Author Archives: Susannah Kerest

May the Fourth Be With You

Posted on Thursday, May 2, 2024 by No comments yet

Busy families joke that “Maycember” is both full of fun, but is non-stop activity. Based on the volume of Community Calendar events, Front Porch Forum can confirm that this weekend is the kick-off to the year’s busiest time!

Community gatherings take center stage this weekend with Green Up Day, Little League Opening Day, yard sales, plant swaps, and more. (Confession: we really miss the Little League days… ) While these traditions are part of the fabric of towns throughout Vermont, Front Porch Forum members are also looking forward to spending time with neighbors at:

Search for events in your town!

Searching High and Low

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2024 by No comments yet

Your local Front Porch Forum, Area Calendar, and Business Directory are treasure troves of information!

Whether you are looking for a recommendation for “lawn care,” you remember seeing some sweet “skis for sale,” or want to read the agenda for an upcoming “school board meeting,” the Search tool is powerful, grabbing years of trusted information posted by neighbors on your local Front Porch Forum.

Click here if you’re curious.

Community Keepers

Posted on Thursday, April 25, 2024 by No comments yet

Those who tend to our communities often go unseen, unrecognized, happily tending to their work. We love when neighbors turn to Front Porch Forum to celebrate those who make our surroundings a bright spot.

“We watched Alan thoroughly clean, fill, and start up the fountain on the green this morning. It turns out he volunteers to do it every year – and not only that, he visits it every morning all spring/summer/fall to skim off whatever falls or gets thrown in there, and cleans it once a week. He also very kindly explained to our grandsons what he was doing, and let us watch it all. What a wonderful man, and wonderful service to all of us who enjoy the green and the fountain!”

• Anne, Bristol

“I have really enjoyed the gardens along the street near the stop sign. I kept wondering who maintained them because they really added quite a bit to the area. Well, last week I finally saw someone out there over several days putting in a lot of time and weeding them. I walked over from my house to meet them and was blown away by the time and care they were giving to our neighborhood simply because it was the right thing to do / a kind thing to do.”

• Richard, Burlington

“As one drives, jogs, or bikes from the intersection of Route 15 on Allen Martin Drive to Sandhill, then onto Allen Martin Parkway, not one speck of garbage will be seen along this route. All year long! Why?? We have amazing human beings living here. Tom walks daily with his long poker and picks up litter and cans, used bags, and other trash along his walking route. Another human from the same area walks daily into the woods with his wide-brim hat, holding his walking stick, to Saxon Hill bike trails to be available to athletes who may need assistance. We are truly grateful to have residents here who care about their neighborhood community environment and for the well-being of all of us who live here.”

• Patty, Essex

Click here to recognize a “Community Keeper” you appreciate!

Eating Pie, Celebrating Neighbors

Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2024 by No comments yet

We love a holiday!

It seems there may be several “official” days on the calendar each year where we’re meant to celebrate our neighbors, but we think this locally-grown commemoration of a good deed is pretty sweet.

“…Ginny and her husband were so grateful for the neighborly help they received that day that Ginny felt April 19th – the day her husband fell to what may have been a terrible fate had he not been discovered by their quick-thinking, caring neighbor – should become an official day for everyone everywhere to appreciate their neighbors. In recent years, Ginny has been recognized by Governor Scott and the Chelsea Selectboard for her conception of this idea.”

The town of Chelsea will be celebrating Neighbor Appreciation Day tomorrow with a pie party. Yum!

In Awe of the Solar Eclipse

Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 by 3 comments

Jean from Cambridge wrote a lovely encapsulation on Front Porch Forum about Monday’s eclipse, “I think my favorite part (of too many to count!) was: no matter one’s race, creed, gender, political persuasion, or anything else, it was something we all came together on, in our shared sense of wonder and awe.”

Thank you so much to the neighbors, businesses, and town officials who shared their plans leading up to April 8. To date, Front Porch Forum members posted 1,437 eclipse-oriented messages, 230 calendar items, 47 announcements about where to recycle eclipse glasses, and dozens of heartfelt accolades to event planners (Food trucks! Bagpipes! Telescopes! School bands!). 

Vermont showed its best self to each other and those from out of town. And, as we re-settle back into our routines, we wanted to share an important sentiment from Carissa in Enosburg Falls who wrote, “In the coming days there will be folks visiting our town that will never see the true value of what it is to be here. They will watch the eclipse and leave, hopefully with a sense of awe, but I cannot help feeling heavy-hearted that they may not truly understand the real uniqueness of where they are… That is ok, because we do. Where else can you have an atmosphere of such communal authenticity with such a self-defined unique definition of what it is to be abundant?”

Sourdough Starting Fresh Connections

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 by 2 comments

Neighbors are expressing gratitude on Front Porch Forum this month! From folks providing secret snow removal to dropping off mis-delivered packages, community members are really stepping up for each other. This FPF member reached out to their community as they wanted to try their hand at some bread baking:

“I got more than 15 offers for sourdough and ended up connecting with a neighbor I hadn’t yet met! Thank you everyone for the generous offers. Making my first loaf next weekend!”
• Madeline, Cornwall Forum

Meet Your Community Calendar on Front Porch Forum

Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 by No comments yet

Did you know that every town on Front Porch Forum has its own Community Calendar, full of events submitted by neighbors, businesses, and local organizations? 

Any member can submit an event to their local Community Calendar. It can be something informal such as a neighborhood garage sale or walking group; or can be more structured such as a toddler playtime at your library or trivia night at a local restaurant.

How do I create a Calendar Event?

Click on over to our Help Center to follow the steps to submit an event to your Community Calendar. 

What’s the best way to get people to show up?

People are more likely to attend an event where they know what to expect. Clue folks in as to your target audience (Great for kids! Or, young professionals welcome!) and the activities involved (Hear a compelling lecture. Or, get ready to dance the night away.) Finally, is there a ticket price and way to RSVP? Think about who, what, where, when, and why before you hit “submit.” If your gathering is weeks or months in the future, consider posting in your Forum a message with a short note to encourage attendance closer to the date. 

Success! Am I done now?

Congratulations! You’re one step closer to helping neighbors connect. Thanks for making the Community Calendar a part of your event planning.

Valentine’s Day Love on FPF

Posted on Thursday, February 22, 2024 by No comments yet

Thank you to the hundreds of Front Porch Forum members who posted love letters, appreciations, and notes of gratitude about their town during the week of Valentine’s Day, 2024.

It was a gift to read these celebrations of people and places across the state. There were messages describing community highlights such as a favorite car mechanic in Brattleboro to a librarian in Chelsea, from flood recovery volunteers in Glover to trivia night hosted in St. Johnsbury, from the Colchester Causeway to the Ridgeline trails of Randolph, and from the holiday lights of Springfield to the welcome for refugees in Rutland.

As always, members make Front Porch Forum a bright spot of community connection.