Well, as many of you have likely heard, Vermont was hit quite hard by tropical storm Irene this past Sunday. Our little state is familiar with severe weather of all sorts: blizzards, thunderstorms, rains, and the like, but it’s not everyday that a tropical storm blows through. The rains and winds of Irene wrecked havoc on many small towns in Vermont, tearing out covered bridges, isolating entire towns with road washouts and destroying homes, businesses and farms.
1% for the Planet has its headquarters in the town of Waitsfield, Vermont, and by no small miracle, our office fared amazingly well. Aside from a basement full of sludge, our floors are dry and our equipment in good condition. The same is not to be said of our neighbors, however. Foundations gone, buildings literally moved by the river, and massive amounts of local produce — lost.
1% for the Planet spent this morning lending a hand in the recovery efforts at neighboring farm, Small Step Farm. We emptied a greenhouse full of plump ripe tomatoes and fresh basil, pulled irrigation tubing out of ditches, carried logs to designated burn piles, pressure washed the silt away from seedling trays and had many a bonfire without the s’mores.
It’s a detrimental time for Vermont and there’s a lot of work ahead, but if there’s anything positive to come of this, it’s the coming together of an incredible community. Locals, out-of-towners, and vacationers alike are all coming out to see how they can help. Social media has also shown its power as those in need create Facebook events, posts are updated every five minutes about what roads are closed or now open, whose dog is lost or found, and how you can support those in need. Only three days after the storm and a massive difference has been made.
Thanks to those of you who have reached out for all for your thoughts, support and concern. If you’re wondering how you can assist in the recovery efforts, please support any of the following nonprofit partners: Friends of the Mad River, Friends of the Winooski River, Intervale Center, Northern Forest Canoe Trail, or The Mad River Path.
Over the next couple weeks if we’re a bit less available on the phone or via email it’s likely because we’re out of office, but rest assured we’ll be in touch as soon as possible. If you’re in the area, feel free to come join us! We plan to spend the next few mornings out and about in the community helping on various projects as needed. While the loss of so much could-have-been-pesto-ingredients is disheartening, the joy of using a pressure washer is quite sensational!
– The 1% Team