Projects supported by a generous grant from Vermont CRO.
The schoolhouse is currently inaccessible by anyone using a wheelchair or who has problems climbing steps. Installation of this ramp will allow access by those community members and allow them to participate in social events and to make full use of the schoolhouse during emergencies.
Community baking kiln
Similar to other workday type projects that currently bring neighbors together, construction will be completed by volunteer members of the community. We only request funding to cover construction materials. When completed, an obvious use for the oven will be as a community resource for making bread and other baked goods during emergencies when power is out. But we also see it as being a resource for bringing the community together for social gatherings, such as pizza nights and bread making.
Community resource preparedness pamphlet
We will create a pamphlet, to be available in both printed form and PDF format, that contains:
- Basic information about state, regional, and local resources that might be needed during emergencies.
- Information on putting together an emergency preparedness kit.
- List of resources that the schoolhouse can provide, such as serving as a warming shelter and providing water and electricity, in particular, power for charging cell phones and emergency equipment.
Severe flooding accompanying the rains following Hurricane Irene might be considered by some to be rare enough not to warrant concern in the near future. But a much smaller, more localized storm in July 2017 caused flash floods that washed out roads and downed trees that caused widespread power outages between our community and Norwich town center. Regardless of opinions regarding climate change, most if not all residents recognize that storms such as these are not isolated events. The community also recognizes that due to our location relative to the town center, storms can leave us vulnerable and isolated and without power and basic services during natural or man-made disasters.
After learning about CRO, we undertook the Assessment as a first step in identifying points of vulnerability in our community that we could begin to address. Upgrading our schoolhouse, as a community resource center seemed a logical project for our focus, so we also created a survey about potential uses for the schoolhouse that we included with the CRO Assessment packet delivered to residents of the Meadow. In addition, in several meetings of the Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse Committee and the BM Community Resilience Committee, potential activities and projects were discussed. The priorities emerging from the survey and from the Committees’ discussions were:
- Identify activities that would bring more members of the neighborhood together regularly (e.g., workshops, presentations, and more social events)
- Solicit more neighborhood volunteers to work on community projects.
- Seek funding for materials for schoolhouse upgrades.