Meadow Muffins Blog
What we’re seeing, hearing, thinking about, and reflecting on in our work around Vermont.
A new report by Energy Futures Group takes a look at a fairly recent component of Vermont’s energy policy. The report focuses on “Tier 3” of Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, which the legislature passed in 2015. This set of policies requires utility companies to draw a certain amount of energy from renewable sources. While other pieces, or tiers, of the Renewable Energy Standard increase renewable energy in the electrical grid, Tier 3 is about helping Vermonters clean up heating and transportation. High Meadows provided support for this report because we wanted to better understand how Tier 3 works and what the policy looks like in practice.Read More
Earlier this month, High Meadows hosted a day of learning for our board and other funders interested in forest health and integrity. We gathered at the Green Mountain Club Visitor Center, in Waterbury Center, and started the day with a morning walk guided by Steve Hagenbuch, conservation biologist and forester with Audubon Vermont. The trail we walked began in the bright meadow surrounding the Green Mountain Club. Just as we started, Steve asked, “Are we in a forest now?”Read More
When I rowed in college, a bajillion eons ago, I held one oar on the port side of a nine-person boat. When we fell out of balance, my first assumption was that the problem came from starboard— I blamed the four rowers holding oars on the other side of the boat.
These days, I row alone in the early morning on Lake Champlain, before the wind kicks up. I row with an oar in each hand – I’m holding both starboard and port oars. So, now if something’s causing the boat to drift off course, I have to figure out how to come back into balance. It’s one of my lessons of getting old— I’m starboard. The problem is likely coming from me.Read More
Last year, High Meadows became curious about where our colleagues around the state see opportunities for High Meadows to make a greater impact. We hired Miriam Shark to interview around thirty grantees, funders, and other partners on our behalf. You can read about some of what we learned from these conversations here. One suggestion, from both funders and grantees, was that High Meadows share more proactively what we observe and learn from the work we support. While we have occasionally posted stories and blog posts a couple of times a year, we are now planning to do this more regularly.Read More
High Meadows plans to continue to emphasize informed risk-taking, working at intersections, and market applications of environmental values. We also want to do more to share what we learn and invite others to contribute to initiatives that build farm and forest enterprises, a clean energy future, and resilience in the face of climate change.Read More
Yesterday, driving home from Massachusetts, I listened to two hours of radio reports tracking the destructive path of Hurricane Irma from the Florida Keys up the state’s west coast. I remembered the many lives upended six years ago in Vermont by Tropical Storm Irene, and I reflected on the many lessons Vermonters have learned about the relationship between development and waterways since Irene.Read More
To some, “rural” is an abstract notion, sometimes conjuring images of farms, forests, or mountains, but less often bringing to mind the people who live in rural places. Even less do we consider the ways that rural life has shaped our nation.Read More
We may see the soil under our feet as simply dirt, with all the associated folk expressions – common as dirt, say. But farmers and scientists alike have long known that a healthy soil system is not just the key to our agricultural cycles; soil is one of the major building blocks of farm viability, floodwater management, carbon sequestration, ecosystem productivity, and a clean atmosphere.Read More