AVCC Awards 2024 Tiny Grants

The Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions (AVCC) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2024 Tiny Grants. This annual AVCC initiative provides seed money or matching funds to conservation commissions for specific land conservation, education and outreach, stewardship and management, and planning activities. Conservation commissions are non-regulatory bodies designed to advise planning commissions and select boards on natural resources issues.

The AVCC received applications from commissions across the state for a wide variety of conservation-related projects, including work to improve signage and repair trails on municipal lands, document wildlife activity with trail cameras, eradicate invasive plants and insects, and complete natural resource mapping, inventories and assessments. In May, the AVCC announced its decision to fund projects from the Greensboro Conservation Commission, Middletown Springs Conservation Commission, South Hero Conservation Commission and Thetford Conservation Commission.

Here are some more details about these projects:

Greensboro – Following the identification and documentation of 63 unique invasive infestations, the Greensboro Conservation Commission requested AVCC funding to support their ongoing invasive species education and management efforts. Tiny Grant funds will spur the creation of a Town Tool Library, including silage tarps, a sharpshooter shovel, and a weed wrench, which will be made available to the commission, community volunteers and other interested parties.

Middletown Springs – Funds will allow the commission to construct a bridge to make the Sullivan Educational Woods Loop Trail safer and more user-friendly for hikers, birders and mushroom foragers, while also protecting the stream zone and wetland areas from further disturbance. The Sullivan Educational Woods was donated to the Town of Middletown Springs for the purpose of supporting public education about forest resources (including wildlife habitat, timber and recreation) and inspiring and promoting a stewardship and conservation ethic.

South Hero – Tiny Grant funding will help the commission host a community event featuring live American Kestrels and educators from the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS), and to purchase building materials to construct nesting boxes in the fall. Habitat loss, pesticides, West Nile virus, and a lack of suitable nesting areas have all contributed to declining populations of these birds, the smallest falcon species in North America. The educational outreach event will take place at 1:30 pm on August 4, 2024 at the Worthen Library in South Hero.

Thetford – Funds will be used to purchase tools (weed wrench, loppers, work gloves, paint brushes & paint, and safety vests) to enable volunteer land management crews to paint boundary lines, manage invasive species, monitor wildlife and more in the Town Forest, Hughes Forest, Post Mills Natural Area, and Taylor Floodplain Preserve. The commission hopes to use these funds to execute its new Town Lands Management Plan, which was unanimously approved by the Selectboard on May 20, 2024, and replaces the previous plan from 2008.

AVCC also proudly supports the work of conservation commissions by hosting an annual summit for community volunteers engaged in planning and caring for Vermont’s natural resources. Details regarding the 2024 AVCC Annual Meeting and Conservation Summit will be announced in the coming weeks.

To stay in the loop about conservation initiatives happening near you, or to share your events with other conservation commissions, subscribe to our listserv by emailing vtconservation+subscribe@googlegroups.com. You may reach out directly to the AVCC Board by emailing vtconservation@gmail.com.