Poultney 2020 celebration Saturday

P oultney 2020 organizers will host a community-wide celebration this Saturday and showcase several projects designed to enrich the cultural, social and recreational offerings in the town.
“Green Up and Celebrate Poultney 2020” will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. at several venues in downtown Poultney.
Scheduled activities include a 5K fun-run/walk tour of the Poultney Rail & River Trail;a Riparian Ramble along the Poultney River; a Woodland Wonders scavenger hunt; artdisplays, poetry readings and dance workshops at Stone Valley Arts; music by Phil Lamy’s Green Brothers Bandwith Boiled Lettuce; a craft display by the Poultney Area Artists’ Guild and a Shakespeare performance with madrigal singing by Green Mountain College studentsat the new Bentley Community Center;free food prepared by the students at the LiHigh School’s new culinary program; a slate carving demonstration and slate painting workshop for children; and an information session about a planned community park.
According to Matt Mayberry, one of the organizers of Poultney 2020 and faculty member at Green Mountain College, the goal on this weekend’s event is to bring the college-town communities together, have fun, and experience the new cultural and recreational resources that are available in Poultney.
“We really hope the entire community will come out and see what the teams have been able to accomplish in just a year through their hard work. It will also be a nice way for folks to celebrate their clean-up work on GreenUp Day,” said Mayberry.
Poultney 2020 was conceived late in 2012 when students at Green Mountain College began exploring ideas for bringing the college and town communities together in new ways. This led to a partnership between the college and the Poultney Downtown Revitalization Committee (PDRC) to create a process that would support community-led initiatives that add to the quality of life in town. During the winter of 2013, the effort began to take shape when community focus groups made up of residents, PDRC members, and GMC students and staff, held a series of meetings to identify Poultney’s strengths and brainstorm initiatives in five focus areas: the arts, food, sustainability, place, and good and services.
Poultney 2020 officially kicked off on April 24 last year when nearly 200 people attended a day-long Community Meeting designed to “take revitalization to the next level.” During that day, participants heard from an invited panel of Vermont community leaders, enjoyed a free catered lunch, shared ideas with the focus groups, and then voted on four priority projects: a community arts center, a pocket park for Main St., an outdoor parksandrecreation system, and a locavore restaurant.
During the past year, volunteer groups made up of over 50 local residents, GMC students and staff haveworkedtogether tobring to life several significant new cultural and recreational resources for the town.
Those resources will highlighted during this weekend’s event.
For a full schedule and description of activities, visit www.poultneyvt.com. All events are free and open to the public.

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