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What Inspires A Bright Outlook In Vermont's Rural Communities?

Donut graph showing how optimistic Vermonters are about future of their community. 19% said very optimistic, 47% somewhat optimistic, 6% neither optimistic or pessimistic, 18% somewhat pessimistic, 7% very pessimistic, 2% don't know/refused.
Kyle Blair
Vermont PBS
The VPR - Vermont PBS Rural Life Survey asked Vermonters about their optimism for the future of their community. About two-thirds of respondents said they were either "very optimistic" or "somewhat optimistic."

Data released this week from the Vermont Rural Life Survey, a part of VPR and Vermont PBS's This Land project, reveal 66% of respondents are optimistic about the future of their communities. On the next Vermont Edition, we'll explore the reasons behind this positive outlook and take a look at what makes Vermont communities strong.

Joining the discussion will be Michael Wood-Lewis, co-founder and CEO of Front Porch Forum, an online platform that connects neighbors to their local community, and Tom Gilbert, owner of Black Dirt Farm in Stannard and Stannard's town moderator.

We'll also hear from John Castle, superintendent of the North Country Supervisory Union, about his hopes for the future of rural schools in the Northeast Kingdom.

Explore the survey results here, and share your thoughts on the future of your community below.

Broadcast live on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

This Land in green text. The changing story of rural Vermont, in black text.
Credit Kyle Blair / Vermont PBS
Vermont PBS

This fall, VPR and Vermont PBS are collaborating to present This Land: The Changing Story of Rural Vermont to explore the challenges and opportunities of living in rural Vermont — from health care and education to the economy, housing, workforce training and so much more.

This project was made possible by our supporters, and by AARP Vermont and the Vermont Community Foundation.

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Anna Ste. Marie joined the organization in early 2017 in the Marketing & Engagement department. She got her start as an intern for Vermont Edition while receiving her B.A. in Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts from St. Michael’s College in 2016. Anna is a lifelong Vermonter, hailing from the Northeast Kingdom. She loves flowers, cats, TikTok, crafts and the juiciest reality TV drama.
April Qian was a part-time producer for Vermont Edition.
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