | 2012 | Energy | $30,000
To increase staffing for outreach and membership so the organization can grow and become more financially independent. On average, CarShare households drive 3,550 fewer miles per year, which lowers their emissions of greenhouse gases (approximately 3,450 lbs of CO2 each) and other pollutants. 

Support for the Youth Farmer Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program. IDA is a collaboration between CVCAC and UVM Extension to teach youth interested in agriculture how to manage their own commercial enterprises by building financial literacy, business equity, and management skills. In its first year, the program helped 17 young women and men, aged 13 to 22, find on-farm mentorships.

ENERGY ACTION NETWORK (Fiscal Sponsor: Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund) | 2012 | Energy | $10,000
Assessment of capital needs and strategies to achieve a renewable energy future in Vermont.  The resulting report concluded that in order for 80% of Vermont's energy needs to be met through efficiency and renewables by 2030, Vermont needs: 1) significant changes in how we live, work and play; 2) immediate comprehensive and bold transportation and energy strategies statewide; 3) in excess of $28.7 billion in capital; and 4) the adoption of a strategic plan for economic and infrastructure development.

HIGHFIELDS CENTER FOR COMPOSTING | 2012-2014 | Agriculture, Energy, Land Use | $150,000 over 3 years
To establish statewide food scrap recycling through the Close the Loop! (CTL!) program. CTL! has potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels in maintaining soil fertility, improve farm viability through the sale of compost, and reduce waste and emissions from hauling and burying organic waste in landfills. Highfields learned: 1) developing a community-based facility is more expensive than originally thought; 2) environmental and agricultural policies and regulations need to be better coordinated as they apply to compost; and 3) selling compost takes time and skills that are challenging for farmers.

Unfortunately, Highfields closed in 2014; see our 2014 grantmaking page for further information.

INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES | 2012 | Agriculture, Land Use | $20,000
ISC conducted research and hosted three large convenings to identify key challenges in strengthening the long-term resiliency of Vermont's economy, environment, and communities. We hoped this project would galvanize efforts to improve local and regional planning, infrastructure planning, and coordination among economic development, housing, and environmental resource planners. Since the report’s release, High Meadows provided funding to implement some of its recommendations (See 2013 and 2014 Grantmaking).

INTERVALE CENTER | 2012 | Agriculture, Land Use | $50,000
We provide general operating support to the Intervale Center because of their programs aimed at increasing the consumption of locally produced food, providing technical assistance and peer support to farms in the Intervale and across the state, testing new distribution models, and lowering the environmental impact of farming.

POST OIL SOLUTIONS | 2012-2013 | Agriculture | $31,000 over 2 years
Operational support to coordinate Windham Farm and Food Network (now Food Connects), increase access to local food, and increase overall amount of food produced and consumed in Windham County by developing new markets. 

RUTLAND AREA FARM AND FOOD LINK | 2012 | Agriculture | $20,000
General operating support for RAFFL, which promotes farm viability by connecting farmers with consumers RAFFL supports food systems in Rutland County through community engagement, information sharing, farmer workshops, matching farmers with restaurant/institutional buyers, and tracking the Rutland area’s food system.

THE CARROT PROJECT (Fiscal Sponsor: Third Sector New England) | 2012-2013 | Agriculture | $32,500 over two years
There are two parts to this grant:  1) Start-up operation support, and 2) General support to The Carrot Project’s Agriculture Loan Fund in partnership with the Vermont Community Loan Fund. HMF supports The Carrot Project because of their success in providing financing and technical assistance to new farmers unavailable elsewhere. The Carrot Project will track changes in profitability and the ability of the businesses to meet their goals.

UVM AGROECOLOGY AND RURAL LIVELIHOODS RESEARCH GROUP (ARLG) | 2012-2014 | Agriculture, Land Use | $37,950 over 3 years
HMF supported UVM's work to evaluate agricultural practices that adapt to a changing climate and forestall more dramatic changes (Climate Change Best Management Practices, CCBMPs). ARLG interviewed 12 Vermont service providers about perceptions of CCBMPs, risks and rewards of climate change for agriculture, how farmers are mitigating risk, and methods for communicating about climate change to the Vermont agricultural community. ARLG worked with 12 Vermont farms to measure greenhouse gas emissions, explore use of crop insurance, and develop digital visualizations of CCBMP implementation. The program’s website is here.

VERMONT AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (Fiscal Sponsor: Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund) | 2012-2013 | Agriculture | $40,000 over 2 years
The Vermont Agricultural Development Program (VADP), a collaboration between VSJF and the Vermont Farm Viability Program at VHCB, supports the growth and long-term success of Vermont-based, value-added agricultural enterprises that are building markets and infrastructure for other Vermont agricultural businesses. For the seven Round One clients providing year-end 2012 financials, average annual revenues were up 31 percent from 2010 (the pre-VADP benchmark year). The median revenue increase was 40 percent, with a combined revenue increase of $1.31 million. In 2010, 5 of these 7 businesses had lost money. By 2012, 5 of the 7 were earning a profit. Their cumulative employment increased by 9.5 FTEs. Five of the 6 Round 1 clients accessed and secured new capital in the form of grants, equity and loans in 2012.

VERMONT COUNCIL ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT | 2012| Agriculture, Land Use | $20,000
To develop the Vermont Working Landscape Partnership and a campaign to advance policy, funding and implementation of an enterprise development plan for Vermont’s working landscape. VCRD's successful advocacy resulted in over $1 million in awards distributed to businesses and nonprofits in June 2013.  

Residential Transportation Efficiency Pilot
Joint project with University of Vermont Transportation Research Center (UVM TRC) to pilot vehicle fuel use monitoring through in-vehicle, on-board diagnostic devices. Drivers can lower fuel use through eco-driving techniques like reducing idling, accelerating slowly, and using even speeds on highways. Building on a 2009 grant to the UVM TRC, this project sought to develop a vehicle meter-loan system in order to provide travelers with an assessment of their transportation energy use through on-board diagnostic devices. Fuel economy did not improve among project participants, however, and VEIC does not recommend pursuing widespread implementation of a vehicle meter loan program for individual drivers. Without immediate feedback, it’s challenging for drivers to make changes that result in appreciable fuel economy changes. These vehicle meter loans did not provide adequate immediate feedback.

VERMONT LAND TRUST | 2011-2013 | Agriculture,  Land Use | $150,000 over 3 years
High Meadows has provided operating support to the Vermont Land Trust since 2005 in recognition of its leadership in conserving farmland and connecting new farmers with conserved farm properties. In 2012, VLT purchased conservation easements on 20 working farms and made a total of 57 conservation transactions, including the 1,100 acre Bolton Valley Nordic Land. VLT expanded its efforts to conserve riparian zones and important habitat as a means of increasing river protection in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene. VLT also partnered with the Agency of Natural Resources in flood resilience discussions.

VERMONT HOUSING AND CONSERVATION BOARD | 2012 | Energy, Land Use | $18,000
Manufactured Housing Innovation Project
With an advisory committee, VHCB conducted a study to answer the question, "Are there designs for manufactured housing that are durable, energy efficient and affordable for low income Vermonters?" This study, with 30 diverse participants, resulted in a report concluding that highly energy efficient manufactured homes can be made available to Vermonters at an estimated purchase price of $78,000, and they would consume about 29% as much energy as a new HUD compliant home of the same size. The study recommended a pilot project to confirm how the homes would perform and test how lenders, land use law, and the housing market would treat the homes. See 2013 and beyond for follow-up grants.

VERMONT NATURAL RESOURCES COUNCIL | 2012 | Energy, Land Use | $80,000
High Meadows provides operating support to VNRC because of its leadership in supporting policies and local planning practices that support sustainable land use, healthy forests, and clean energy. More specifically, we support VNRC's advocacy for new funding and financing for weatherization programs; strong standards for efficiency and wood sourcing for biomass projects; their support for local energy committees and the Community Energy Challenge; pilot implementation of the new Resilient Communities Scorecard; and their participation in ISC’s Resilient Vermont project. In 2012, VNRC took over the Alliance of Conservation Commissioners, established an alliance with the VT Conservation Voters, improved coordination among the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN), worked with the Public Service Department on the state’s energy policy, and improved the state’s understanding of forest health issues with respect to modern wood heating.

VITAL COMMUNITIES | 2012-2013 | Energy | $36,000 over two years
Vital Communities’ Smart Commute program is developing an efficient and replicable model for delivering services to Upper Valley employers to help employees reduce single-occupancy vehicle commuting.


Click here for a list of grants made in 2016.

Click here for a list of grants made in 2015.

Click here for a list of grants made in 2014

Click here for a list of grants made in 2013