Heather Furman takes a question from a Community Climate Chat audience member at the first community climate chat. Photo: Josh Schwartz

Friends of the Mad River (FMR) continues its Community Climate Chat series this summer with a second event on August 9. These first two community forums are being hosted in partnership with the Mad River Valley Planning District (MRVPD) and will be focused on exploring recently released state-level climate reports and planning with the Mad River Valley community. 


The second community chat, “Vermont Climate Action Plan – What it Means for the Mad River Valley,” will be held on the evening of Tuesday, August 9, at the Lareau Farm pavilion in Waitsfield. The talk will feature Jane Lazorchak, Global Warming Solutions Act director at the VT Agency of Natural Resources (VT ANR), and Marian Wolz, Global Warming Solutions Act coordinator at VT ANR. The talk will focus on ‘downscaling’ the goals and opportunities for community action outlined in the Plan to the Mad River Valley community, focusing on how the community can implement climate action strategies, find funding, and maximize capacity. Following the same format as the first climate chat, this event will include an opportunity for community members to ask questions and engage in deeper conversation about how a changing climate and landscape is impacting the MRV and what they can do.

“The adoption of the VT Climate Action Plan is a major achievement for this state and its communities, and provides an exciting opportunity and blueprint to encourage local climate planning and action closer to home,” says Amy Tomasso, MRVPD community planner.

The VT Climate Action Plan was released by the Vermont Climate Council in December 2021 as part of the Global Warming Solutions Act that outlined the state of Vermont’s efforts on climate change through key strategic priorities. In addition to a suite of strategies aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas pollution over the coming years, the VT Climate Action Plan also emphasizes climate adaptation and resilience through smart development and the protection of natural resources.

“The attendance at the first Community Climate Chat was inspiring and is a reminder of our community’s willingness to come together and take on big issues,” says FMR director Corrie Miller. “Friends will continue our long-standing work supporting clean water, protecting wildlife connectivity, investing in storm and flood resilience, and engaging in important conversations about our natural resources, but we know a climate resilient community is an even bigger idea. The VT Climate Action Plan helps bring all the pieces together.”

Tickets are free but registration is required; visit friendsofthemadriver.org/climate. Tickets include American flatbread and veggie appetizers and there will be an open cash bar. Donations will be accepted to help make this and future events freely accessible to all. FMR and the MRVPD look forward to engaging in these exciting climate conversations with the community.