Friday June 8 was the much anticipated Vermont Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference, held in Wilmington, VT. Wilmington was one of the Vermont towns most damaged from the flooding of Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011, and the theme of the conference “Resiliency” fit Wilmington perfectly. Wilmington is a beautiful Vermont village, filled with an array of historic architecture, concrete bridges, local retail, eateries and lodging among residential, civic and religious buildings.
Luckily, the day was graced with beautiful Vermont weather: blue skies, white clouds, warm sunshine and green mountains in the background. The morning began with registration followed by the welcome, keynote speaker and preservation awards in Memorial Hall. How wonderful it is to see so many preservation-loving people in one place and to hear inspiring stories. The keynote speaker, Stuart Comstock-Gay of the Vermont Community Foundation, gave an excellent speech, acknowledging the hard work that has defined Vermonters (particularly since Irene), but also the fact that we have to keep going and keep up our motivation and momentum. Before the afternoon sessions began, everyone broke for lunch and enjoyed the local places in town.
Preservation in Pink (Flamingos): How Historic Preservation Relates to You, was slotted in the first afternoon session, 1:30-2:30, and held in the St. Mary’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church. My attention throughout the conference was focused on this presentation and not taking photographs, which is my explanation for the lack of images. (Sorry!)
To all who attended the PiP session, thank you! I had the best time presenting, sharing the Preservation in Pink story with you and talking about how historic preservation and our built environment relate to each other. How nice it was to meet readers and those new to Preservation in Pink. This was the debut of PiP outside of the blog and newsletter, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better experience. I hope the attendees enjoyed themselves as well. And thank you for laughing when I unknowingly said “preaching to the choir.” I did not plan it! Of course, thank you to the Preservation Trust of Vermont for inviting me to speak.
The conference continued with a second round of afternoon sessions and then an afternoon barbecue held at North Star Bowl on Route 100. This locally owned business suffered greatly from the flood, but with a dedicated community behind it, recovered and rebuilt. Wilmington is full of inspiring people, from residents to business owners to second home-owners. They have come a long way since the August flooding, but still have a long way to go. If you are traveling on Route 9 or Route 100, stop in for a visit. Hope to see you next year!