Community Announcements

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Montpelier Alive and Downtown Updates

Tips from the RD: Enjoying Pumpkins for their Nutritional Value and Flavor, including Recipes!  
The Registered Dietician at Central VT Council on Aging shared this information that includes tips for selecting, storing and preparing pumpkins, and recipes for pumpkin soup and pumpkin pancakes! Plus, loads of info on the nutritional benefits of enjoying pumpkin! 

Community of VT Elders holds COVID Halloween Mask Contest
Thanks to COVID-19, masks aren’t just for Halloween this season. But on October 28, the Community of Vermont Elders (COVE) will celebrate the year’s spookiest holiday - and COVID safety awareness - with a virtual awards ceremony for the winners of COVE’s Best COVID Halloween Mask. “We have spent the last seven months struggling to adjust to a ‘new normal’,” said COVE Executive Director Ruby Baker of life in the age of COVID-19. “This contest is a way to make wearing masks into something fun and connect it to Halloween.”

The contest is open to Vermonters of all ages, and winners will be judged on “cleverness, creativity, and all-around awesomeness,” Baker said. Those wishing to enter can upload a photo to the group’s Facebook page or send an email. (Details below). Prizes awarded to first, second, and third place winners include a donated fresh farm salad kit and hand printed tea towel from Steadyfoot Farm, a handmade ceramic bowl from Uphill Pottery, and a gift box from Ackermann Maple Farm, among other locally donated items.

To enter COVE’s COVID Halloween Face Mask Contest, visit their Facebook event page  to upload a photo and view the prize gallery. Or email or For additional information or press inquiries regarding this event, email:

Volunteers Wanted to Test Energy Estimator for Net Zero Montpelier (Deadline to Apply is 10/30!) 

Montpelier is committed to achieving its net-zero energy goal, renewably producing all of the energy it uses. We need your help to make this happen! In order to better understand opportunities and barriers for energy used in buildings, Montpelier is interested in a home energy analysis tool, the Energy Estimator, that generates a Vermont Home Energy Profile (VHEP). The VHEP provides a standardized energy cost estimate and energy score.

We are looking for 10 Montpelier homeowner volunteers who can test the Energy Estimator tool and provide feedback on it. Volunteers will be walked through the three easy steps to create a Vermont Home Energy Profile that includes: 1. Registering and creating a log-in. 2. Claiming your home. 3. Reviewing, editing, and submitting your home's features (energy and insulation features, etc.). 

The VHEP provides cost-saving recommendations and links to energy professionals, incentives, and financing opportunities. This information is designed to provide more transparency to homeowners, homebuyers, and real estate professionals on the estimated energy use and costs, and to motivate investments in home improvements that lower energy bills, reduce carbon emissions, increase comfort, safety, and health for homeowners.
The feedback you provide will be valuable in making the Energy Estimator user-friendly and streamlined. If you are interested in providing input and testing the Energy Estimator tool with your home, please reach out to Bryan Evans ( by COB Friday, 10/30/20. We look forward to hearing from you!

Free Webinar: Surprising Strategies for Staying Healthy (Presented by MSAC Cooking Instructor, Lisa Mase)

Sunday, November 1, 1:00pm | Zoom | Registration required

Lise writes: “Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of health information out there? I feel you. That’s why I pulled together my top rated health care strategies based on the latest peer reviewed studies for preventing illness. We will explore my top five tools for boosting immunity, preventing viral and bacterial infection, and modulating stress. I look forward to sharing these surprising strategies for staying healthy with you. I have done loads of research on prevention and immunity and want everyone to know about it. Please feel free to share this with your loved ones.” Sign up for this free event here

Reporting: Halloween Fun for All Ages at Hubbard Park with StoryWalk® Project
Though we missed announcing it beforehand, we wanted to share that on Saturday, October 24, the picture book “Room on the Broom” was posted on the fitness trail in Hubbard Park for all to enjoy as a free StoryWalk® Project event. Park-goers were able to follow the signs from the New Shelter. StoryWalk® is not just for kids!

Did you know that MSAC member, avid volunteer, and StoryWalk® Project founder Anne Ferguson (one of our Trash Tramps founders as well) has created such great events all over the state, country, and even internationally! Recently, Burlington Parks & Rec teamed up with the library there to feature a different StoryWalk® Project, and a wonderful video report about it was featured on NECN. Click here to learn more and view the news story! If you’d like to learn more about StoryWalk® Project in general, visit the webpage that is part of the KH Library website. 

Utility Customers Eligible for Help Paying Past-due Balances During Pandemic.  

Our partners at Central VT Council on Aging brought this opportunity to our attention. Click here for more information. 

North Branch Nature Center has a new presentation on Fishes of VT, plus over 30 past ones available on their webinar page!

This week: Fishes of Vermont: Confessions of an Ichthyologist, by Doug Facey, Wednesday, October 28 | 5- 6 PM | Free via ZOOM: 

Why does Vermont have more species of freshwater fishes than other New England states? Which fish in Vermont is born in the Sargasso Sea? Which is carefully described in Samuel de Champlain’s diary? Which fish have a lung-like structure that allows them to breathe air? Join us for answers to these and other fishy questions. Doug Facey teaches biology at Saint Michael's College, and is a coauthor of “The Diversity of Fishes: Biology, Ecology, and Evolution." More Info

North Branch Nature Center’s Naturalist Journeys Online are made possible by sponsors: Hunger Mountain Co-op, GreenVest, Onion River Outdoors, Union Mutual, and Capitol Copy. Later this season, learn about wild apples, macro photography, slug thieves, ginseng poaching, animal acoustics, birdsong, and much more. And visit their webinar page to enjoy over 30 past presentations.

September 25 Reframing Aging Conference Sessions Now Available Online to All!  
This conference was sponsored by V4A - the VT Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Staff attended online, and we reported on some of these conference sessions last month. This week we got word that all of the sessions are now available to the general public. To view the agenda, speakers, sessions, etc. and to register for free, click here

  Older Announcements

Everybody Eats: Free Meals for anyone impacted by the pandemic (that's you!)!
We mentioned this program before, but after talking to Chef Mike, it's definitely worth mentioning again. "Everybody Eats" is a program that offers meals free of charge to anyone impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so everyone. Participating restaurants receive $10 for every meal through a grant made possible by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, so the more meals they give away the more money our local restaurants make. 10% of the meals has to be made with local ingredients and there's over 90 participating restaurants, cafes and food trucks statewide. So if you've been wondering what you can do to help support our local restaurants - here's a great option for you. Go pick up a free meal or two and know that by doing so you are contributing to your favorite local food retailers. Check out for more details and tell all of your friends!

CAN: Capital Area Neighborhoods are organizing and recruiting volunteers! 
Sustainable Montpelier Coalition (SMC) is recruiting volunteers for these Capital Area Neighborhoods – Barre Street, Northfield Street, River Street, Elm Street (Meadows section), parts of Main and East State Street and State Street by Bailey Avenue. If you aren’t part of these neighborhoods, but are still looking to get involved, reach out to Laura and Tom (information provided below) and they’ll connect you to your neighborhood network.

Back in late March 2020, the SMC took on the role of organizing the city’s Capital Area Neighborhoods (CAN). This project, partly in response to the COVID pandemic, is creating strong communication networks at the city’s most local level – the neighborhood. CAN is designed to share information from the City and emergency response services with neighborhoods, share information between neighbors, and to share information from neighborhoods to the City and service providers.

As a CAN Coordinator, you can help to help organize your street and a few nearby streets by: 

  •  Connecting with people that you know or reach out to people you may not know.  
  • Sharing Resources such as Montpelier Mutual Aid and updates from the City of Montpelier (ex. Department of Public Works). 
  • Keeping in Touch with people on your street or nearby who would benefit from a regular check-in or might want to do something fun like a porch sing or a virtual dance party!
  • Sustainability – during this pandemic the need has been for emergency aid and updates, however the long-term goal is to bring the neighborhood together to enjoy a yearly potluck, bbq, pancake breakfast, and/or a holiday celebration. There are also social-distance events we are happy to help promote and share ideas about. 

Be a part of your community and set up a one-on-one chat with SMC staff to figure out next steps. Laura and Tom are both working on the CAN Project and can be reached at or 802-272-1195.

Community Harvest of Central Vermont Looking for Volunteers
Community Harvest of Central Vermont is looking for volunteers of any age to join us over the next seven weeks to get as much food stored up for the coming winter ahead. We know the need for food is only going to increase as we go into winter and now is our chance to glean as much as we can before the cold sets in. Email or call 802- 229-4281. Note: CHCV and their partner farms are significant fresh produce donors to MSAC's FEAST Program!

Crops Cash (Farmers Market) and other Food, Fuel Benefits that help add to your grocery budget and pay for heating your home this winter!
Read our October newsletter (page 9) to learn much more about the latest news in Three Squares, Fuel Assistance, and Crops Cash, a benefit that triples your benefits when shopping at Farmers' Markets across VT this Fall. Some highlights: Did you know that seniors are eligible for maximum Three Squares food benefits now through December, and if you're 65+, they can be deposited right in your bank account as cash? Learn more and apply today-call the Senior Helpline at 1-800-642-5119 for help to apply!

Community Dance & Fitness Studio to Offer Zoom Classes with Allison Mann
Only $5 a class for MSAC members!
Purchase 4 or more classes, and Zoom-in when you can.

Community Dance & Fitness Studio Online Fall Offerings
YogaDance & StretchConditioning
Mondays |  11a -12p | via ZoomWednesdays | 11a - 12p | via ZoomFridays | 11a - 12p | via Zoom
Work slowly and deeply to gain flexibility, strength, muscular balance, and alignment. Includes kneeling and arm-supported postures.
Easy to follow Jazz & Caribbean moves. Great music. Thorough stretch for last 10 minutes.
Squats and lunges with weights; floor work for focused ab/butt/thigh work; deep yoga stretches; a more intensive workout.

Brought to you live from CD&FS!!
Give them a call: (802)-229-4676 or email: