Summit explores rural migration, recreation, climate

KEENE, NH - The 2021 Radically Rural summit will be offered virtually this year, from Wednesday, September 22 to Thursday, September 23. The summit, hosted by the Hannah Grimes Center and the Keene Sentinel, will be divided into seven different program tracks that feature topics offering strategic opportunities for transformation in rural communities.
The land and community track will have three sessions. On Wednesday, September 22, from 10:30 am to 12:15 pm,  session one, “Rural as Refuge?,” will report on urban to rural migration trends at the national scale in recent years focusing on evidence of rural migration during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. This macro scale perspective will be followed by evidence from a set of Vermont case studies exploring migration’s impacts on rural communities and asking new residents what they make of their new rural homes. It will conclude by discussing the ways in which in-migration can serve as a force of community improvement and reinvestment highlighting how rapid in-migration may influence landscapes, planning, civic engagement, and social life in small towns. Speakers include Dr. Cheryl Morse, associate professor and social geographer at the University of Vermont; and Peter Nelson, professor at Middlebury College.
From 2:15 to 4 pm, during session two, “Exploring Nature, Renewing Communities,” speakers will share success stories of communities across the nation that are keeping outdoor recreation front and center for the health of their people and economy. Speakers will include Caitrin Maloney, co-owner of Sustainable Trailworks; and Sarah Pelkey, economic development coordinator for the town of Poultney, VT.
Last, on Thursday, September 23, from 10 to 11:45 am, session three, “Native Tribes Lead on Environmental Stewardship” will explore how native populations’ traditional ecological knowledge is informing natural resources management strategies and offering important perspectives on climate adaptation and resiliency. Speakers will include Nikki Colley Diné, co-manager of the tribes and climate change program at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals; and Shavonne Smith, environmental director of the Shinnecock Environmental Department.
Ticket costs vary; register online at
Email or call (603) 756-2988, ext. 4, with any questions regarding the land and community track.

The Deerfield Valley News

797 VT Route 100 North
Wilmington, VT 05363

Phone: 802-464-3388
Fax: 802-464-7255

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