News Updates – November 1, 2012

Welcome to Transition Putney News Updates! 

Transition working groups and initiatives have been continuing their compelling work to assist, along with other Putney organizations, in keeping Putney connected, vibrant, and resilient.  This Transition Putney News Update reports on contributions of the following groups: Localvores, Putney Student Corps, Putney Community Garden, Transition Into Aging – One Call Does It All, Putney Energy Committee, Putney Artist’s Residency, Putney Farmers’ Market, Green Bikes, and Education.

Transition Putney has been in its own transition since June 1, 2012. After formally transferring leadership from the original Initiating Group to the new Council of Working Groups, Transition Putney took a four month break, and is now actively building our new Council. Soon, we would like to bring the community together to share ideas for building a strong Transition Putney movement.

Tiffin Mabry, Kathleen O’Reilley-Lawrence & , Claire Wilson




The Localvore working group has not been active as a group, but folks have participated with others in gleaning for the Vermont Food Bank, and processing good but unmarketable produce for Salvation Farms. For example, one day 3013 pounds of butternut squash and 108 pounds of spinach were harvested for distribution by the Food Bank, and Salvation Farms has cleaned, cored, sliced and frozen 136 pounds of bell peppers for distribution to food shelves and kitchens such as the one that prepares meals for Our Place in Bellows Falls. It’s good to know that this local bounty is being salvaged and distributed where needed.

If  you would like to participate in these projects, contact Claire Wilson:



The Putney Corps is a collaborative community service organization made up of students, faculty and staff from The Grammar School, The Greenwood School, Landmark College, Putney Central School, and The Putney School.

  • On September 29th, 10 students from Landmark College participated in the Putney Cares Walk for Healthy Aging. Businesses donated over $600 to support Putney Cares thanks to their efforts and because of the students’ participation.
  • On October 7th, The Putney Student Corps had its own booth at The Harvest Festival at The Putney School; the Corps held a bake sale which raised over $187; all of the money will be going towards the Putney Food Shelf’s Thanksgiving Harvest Bags.
  • The week of October 15th,  Landmark College launched a campaign called “Jeans for Teens,” where cardboard boxes were placed in the residence halls for students to donate gently used jeans. The jeans will be donated to teens in need of clothing.
  • On Sunday, October 21st, The Putney Student Corps had a Community Clean-Up Day in which students from all 5 schools raked leaves,  moved branches and picked up trash at Mount Pleasant Cemetery; 26 students volunteered 4 hours of service!
  • Landmark College hosted a Trick-or-Treat event October 28th, that was open to the town of Putney.
  • We are in the process of organizing an Above the Influence dance with Patricia Field and Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition for middle school students in Putney at the Community Center. This dance will take place on November 30th.
  • This winter the Putney Student Corps will be organizing a Fit Fest that will be held in a gym at one of the five schools, in which local health professionals will provide interactive exhibits on a variety of health and wellness topics. This event will be open to all of the Putney Community.

If you have any questions, projects, ideas, etc., please contact:

Meghan Benzel, SerVermont AmeriCorps VISTA Member

Office Location: Landmark College, Student Affairs, #219,, Office: (802) 387-6824 ext. 6824, Cell: (484) 905-1357



Fifty-two garden plots, thirty-six gardeners, and one hoop-house. The Community gardens are a continued source of enjoyment for gardeners and visitors alike, having been featured in several local newspapers and online at We have been eating out of the garden all summer and fall. And there is still an abundance of greens to eat.

The garden is managed by three garden coordinators who work to fulfill the decisions of the gardeners that attend the steering committee meetings. The garden coordinators are: Kathleen O’Reilly-Lawrence, Daniel Hoviss, and Thomas Deshaies. There are plots available for next season, November 15, 2012 – November 15, 2013 . Please contact Daniel Hoviss at 387-4141 if interested.



We are working on new flyers and small cards to explain the program and spread the tel. number. We are searching for new channels to spread the word about our service of a helping hand for older citizens of Putney. We have volunteers who will help with occasional odd jobs and we need help ingesting the word out to the people who would find us useful. Our aim is to help people 70 and over within the zip code of 05346 stay in their homes in comfort and safety. They can call (802) 257-2822 or email . For information contact Margo Torrey at



1. LED Street Light replacement program. During the next 30 days the GMP will be replacing all the streetlights in Putney with energy saving LED street lights. These save 60% of the power while providing better illumination. We have requested back light shields on many lights to prevent stray light from illuminating your home. If you pay for your own streetlights, please give GMP a call and have them change out your lights, too, so Putney can be 100% LED.  Efficiency Vermont is offsetting the cost of this conversion.


2. LED light Bulb drive! The energy committee is beginning a LED light bulb drive. We will be selling LED bulbs at cost to Putney area residents. We have a showroom for viewing the different styles of light bulbs at 120 Main Street, and free consultations are available for area business and residents. Please contact Daniel Hoviss, 387-4141, for more information or look at the flyer on the EC web site; l. To read more about LED lighting, visit


3. CD recycling program
The Putney Energy Coordinator is partnering with area schools and business to collect used CDs and plastic cases for recycling. Each year Billions of CDs are manufactured, and many are used once, then disposed of.  Recycling discs helps control pollution and prevents CDs from filling up landfills or being burned. This is the area’s first CD recycling program. Watch for posters around town. Please bring your CD’s to our drop-off collection points in town at 120 Main St. or at participating schools. For more information, contact Daniel Hoviss at 387-4141 or online at  How can you help? Please stop by the PEC central offices 120 Main Street and pick up a poster, and consider setting up a CD drop off bin in your school or business. Please email for more ideas.



The Putney Artist’s Residency  was founded in 2011 by  John Burt, Christopher Irion and Paul LeVasseur to bring visiting artists to Putney to create works around Economic Instability, Peak Oil, Climate Change and Community.  With the help and assistance of Yellow Barn and Greenwood School, among others, we had our first successful residency that year with L.A. artists  Frannie Garrettson and Katie Bachler who did projects around Putney Paper and the community as well as a community mapping project.  The Residency decided to take a hiatus for 2012 because of funding and planning issues  and the fact that John Burt is currently working full time directing “Cambodia in New York” – that will culminate in a city-wide festival there in Spring 2013.  An ongoing residency program continues to be the goal of the founders. Contact person: Christopher Irion,



The Putney Farmers’ Market held its third season this summer and our farmers showed us once more how bountiful we are in our little special town. Many of you came regularly to support and celebrate the harvest. Thank you!  We are happy to announce the upcoming 3 winter markets held at Green Mountain Orchards on November 18, December 16 and 23rd.  We look forward to seeing you there.  Contact person: Simon Renault,

The Green Bike Project took a big step forward this year, with the addition of a large central bike shelter for 18 bikes, behind the town hall bottle recycling shed, and the expansion of the Co-op bike shed. We also received a grant for a bus shelter and have plans to add sheltered bike racks. The bike project has also been gifted with the use of the bottle shed, and we will be renovating it for bike storage and bike repairs this fall. Expect the bikes to be out early in the spring of 2013. Future goals are to have sheltered bike parking at many area stores, banks, and restaurants to encourage an increase in bike riding in Putney. Contact Daniel Hoviss at 387-4141 for more information.



The Education Group’s goal is to plan films, speakers, book discussion groups, etc., that engage the Putney community in issues related to building a strong, resilient community in the face of climate change, resource depletion, and economic uncertainty.  Upcoming events:

  1. A Book Study Group focused on the book Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.  The group meets Wednesday evenings, Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and 12, 7-8:30 pm at Putney Library. Contact Richard Brady at 387-2382 or if interested. See  for more details.
  2. A six-session Northwest Earth Institute Study Group, “Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics and Sustainability” will be offered starting in November, facilitated by Bonnie Mennell and Paul LeVasseur (, 387-4102).  See, for information about the course.
  3. 3.     A Reskilling workshop on Creating an Herbal Backyard First-Aid Kit has been proposed for the near future. If you are interested in helping plan a series of reskilling workshops, contact Paul LeVasseur,