Norwich-Northfield community strives to better relationship

Norwich-Northfield relations and five other topics will be discussed at a Community Visit led by the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) on March 21st. Hosted at Northfield Middle and High School, it will begin at 4:30PM and will include a community dinner.  

“Like every college community, Northfield and Norwich have experienced typical ‘town-gown’ issues over the years.” Tom Davis, Northfield Economic Development Director.

According to its stated goal, VCRD community visits aim to bring towns together to discuss problems, find solutions, and chart a course for the future. The discussions on the 21st serve as the initial step in guiding towns towards two additional meetings – one in April and one in May – where common goals are developed and resources are provided to achieve these goals. 

Initially scheduled to occur in February, the meeting was postponed a month, which limits the influence Norwich students have on the later meetings. The given reason for rescheduling by Jenna Koloski, Community Engagement and Policy Director for VCRD, was to ensure “we have enough time for outreach and sharing.”  

The event on the 21st still provides an invaluable opportunity for Norwich Faculty, students, staff, and community to make their voices heard. The six issues discussed are as follows: Youth and Families; Housing; Public and Community Safety; Building Norwich and Northfield Connection; Recreation; and Infrastructure: Broadband, Walkability, Transportation, and Sewer. 

The first three issues will be discussed from 4:30-6:00PM, followed by an hour break for a free community dinner. The last three – including Norwich-Northfield relations – will be discussed from 7:00-8:30PM.  

As stated by Northfield Select Board member Lydia Petty, the event “will allow the college community and Northfield residents to discuss opportunities to strengthen our relationships with one another.” 

Interested individuals are encouraged to visit the website, call 802-222-0263, or email Hannah Carpino at [email protected]. Additionally, ideas can be submitted through a Google Form, and a separate Zoom forum will occur at 7:00 PM the same evening.