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The Northeast Kingdom Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation Announces Grants to Support Area Nonprofits

NEKF KESD Bike Club web

Kingdom East School District students enjoying Kingdom Trails, photo credit: Keara Kresser, courtesy of Kingdom Trails

The Northeast Kingdom Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation has announced $119,942 in grants to 27 organizations in its 2023 competitive grant round. The awards will support nonprofits and municipalities in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties. The grants include support to organizations working with youth, in the arts, education, and the outdoors.

“A significant portion of the grantees, and applicants overall, include programming for youth,” said Holly Morehouse, vice president of Grants and Community Impact at the Vermont Community Foundation. “This illustrates the focus that is needed on youth right now, especially in our more rural areas of the state, and I’m thrilled the Foundation and our fundholders were able to come together to help meet that need.” 

The Northeast Kingdom Fund was established in 2011 by the Community Foundation and local partners as a permanent philanthropic resource to support the people and communities in the region. The Fund prioritizes applications from projects and organizations that are based in the Northeast Kingdom and provide services directly to the community. A committee of residents living and working in the Northeast Kingdom reviews all proposals and chooses the grant recipients. 

The next Northeast Kingdom Fund grant round will open in June 2024. To learn more about the fund, visit  

2023 Grants

Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country received $5,000 for the Adaptive Swim Project. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orleans.

Bend Revitalization Initiative received $2,610 to bring Greensboro Bend children together to learn and participate in pickleball, build long-term friendships, create a sense of belonging, and provide a new activity useful for life through the Using Sports to Increase a Sense of Community Amongst Bend Children program. Caledonia, Orleans.

Catamount Film & Arts received $5,000 to support an Artwork and Product Photography Weekend in which Northeast Kingdom-based artists, crafters, and designers will be able to get their artwork and products professionally digitized by Harrison Creative. Counties to be served: Caledonia, Essex, Orleans.

Circus Smirkus received $5,000 for its Multi-Generational Community Circus program, a community-developed circus with performers ages 8 to 80 in juggling, acrobatics, pyramids, clowning, and other acts. Orleans.

Craftsbury Public Library received $4,680 to support The Learning Never Stops: Fun and Engaging Library Programs for School-Aged Children, a range of after-school opportunities. Caledonia, Lamoille, Orleans.

Energy Committee of the Town of St. Johnsbury received $2,500 to support a Window Dressers Community Build project. It will provide interior storm window inserts to people who cannot afford them. Goals include reducing energy use and increasing resilience in the face of climate change. Caledonia.

Get Thee to the Funnery received $4,000 to support Story-Telling, the Funnery Way, a program in which two counselors will offer Funnery-style true story writing workshops in NEK schools. Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orleans, Washington.

Glover Ambulance Squad received $5,000 to bring realistic, high-performance training to Northeast Kingdom EMS services where it is not currently available, including advanced life support interventions. Orleans.

Green Mountain Farm to School received $5,000 to support Closing the Nutrition Gap Over School Breaks for the Northeast Kingdom’s Children, an initiative to increase the volume of nutritious, locally-sourced foods purchased for school backpack programs, helping provide food security for students over school breaks. Caledonia, Essex, Orleans.

Kingdom Animal Shelter received $5,000 to support the Community Fund, which provides struggling families and older people with financial support for veterinary care, food, and other needs so that individuals can keep their cherished pets in loving homes. Caledonia.

Kingdom County Productions received $5,000 to support the Access Arts program, which provides free tickets to students and low-income populations. Caledonia.

Kingdom Trail Association received $5,000 to support the Healthy Youth & Outdoor Initiative, a project that enables education-based recreational opportunities on the Kingdom Trail network and teaches students to mountain bike, cross-country ski, and explore the natural world. Caledonia, Essex.

North Country Supervisory Union received $5,000 to support student-led service projects as part of Encore After School and Summer Programs. Youth leaders will attend an afterschool program to learn financial literacy and leadership skills as they consider how best to spend funds that will support their school or larger communities. Essex, Orleans.

Northeast Kingdom Human Services received $4,000 to support We Care We Share, a project that empowers youth to build and decorate Little Free Libraries for their communities. Caledonia, Essex, Orleans.

NorthWoods Stewardship Center received $5,000 to support the ACCESS FOR ALL project, which will utilize universal design principles to transform the center’s main lodge entryway and bathrooms to meet ADA guidelines and welcome people of all ability levels. Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orleans.

Orleans County Historical Society received $5,000 to hire three NEK middle school students for the 2024 summer as staff. They will work in partnership with permanent, professional staff and museum volunteers. Orleans.

Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union received $2,700 to expand its Girls on the Run program in Craftsbury. This program promotes health and wellness including improving girls’ self-perceptions of their physical, emotional, and social abilities. Orleans.

Rural Arts Collaborative received $5,000 to support New Members of the Creative Economy, a program that will help people realize their potential by developing their interests and skills related to graphic design. Caledonia, Orleans.

RuralEdge received $4,050 to work with residents and a professional artist to design and create murals that encourage a more welcoming environment at three of its properties. Caledonia, Essex, Orange, Orleans.

Salvation Farms received $5,000 to expand gleaning efforts that serve the NEK and help farms in the region feed more of their neighbors. Caledonia, Essex, Lamoille, Orleans.

Sheffield Food Pantry received $5,000 to increase its once-a-month free food distribution day to two days each month. Caledonia, Essex, Orleans.

Thaddeus Stevens School received $5,000 to run a Tabletop Role Playing Game Mini Con, a convention-style program in which middle school students can explore identity, culture, and community. Caledonia, Essex.

Umbrella of St. Johnsbury received $5,000 to support the Youth in Power Program, which aims to develop leadership skills among young women in the Northeast Kingdom through an experiential, paid, job-training program. Caledonia, Essex, Orleans.

Upright Steeple Society received $2,400 to support a Lyndon Area Concert Series. Monthly shows will feature musicians experimenting with projects for intimate audiences that underscore the venue’s place-based mission. Caledonia, Essex.

Vermont Parks Forever received $3,000 to support the Adaptive Beach Access initiative. This project improves accessibility to Vermont state park beaches by providing beach access chairs for wheelchair users. Statewide.

Vermont River Conservancy received $5,000 to support Nulhegan Riverfront Clean-up. The organization will clean up a riverfront property along the Nulhegan River that has been a community eyesore. When complete, the property will be part of adjacent protected conservation lands. Statewide.