Home News and Features Community and Business News in Brief, Apr. 17, 2024

Community and Business News in Brief, Apr. 17, 2024

Garrett Grant, assistant director at the Aldrich Public Library, left, with Daniel Barlow, executive director of the People’s Health & Wellness Clinic. Photo by Sam Reese.

Little Free Library Offered to Clinic Patients

The People’s Health & Wellness Clinic (PHWC) and the Aldrich Public Library have partnered to promote literacy and wellness among clinic patients. The clinic has installed a Little Free Library in its waiting room, offering patients access to a diverse selection of books. 

“We believe that access to literature contributes to mental and emotional well-being. By providing free books in our waiting room, we hope to create a welcoming environment that supports the holistic health of our patients,” said Daniel Barlow, executive director of PHWC. 

The Little Free Library, stocked with books supplied by the Aldrich Public Library, and from volunteer doctors and nurses at the clinic, will provide patients access to an array of reading materials, including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and more. The little library was built by Dale Davis, a longtime volunteer at the clinic. 

“We are excited to collaborate with the People’s Health & Wellness Clinic on this meaningful project,” said Garrett Grant, assistant director of the Aldrich Library. “Libraries play a vital role in promoting literacy and lifelong learning, and by extending our services to healthcare settings, we hope to reach even more members of the community and inspire a love for reading.” 

—press release

Winter Shelter To Stay Open Until May

The winter overflow shelter operated by Good Samaritan Haven at the former Elks Club in Montpelier will remain open for an extra month to help meet the need for safe shelter in the area. The new closing date is May 31.

“We initially planned to close on April 30. Given the high level of need right now, it was imperative that we extend the season. We are very grateful to the city of Montpelier for extending our lease, the state of Vermont for providing funding, and our staff for agreeing to continue the work at this site,” said Good Samaritan Haven Co-Executive Director Rick DeAngelis. The cold weather shelter has housed 68 unique individuals since it opened in November and typically has 15 guests or more each night.

“We are working to make sure everyone has safe and dignified housing. Camping outside or living in a car is not a good option,” said DeAngelis. “I wish we could do more than extend the shelter. But it’s a start and we are looking at other long-term options.”

Several shelter residents shared their gratitude for having the option to stay in the shelter, many of whom said feeling safe, warm, and supported helped keep their spirits up.

“For a lot of us, it is life saving, and the staff are kind people who will help support us as much as they can. They always have good advice and kind words,” said one guest.

Another guest echoed the sense of safety noting the shelter is “a safe haven for the less fortunate” and a good place to be “amid the darkness.” 

Your support can make a difference in Good Sam’s efforts. To donate, visit goodsamaritanhaven.org/donate.

—press release

New Bear Ambassador Program 

Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife, a conservation organization that works to educate landowners and others about sound forest management and wildlife stewardship, has announced the launch of its Bear Ambassador Program. Sixteen “Coverts Cooperators” completed the program in March. 

Recent Bear Ambassador graduates. Photo courtesy of Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife.
The initiative equips participants, the “Coverts Cooperators,” with the knowledge and tools needed to address human–bear conflicts and promote strategies for coexistence.

Partnering with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, the Coverts Bear Ambassadors course provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of bear biology, behavior, and strategies for mitigating conflicts. Through a combination of interactive sessions and expert-led discussions, participants gain valuable insights into bear ecology, habitat management, and community engagement.

Seeing a black bear in its natural surroundings is exciting. But when bears end up in human territory, such as our yards, problems can occur. 

“Vermont Coverts recognizes the importance of community outreach promoting coexistence between humans and bears. If neighbors share about taking in bird feeders, securing garbage, and taking other bear-aware measures we can help reduce nuisance bear issues,” notes Lisa Sausville, executive director of Vermont Coverts. 

For more information, visit vtcoverts.org.

—press release

Gardening Raffle Benefits Aldrich Library

The Friends of the Aldrich Library is raffling a basket of gardening supplies. Tickets — $1 for one and $5 for six — are available at the library’s circulation desk and from Friends members. They will also be sold at the Friends spring book sale April 26 and 27, the Friends’ Litchfield Memorial Concert on May 4, and the library Trustees’ Spring Fling on May 11. 

The drawing will happen on May 13, just in time for spring planting.

A handmade market basket holds most of the raffle’s goodies, including “1001 Gardening Tips & Tricks,” by Mary Rose Quigg, a trowel and claw, seeds, rubber kneeling pad, work gloves, plant markers, fertilizer, and potting soil. Two watering cans and a garden ornament also are included, but didn’t fit in the basket. 

The Friends encourage the winner to use it all or share it with a friend. Proceeds support library endeavors for all ages.

—press release