Category Archives: Vermont

A Bright Spot Amid Storms

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

Last week brought torrential rain and fast waters to areas of Vermont that were, ironically, marking the one-year anniversary of devastating floods in July 2023. With the muscle memory of the year prior, municipalities, businesses, and neighbors jumped into action to deliver emergency and repair services as well as resources for the long process of rebuilding. Like last year, Front Porch Forum shifted into response mode and published critical messages as soon as they were submitted.

Here are just some of the many postings from around the state. We share them here as a beautiful reminder of how Vermonters value community and step up for each other in times of crisis.

Giving Thanks
Carol, Moretown

We had a tree come down and block our small brook, which became a raging river due to the storm. It blocked the stream sending it over its bank and into our driveway. Took the driveway and half of our town road. While the road was still passable, we could not leave our home due to a 6-ft-deep hole that once was our driveway.

My can’t-sit-still husband decided he would build a bridge! A neighbor came and brought materials that would help in his endeavor. I can only imagine that after doing so… there may have been second thoughts. Whether out of fear of safety, or just a good belly laugh, the story of bridge building soon spread. Very soon after we were told that the town would be coming to assist.

Martin and his crew came delivering stone to create an out. We are free once again! Still need to repair a major hole, but building a bridge is no longer needed… much to the disappointment of my husband.

A very sincere Thank You to Martin, his crew and to James – not only for their concern, access to the road, which is so very much appreciated, but also for the good laughs that we had imagining the conversation that took place of The Great Bridge Build on Murphy Road!

Town Reports, Road Crew
Barbara, Stowe

I am joining the chorus of gracias, mercis, thank yous, dankas, and more [spelling doesn’t count] The town emergency reports have been extremely helpful, The road crews amazing. Thursday I drove Edson Hill from West Branch and several driveway’s worth of gravel covered Rt 108 and in the time I had breakfast the town crew had cleared the gravel and the only signs were wet spots on the pavement. Our road crews, public and private are amazing. When we are going on “drive abouts” let’s give them a flash of our high beams to say thanks. Let’s remember to dim them after. 

Who Needs Help Recovering from Recent Floods?
Arica, Winooski

It seems Winooski came through the recent rains ok, but many of our surrounding communities did not. Does anyone know of folks hit by the flooding who need help this weekend? I checked the state websites, but they are only listing volunteer opportunities for LAST year’s flood. I guess it’s too soon to have the volunteer opportunities posted for Wednesday’s storm. If you know of someone who needs help this weekend, please let me know. Looking for ways to help.

Eric, Waterbury

BIG shoutout to KORE power and the MANY others who offered help on Randall Street and I’m sure all around town to help after the flooding!

I went to get a friend and a small temporary electric hot water heater while my dad and a friend pumped five feet of water out of their basement. By the time we got back to muck out the remaining mud a dozen employees from KORE had already hauled it all out (400 bucket loads worth!)

We were lucky and it was just our basement but I saw people driving and biking around offering help to total strangers and it was great to see! Others offered food and drinks, etc. Flooding sucks but since Irene it’s been quite remarkable the response from the people and businesses in the community to help lighten the load.

From my sister’s HUHS soccer team, higher-ups from Ben and Jerry’s, the Alchemist (remember the brew pub?) delivering “new” beers WAY back in the day, a next generation of Harwood athletes, to now KORE and MANY others, the dingy old basements in Waterbury have welcomed quite the crowd.

As things change in town, as is apt to happen over a number of years, it’s pretty cool how nothing has changed in the gracious and sympathetic nature of the community to help friends, neighbors, and strangers! 

Re: Kudos Again!
Jane, Stowe

We had a complete washout of the dirt road leading up to our home and several others above Topnotch. By 6am, when my husband called Percy for help, as they usually service our road year round, they had already received 40 calls!!

Despite that, they were here to restore one lane access this afternoon, and will return tomorrow.

Outstanding service to our whole community, and they must be exhausted after all their efforts in the whole Stowe Hollow complex. 

Help During July 10 Flooding
Jennifer, Waitsfield

I want to thank all the brave men and women who came to the rescue last night of my mother and I after Shepard Brook turned nasty. The patrol from Chester, aided by our amazing local teams, successfully got us to higher ground in a Zeppelin. A special shout-out to Mr Irish for waiting in the fire truck with us while our overnight accommodations ride arrived. Amazing people doing amazing deeds! 

Huntington Neighbors Are the Best
Liza, Huntington

I just wanted to take a moment to publicly thank Troy and Lisa Liberty. They went way above and beyond last night during the flooding to help me in a time of need. Very, very grateful for this town and the people that live in it and all that we do to support each other. 

Thank You West Bolton for the Love
Jenn, West Bolton

Brandon and I would like to graciously thank this amazing community for the love and support we have received since Thursday. As many know, our house (the little red house on the corner) was hit hard on either side from the rivers. It has been one of the worst and scariest times of our lives. The way this community stepped up was unreal. People came running with shovels, tractors, and wheelbarrows asking what they could do. We organized a clean up day and nearly 50 neighbors showed up to help York Road, many of which I met for the first time that day.

Thank you Connor for getting us up, thank you Jeff for picking us up, thank you Susan for housing me while I cried, thank you Chris for digging out our neighbors, thank you Dickie for giving us a driveway, thank you Eric + team for giving us the road, thank you Zack for the dump run, thank you to the 50 friends who showed up to spend a day working in our yard, and thank you to everyone who has stopped to give a hug and condolences. This support is unreal!

Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Fred, Marshfield

In response to the flooding that has devastated much of our central Vermont communities, Twin Valley Senior Center is here to help. TVSC is offering assistance to flood victims and volunteers. TVSC has a large space that you can use for potential community meetings or individual meetings with state and federal agencies. We will also provide free lunch to anyone affected and volunteers.

Twin Valley Senior Center cares about our communities and is ready to do our part to help. 

Thank You, Peacham!
Jenny, Peacham

We are so grateful to dear friends and neighbors in Peacham, Barnet, and St. J who came today — 60 people — to help us save precious things from our home before the flood mold sets in. People mucked out, saved our children’s toys, pet meds, our winter clothes, our snow tires, etc.; double-checked on safety in the home and helped us make decisions; drove endless shuttles to a new home for now in Peacham; made food and fed volunteers; power washed muck off furniture; sorted out possessions to dry; lovingly salvaged and dried single photos and kids’ artwork; took clothes and quilts to wash and dry; built stone steps for a safe passage to the house; rescued items from our barn down the river; documented the full disaster for insurance; gave hugs. Many, many other people gave offers of housing, car loans, furniture, and child help. This is truly the best community in the world. It has been such a hard day, but also one filled with love and kindness, and we are so grateful.

Displaced Chickens
Monica, Plainfield

If anyone needs a foster/rehome for any displaced chickens let us know. Jeremy and I took in three hens from last year’s Barre floods and we have room in our coop to host some homeless birds who may need safe shelter.

Unfortunately we can’t take a rooster as our beloved boy would be aggrieved by another fellow to compete for his ladies.

P.S.  Thanks to FPF for their rapid-fire distribution of postings during this chaotic time — information flow is critical in disaster recovery; thank you for this contribution to our community!

Looking for Fayston Neighbors Who Need a Hand
Aaron Lamb, Fayston

My property damage was minor, but for many Fayston town residents they suffered substantial property damage and loss. Because of that, I’m looking to get a crew of folks interested in donating their time to help those locally.

If you don’t like physical labor, but still want to help? We could use donated water for those with well water too dangerous to drink, or donuts to fuel the recovery efforts of the manual laborers… whatever you can offer. I know of some families without power or those emotionally/physically drained that could use a meal.

Tomorrow I am kicking-off a volunteer program of helping your Fayston neighbor.  No major equipment needed for this job, just sturdy hands and a rake/shovel. We are hoping to clear the sand, rocks and various debris from the property. Nothing crazy, but good manual fun, sweat and a workout with your neighbors. Let’s get to know each other.

Once this house is done, we can move onto help another neighbor. If you are in need of this volunteer assistance, please reach out to me and I will put you on the list. Unfortunately, our skills are limited as we are not contractors, but for some slightly bigger jobs, we are looking for those willing to donate tractor/equipment time. Let’s rebuild Fayston! 

Snipe Ireland Neighbors!
Olive, Richmond

Howdy Snipe Ireland folks (or surrounding roads)!

Fortunately we are not cut off by the road closure, so if anyone needs groceries or supplies, I am happy to get them to you!

We can also leave supplies by our mailbox if anyone who wants to bike/walk up needs them. Just let me know what I can grab at the store.

Hope everyone is doing ok!

Sharing Kindness

Posted on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 by No comments yet

Recently, Ruth shared a heartwarming story with her neighbors in the Montpelier Forum about a kind stranger who not only helped change her flat tire, but went out of his way to purchase and install four new winter tires for the car. The stranger wouldn’t accept reimbursement, and said that he tries to do something particularly kind like this once every few years. Ruth ended the post by expressing her appreciation, and telling her neighbors that she plans to “pay it forward.”

Later that day, she posted again to the Forum:

“I received an outpouring of emails thanking me for posting my experience yesterday. Some people said they cried and all thanked me. After receiving all those messages I realized something… I was trying to figure out how to ‘Pay it Forward’ and maybe sharing what happened is giving people HOPE. Showing them there is still kindness and goodness in peoples’ hearts.

Thank you, Ruth, for telling your story and reminding us that both being kind and sharing kindness with those around you goes such a long way.

Friends and More Through FPF

Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2023 by No comments yet

Front Porch Forum’s goal is to foster connection among neighbors. Catharine, a Brandon FPF member, shares just how possible that is!

I was looking for about 10 hangers and received more than double that number of responses! I was able to get them from a kind friend and neighbor who saw my request. I’m so sorry I couldn’t keep up with responding to people, so here is a BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!

I am so grateful that I found this forum when I moved here. I’ve had the opportunity to travel into neighborhoods and streets that are off my beaten path… a nice excuse to explore my little town. But most importantly: I’ve made a few friends through FPF and for that alone I am forever grateful.

Pet Reunited With Owner 3 Months Later

Posted on Tuesday, November 7, 2023 by No comments yet

A Johnson FPF member, Sheila, was able to locate a neighbor who was flooded out of their home to let them know their pet cat was alive and safe. Read on…

Trying to Locate an Individual Displaced by the Flood • “I am desperately trying to locate/contact a young man named Ken [last name withheld for privacy]. He was relocated following the flooding of his mobile home in Johnson in July. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please contact me by email or call me.”

My Search Was Successful! • “After several hours on the phone, posting on social media, and personally visiting past employment sites; one post on FPF was all it took! So, a huge “Thank you!” to FPF and those members who so kindly shared information that allowed me to connect with Ken. With your help, I was able to let him know that his pet is still alive and awaiting his return. Hopefully, he will soon be back in a home of his own, where Angel can join him. ❤️ “

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Posted on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 by 1 comment

Discussions among neighbors are a life line to building social capital in communities. Members are turning to their neighbors on Front Porch Forum to solve everyday problems. Here are some real conversations happening right now on FPF: 

Where to do Trick-or-Treating?

  • “Hello fellow FPF peeps. Last year, Middlebury hosted trick or treating the Saturday or Sunday before Halloween. Does anyone know anything and if it is happening this year?”
  • “October is finally here and our family is extremely excited for Halloween but we are new to the area. We were wondering does anyone know any neighborhoods in St. Johnbury or Woodville that still does Trick or Treating?”

What to do about Jumping Worms?

  • “To my fellow gardeners. I have been seeing Asian jumping worms at several of my jobs. You can learn more about them online. Be very careful sharing plants with others.”
  • “In doing Fall chores in vegetable and flower gardens I have discovered lots of these new worms – lots. Not sure what to do, if anything, about this situation. Anyone have thoughts?”

Lost Items Found

  • “Thanks to Front Porch Forum and the many people walking on cotton brook road I got my car key back. Thank you all! I love this Town!”
  • “Thanks to wonderful neighbors and FPF my items were recovered from some bushes elsewhere in the neighborhood. I’m so very grateful! Lock your doors!”

Anyone driving to…?

  • “Is anyone available to provide safe transportation to and from Bradley Airport the week of Thanksgiving?”
  • “There was a very nice young man who stopped in today at the Town Hall, who needs a ride to Brownington… I told him our little town has amazing folks, and I’m sure some one would reach out to him and help him out!

Recommendations for Bats in the Wall?

  • “Just in time for Halloween it sounds like some bats have found a way to get into our walls. We tried contacting a company listed on google and they told us it would be a month just to look at the issue. I’d prefer to not have bats pooping in my wall for over a month, but wasn’t sure if this was the normal turnaround for pest removal. Thanks!”
  • “We are repainting our house and found there are bats in the roof of our home… We are looking for someone who can help us safely get rid of the bats without hurting them or our home. I’d love recommendations or anyone who has experience doing this themselves as well.”

Responses come back straight to the Forum or emailed directly to members. What could you use some help with today? Post to your FPF to see if neighbors can help with a solution!

More Apples, Please

Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 by 2 comments

Front Porch Forum members are doing more than just looking for apples… they’re finding, picking, offering, cooking, and eating them! See just how much is happening with apples on all the Forums across Vermont:

Seeking Apples …

  • In Lincoln: “Does anyone have crabapples they are willing to part with?
  • In Morrisville: “Our four-year-old daughter and I have been invited to an apple-pressing party, but we have no apples to bring! Do you have trees in need of picking? Can we pay you to pick a few five-gallon buckets worth? Thanks!”

Come and get ’em Apples…

  • In Mad River Valley: “We have a bumper crop this year! We have plenty left even though we had many pickers over the weekend.”
  • In Burlington: “Free Liberty apples in a box on the green belt in front of Catherine Street home. Take what you want!
  • In Derby: ” I have a few apple trees that have quite a few apples on them. They are not perfect, they have blemishes, some I’m sure have worm holes in them. But if you have the time & willing to cut around these things to cut up & freeze or can, they make great apple pies, cakes etc. Free for the taking.

Need Help with Apples…

  • In Lyndon “I have apples that I would like to have pressed into cider. Do you know of anyone offering this service.”
  • In Grand Isle: “Cleaning out the garage and found a Squeeze Master Fruit Apple Cider press. I think someone was looking for one on the forum a few days ago. Can’t find the manual but all the pieces are here. Only used once. Good YouTube videos on how to assemble and use. Free to whoever could use it. Just email us.”

Events about Apples…

  • In Hardwick: “Community Cider Pressing this very Saturday at the Grange in downtown East Hardwick (across from the Church). Bring apples, containers and crank out some cider to take home. Apple Fritters, Hot Dogs, Live Music, and Badminton too! Free Event!!
  • In Hinesburg: “Apple pressing will be happening at the Fall Fest on the Town Common behind the Hinesburg Police Station. Help make delicious fresh cider with an old fashion hand crank cider press. Bring your own washed apples either from a local orchard or from your own trees or wild ones.”

Have you had enough yet? Post your apple needs and happenings on FPF!

Hummingbird Migration in the Mad River Valley

Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2023 by 15 comments

Members love reporting wildlife sightings on Front Porch Forum. Recently, hummingbirds took over the Mad River Valley Forum after one member shared a project tracking the August-September migration through Vermont. Dozens of responses came in (and counting!) over the last four days. Here are just a few…

  • “2-3 females and several juveniles are still stocking up for their trip, but the males packed their bags and left days ago. Thanks to Carol for providing the link!”
  • “A male hummingbird visited our feeder this morning on White Pine Drive.”
  • “Just saw a hummer at my potted flower urns.”
  • “Still hanging around Lois Lane this morning.”
  • “Hey, Hummingbird lovers, We saw one today at our coneflowers. Looked like a female. I think traveling thru.”

Further, these hummingbird sightings have spawned an interest in Monarch butterflies too…

  • “Several hummingbirds are still active on Cider Hill, up at about 1600 feet. They spend much of their time at the Mexican Sunflowers (Tithonia) right now – which should keep blooming until a frost. Our trumpet honeysuckle is still blooming for them, too. Oh, and the Monarchs are loving the Echinacea!”
  • “Now that we’ve learned what’s happening with the hummingbirds, what has happened to the Monarchs? Usually I’d be seeing them about now and haven’t seen any. Did all the rain do them in?”