Vermont introduces ‘Better Places’ grants to enhance public spaces

Montpelier, Vt.  — Governor Phil Scott, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Community Foundation, and Patronicity announced Thursday the launch of Better Places, a statewide program that empowers Vermonters to create and build vibrant and inclusive public places in the hearts of Vermont communities. This innovative partnership provides residents the opportunity to use crowdfunding to develop strategic, locally led projects in their communities and be supported with a 2:1 matching grant from the State.

“The Better Places program provides municipalities and nonprofits with funding for community-driven projects in our downtowns and village centers,” said Governor Scott. “These grants will help increase activity at local shops, restaurants, and other small businesses in all corners of Vermont.”

The Better Places program provides one-on-one project coaching, local fundraising support, and matching grants ranging from $5,000 to $40,000 to advance community-led placemaking efforts that create, revitalize, or activate public spaces. Whether communities are dreaming for more parks and green spaces, a vibrant main street, colorful public art projects, community gardens, or cultural events, Better Places grants can help turn these ideas into reality.

“At the heart of economic development is creating places where people want to be, spend time, belong, and thrive,” said Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle. “The Better Places program will help communities create and revitalize public places to build new economic opportunities for residents and visitors. From public art to pop-up parks to outdoor seating, we’re excited to support community-driven placemaking efforts that add vibrancy, social life, and pride to Vermont’s communities.”

In December of 2020, the Better Places pilot program was launched, and the state’s program partners invested $130,000 dollars into eight collaborative projects around the state. With the success of the pilot program, the Vermont Legislature allocated $1.5 million for the formal launch of this program.

“The Better Places pilot program was key to strengthening collaboration between the arts, community development leaders, Vermont-based funders, and local leaders, and has led to transformative investments in Vermont with wide-ranging benefits to our health, economy, and social connections,” said Vermont Community Foundation’s CEO and President Dan Smith. “We are thrilled to continue this Partnership that helps empower local leaders to create more welcoming public places in the heart of their communities.”

  • To review projects that were part of the pilot program click here.
  • For full details on the program including eligibility and application process, visit the program website.
  • A program launch webinar will be held on Thursday, February 10th, at 11:00am. Registration is required.

About Better Places

Better Places is a community matching grant program empowering Vermonters to create inclusive and vibrant public places serving Vermont’s designated downtowns, village centers, new town centers, or neighborhood development areas. The program is led by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, the Vermont Community Foundation, and Patronicity, our crowdfunding experts. The program supports community-led projects that create, revitalize, or activate community gathering areas that bring people together to build welcoming and thriving places across Vermont.

For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 27, 2022

Jason Maulucci, Press Secretary
Office of the Governor

Nate Formalarie, Communications Director
Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Nate Clark, Communications Associate
Vermont Community Foundation

Image courtesy of Public domain

3 thoughts on “Vermont introduces ‘Better Places’ grants to enhance public spaces

  1. After they destroyed the already extant public spaces every town and village had with their dystopian models played out on the already lived in landscape… and destroyed the mom and pops that put their lives and livelihoods into the neighborhoods where they lived and had businesses that had finally started to have a culture all its own in Vermont…all destroyed for the dystopian model by the Munchausen by Proxy-ists otw known as fascist communists in it for the money… destroying lives in the process…
    Now lets throw money at the communities destroyed by unencumbered ‘progress’ brought to us by the flatlanders who thought they could improve what was here.
    Look at us know.
    Divided against one another, by every ‘division’ the commies love to deploy…and biggest and worst of all: the gov’t against The People.
    When the government hands out money to ‘build a community’ – you will build it THEIR way, far from any organic and natural growth the built strong bonds, neighbors, friends and communities – by people who understood that change was not necessarily better, and that slow living was a thing to be treasured and protected.
    But the newcomers know better.
    And now they are in our State House, and running our government.
    They know best.
    Daddy’s in the house.

  2. Governor Scott and the legislature clearly have too much money and are having a difficult time figuring out where to spend it. My advice: Let each business in each town and village figure out how ‘to create inclusive and vibrant’ spaces as they see fit. They are far better qualified to do so than are a bunch of pencil pushing politicians and the committees they inevitably create that never get anything done. Just cut our taxes and step aside. Please. Just step aside.

    “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” T. S. Eliot

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