Nonprofit news and notes

Annual Westminster Cares garden tour set for early July

WESTMINSTER >> The 15 Annual Westminster Garden Tour is scheduled for July 9 and 10.

This year's event will feature the gardens of internationally known garden designers Gordon and Mary Hayward and Julie Moir Messervy; the gardens of Vanessa and David Stern will also be on the tour. Special activities are planned throughout the weekend to celebrate the 15th garden tour.

The tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10. Admission for one or both days is $15; two for $25. Discounted tickets can now be purchased at Group discounts for six or more are also available. The event is held rain or shine.

Day of event tickets, lunch and refreshments will be available at the Westminster Institute on Route 5 or at the Hayward Garden. Morning Star Perennials will hold a plant sale at the Hayward Garden during the event.

Westminster artist, David Stern, has donated an original watercolor of Twin Falls in North Westminster to Westminster Cares. Silent auction bids on the painting will be accepted throughout June with final bids accepted during the garden tour. In conjunction with the garden tour there will be a Raffle. Tickets can be purchased for a chance to win 10 prizes including a garden trellis, a wooden outdoor bench, and a one-night stay at the Grafton Inn with breakfast and dinner at the Phelps Barn included.

Sponsored by Durand Toyota/Ford, Chroma, Silver Forest of VT, Mascoma Savings Bank, C & S Wholesale Grocers, Vermont Country Store, BurtCo, Inc. Savings Bank of Walpole, Brattleboro Ford/Subaru, and People's United Bank.

SEON launches facility managers' guild

BRATTLEBORO >> On June 20 at 5 p.m., in the main conference room of the Brattleboro Retreat, The Sustainable Energy Outreach Network will announce the formation of its second networking group, The Facility Managers Guild.

The intention is to assist facility managers in becoming more proficient in all aspects of energy management and conservation. This collaboration will open opportunities to share best practices and project outcomes, engage in problem-solving, connect to additional resources and participate in continuing education. Any facility manager, technician, or associate working in a non-profit, public or private enterprise in the tri-state area who wants to advance their knowledge and skills in sustainable energy management are welcome to participate.

John Penney of John F. Penney Consulting Services PC will be the keynote speaker. He will discuss the benefits of commissioning building systems and the different approaches to the commissioning process. The focus will be on new and existing building commissioning, monitoring based commissioning, and ongoing commissioning. He will explore the cost benefit and the energy savings commissioning can help to achieve.

There will be time to mingle with colleagues, to learn why such an organization is being advanced and to find out about upcoming networking meetings. Membership information will be made available. Light refreshments will be provided compliments of Sodexo.

The event is free and participants are encouraged to register in advance. To register or inquire about the Guild contact SEON at

Putney Co-op awarded Green Thumbs at Work Garden Grant

PUTNEY >> The Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network have awarded 10 food garden grants to small businesses and organizations around the state.

Each award winner receives $500 for materials, a $250 gift certificate to Gardener's Supply, and $1,000 in technical assistance from Vermont Community Garden Network and garden expert Charlie Nardozzi.

The grant winners were selected based on readiness to develop a workplace garden, including commitment to workplace wellness efforts, the ability to provide matching funds and in-kind services for garden development, a plan for employee participation, and clear articulation of how the garden will help meet employee wellness goals.

The Green Thumbs at Work program provides a means of physical activity and stress reduction, increases access to fresh produce, and promotes opportunities for other wellness activities. Workplace gardens can also increase employee engagement, camaraderie, and healthy behavior.

The technical assistance provided through the grant program helps each business determine the type and size of garden that best meets its needs, and develop strategies for engaging employees, ensuring the garden will be successful throughout the season and for years to come. The grant program is a collaboration between the Vermont Department of Health and Vermont Community Garden Network, in partnership with Charlie Nardozzi, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, and Gardener's Supply.

For more information, visit at-work or call 802-861-4769.

Groundworks needs volunteers

BRATTLEBORO >> Groundworks Collaborative, which provides ongoing support to families and individuals facing housing and food insecurities in the greater Brattleboro area, is in need of a few strong, dependable, able-bodied volunteers to support the work of the food shelf by helping unload trucks and stocking shelves during weekdays, as well as less able-bodied volunteers to staff the desk. Come work alongside other volunteers from all walks of life doing their part to fight food insecurity in the community. Contact Andi Waisman at or 802-380-1367 if interested.


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