The University of Vermont and Shelburne Farms are pleased to offer an innovative program in placed-based education for towns in Vermont. The PLACE (Place-based Landscape Analysis & Community Engagement) Program provides local residents with a forum for exploring and understanding the natural and cultural history of their town landscape. Working directly with local schools, town commissions, historical societies, and conservation organizations, PLACE staff members develop an integrated series of presentations, field trips, workshops, and visioning forums designed to celebrate and honor a town’s cultural heritage and ecological potential.
Since its inception in 2001, PLACE has collaborated with a host of local and regional partners to facilitate programs in 14 communities, with a 15th program currently underway in the town of New Haven, Vermont. The current program model brings together community members and UVM graduate students in a collaborative research process through the PLACE Institute, and features visioning sessions and design-build projects that integrate an appreciation of a community’s heritage into plans for a sustainable future.