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Summer of Solutions: Burlington, VT

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain between the Adirondack and Green Mountains, Burlington is one of America's most livable cities. Burlington is an area where community is prominent. It is a small city, making it easy to have your voice heard. Our state is one of the greenest in the country. There are many local initiatives and people willing to help your cause. It is a great environment to spend a summer filled with enriching and educational fun. 

The 2010 Summer of Solutions in Burlington will continue its work on a variety of project related to sustainable harvesting, engineering and political action. The project we will do will be intellectually stimulating and have a positive impact on the state and the nation. In 2009 we SOS Vermont designed and built a passive solar hot water heater, an out door shower, a grey water recovery system, installed stoves with VSHI, worked with the governors institute engineering program, conducted research on a fee on non reusable plastic shopping bags learned how to butcher chickens and sheep, built a very low cost wind mill, installed photovoltaic panels and had a lot of fun.  We ended the program on the beach in Long Island where we built a giant sand castle about sustainability.

Three to four out of state interns can be hosted with free room and board.  Interns should have a background or interest in engineers with our boarders, alternative energy, sustainable gardening, food storage and preservation, low impact construction, sustainable living, community service, low impact lifestyles, ect.

Links for more info:
Location and Partners
What You Give and What You Get
What We’ll Do Day-to-Day
Summer of Solutions Values, Principles, and Strategies
Burlington Program Leaders

Summer of Solutions Vermont Projects

Vermont SOS has just been awarded in conjunction with VSHI - Vermont Sustainable Heating Initiative a Federal Grant of $25,000.  This money will be used with an additional $5,500. to conduct a solid biofuel feasibility study in Chittenden County.  The goal is to establish a Solid Biofuel Co-op.  This will create jobs, stimulate the local community, use the energy resources in our own back yards, and decrease the states carbon foot print by approximately 15%.

SOS Vermont Interns will be working on the following projects:

1. Chittenden County Solid Bio-fuel feasibility study
Organizing communities in the county to support the biomass project.
Establishing under represented members of the community to be part of the planning.
Establishing the potential biomass that can be harvested sustainable in each town.
Working with local university students and faculty to develop a sustainable bio-shed resource map. Running and organizing the grant.

2. Vermont Sustainable Heating Initiative
VSHI will continue its work with low income Vermonters who need sustainable biofuel heating.  Documenting the impact on the families who have received stoves.
Continuing the installation process for new families.

3. Building an experimental passive community refrigerator and freezer. 
This structure will be a 30”x16” ft basement freezer that will have 4,000 liters of ice frozen in the winter to keep food frozen year round. This project will be built from recycled and natural resources in our back yard - NOT ~NIMBY~ Activities will include the design, construction and documentation of the freezer.

4. Working with students from all across the country on sustainable engineering projects at the University of Vermont  Engineering Summer Program.  These will range from biomass energy, wind energy, and other energy related technologies.  

5. Sustainable edible agriculture gardening.
Transform herbal landscape to sustainable edible landscape. Creating a sustainable garden for long term harvest. Activities include designing, planting, weeding and harvesting from a sustainable garden.
The gardens will be watered from a grey water system that is fed from a passive outdoor solar heated shower.

6. Rabbit hutch design and construction.
Rabbits have been raised as livestock for centuries.  The meat can be low in fat and are a low feed to meat ratio. 

7. Journalism and Public Relations.
Press releases and documentation will need to be written for all of the projects.  Residential interns will be expected to write a press release or article on a SOS project they are working on each week.  Press and public relations are important!

A limited number of interns will be able to be housed free of charge at a 14 acre farm in Essex, Vermont.  The farm has  an herbal garden, raised beds, sheep, egg laying chickens, clean stream, honey bees and soon......rabbits!!!

Residential SOS interns can live in a two story log cabin in the middle of the farm.  The cabin has a 12 volt photovoltaic system for lights and a dirt  (soon to be wood) floor.  There is a sleeping loft and  the cabin is situated near an old apple tree in a meadow close to a stream.  Food and facilities will be provided and cooking is expected to be a shared responsibility. Swim in the stream and use the out door shower.  Live close to nature. Vermont is a wonderful place in the summer.  Hiking, biking, swimming, in a progressive community.  Preference will be given to engineering, science, journalism, or gardening focused people.    

What’s an average day like?

Two types of programs are available for SoS volunteers.  One is a residential program for out of state interns who are interested in living in a log cabin with a solar electric system.  The second is a non residential program in which SoS volunteers can work with the residents to support the SoS projects.

No SoS day is the same. Usually it will start with locally grown breakfast and a morning to plan the day. Various non-residential volunteers will join us depending on the day. After a planning time, we will execute the goals set that morning. Some things to expect are: work on the current project and write ups of the days work.

Apply for the Burlington Summer of Solution Project


Grand Aspirations empowers, connects, and supports youth leaders as they create innovative, self-sustaining, and inter-dependent initiatives that systemically integrate climate and energy solutions, economic security, and social justice.
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