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Introducing Smart Growth Vermont

BURLINGTON The Vermont Forum on Sprawl is no more which is not to say that Vermonts leader on the issue of sprawl has disbanded.

On the contrary the Vermont Forum on Sprawl is very much alive, but will be known by a different name starting on Thursday, Sept. 13: Smart Growth Vermont.

Over the course of the last year the group has been busy creating a strategic plan aimed at refocusing the mission of the organization. The other goal of the strategizing was to create an outline for the next 3 years.

The strategic plan has really invigorated the staff, said Noelle MacKay, executive director of Smart Growth Vermont. Weve received an incredible response from the community, as weve tried to work much closer with it.

One of the goals of the strategic plan, MacKay noted, was to work at both the state and local levels and bring together interests from both sides.

MacKay also noted that the name change reflects the organizations positive goals more so than the old title.

When we started, the word sprawl didnt have the intense negative connotations it does now, she said. The new name reflects more closely what we are doing as an organization.

Ten years ago. when the group was founded, its primary focus was to raise awareness about urban and suburban sprawl. With the goal of raising awareness met, the forums attention turned to providing the community with the necessary tools for engaging with smart growth.

MacKay said that the creation of land-use policies that respect the unique landscape of Vermont is a pivotal aspect Smart Growth Vermonts mission.

Whether were talking about attracting business and jobs to our downtowns, taking action to reduce the threat of climate changes or providing housing opportunities for all Vermonters, how we use our land is a key factor in addressing these challenges, she said.

The new name will be officially unveiled on Thursday, Sept. 13 at the organizations office, located at 110 Main Street in Burlington. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. and a plaque carrying the organizations new name is expected to be unveiled at that time. MacKay also said that some words will be shared with the public to further explain the new name.

Following the reception Smart Growth Vermont will hold its annual awards banquet, honoring all approved and built projects throughout Vermont that have embraced the philosophies of the organization.

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