Due to the recent updates from NewVistas/Windsorange LLC/Hall Labs and the recent Valley News article (http://www.vnews.com/NewVistas-Changes-Name-11942922), we wanted to let our supporters know of our continued work in the effort to stop David Hall, the NewVistas Development and the newly formed Windsorange LLC   Here’s an update from our work since March and some details on upcoming events.

Less than a year since the inception of the Alliance for Vermont Communities. We are grateful to all of the support we have received from the surrounding communities. Much work has been accomplished in a fairly short period of time! We have shown NewVistas and each other what we are capable of doing when we work together. Let’s recap with a few of our most recent accomplishments:

Successful Town Meeting Day Votes – In March, voters opposed the New Vistas project by over 90% in the 4 affected towns of Tunbridge, Royalton, Sharon, and Strafford.

Successful Major Outreach Event –  Following the success of the Town Meeting Day Votes, the Alliance board broadened our mission to not only fight NewVistas, but to protect, promote and energize this area we love so much. We put our focus into our first major event.

The Ranger, bike ride and ‘Together We Can’ celebration was held at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds on June 18th. All together we had 98 cyclists and many other community members and visitors who rode up to 32 miles through the hills surrounding Tunbridge and Strafford.

We raised money for some upcoming projects, had an incredibly fun day and showed folks from across the region what makes this area so special. There was live music thanks to local bands Haywire and Sensible Shoes, a variety of food and even Cow Pie Bingo. This event was also the site for a collaboration beer release with our two local Tunbridge  breweries, Upper Pass Beer Co. and Brocklebank Craft Brewing. The beer, ‘Together We Can’ was a creative project designed to help draw awareness to our work and the threat of high density development to our rural areas. The next day ‘Together We Can’ left Tunbridge for its distribution throughout the state with this message on the side of the can:

“Together We Can is a collaboration between Brocklebank Craft Brewing and Upper Pass Beer Co. This gently hopped wheat ale contains Peterson Quality Malt (Monkton, VT) and hops from two continents. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this beer goes to support the Alliance for Vermont Communities.

Thank you for helping to protect our beautiful rural landscape, small farms, and local culture from unsustainable development.

To learn more about what you can do, please visit alliancevermont.org or stopnewvistas.org

Together we can save our communities.”

*A big thank you to both breweries for generously donating a portion of the can sales to AVC.

Next Steps – We are proud of what we have accomplished to date, but know there is still much work to be done.  After months of  laying low, The NewVistas Foundation/Windsorange LLC has recently started to become more active with continued land purchases and land inquiries. If you or anyone you know is considering selling land in the four corners area, please contact the Alliance  (AVC?) – there are options available!  AVC is planning forums and workshops to inform local residents about how various choices will impact the future of our communities We are looking forward to promoting, energizing and protecting the area we love through our partnerships in outdoor recreation, agriculture, forestry and more. And most importantly we plan to do it together as part of community building.

The theme of our first public forum will be “Trails Connect and Protect”

We have invited Zac Freeman from RASTA (Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance), Lilias Ide from Kingdom Trails and Tom Stuessy from the Vermont Mountain Bike Association to talk about the impacts of building multi-use trails in rural communities. Our hope is to start a trail build project for mountain bikers and hikers that will start in Tunbridge on private land and will be available to the public. There is new urgency in preventing NewVistas/Windsorange LLC, and now Hall Labs from really doing a number on our communities. We think having this type of project is a good way to help connect all 4 towns and provide some economic results without developing the area in a way that is not in line with the reason people live here now.