Collaboration: The Key to Community Success

Sustainable Woodstock’s distinctive role in our community is to hold a focus on long-term environmental and economic challenges that affect our quality of life. SW’s board regularly discusses a wide range of pressing issues–from energy and transportation, to food production and waste reduction, to housing and local economic development—to determine which of them we ought to address at any given time.

There is a lot of work to do, and we fully realize that we, a small group of concerned citizens, cannot tackle any of these challenges on our own, so we seek to collaborate with other organizations, businesses, and agencies that are also working to improve our community. All the projects SW undertakes depend on community collaboration. Here are some examples:

The annual Trek to Taste event involves Artistree, the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park, Ottauquechee Community Partnership (OCP) and the Farm to School program.

The highly successful network of community gardens is a joint effort of SW with Billings Farm, Change the World Kids, Zack’s Place, and state groups like the Vermont Land Trust and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.

The fuel-efficient summer trolley service is a collaboration with the Town of Woodstock, the Chamber of Commerce, Two Rivers/Ottauquechee Regional Commission (TRORC), and the National Park.

Safe Routes to School draws on the resources OCP,  Woodstock Elementary School, the town, and TRORC.

We sponsor a film series with the assistance of Pentangle Arts Council, and run the Naked Table event with the Shackleton Thomas company.

We are involved in other collaborative projects as well, with additional partners such as the Woodstock Recreation Center,  Norman Williams Public Library, Vital Communities,  the Economic Development Commission, and the Woodstock Area Job Bank.

A new and very promising collaboration is the Nonprofit Network, which brings together leaders from across the community to work together. (We’ll write more about this endeavor in a future column.)

According to Jackie Fischer, the executive director of OCP, “Ottauquechee Community Partnership and Sustainable Woodstock have a common mission – to engage people in intentionally building healthy communities. Our communities are more effectively served when we build strong partnerships across organizations.  And even the act of working together accomplishes our goal of building healthy communities.  It’s a win-win for all of us.”

Sustainable Woodstock acknowledges the vital importance of these partnerships and appreciates all of our allies for joining with us.

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