Monday, April 7, 2014

PLEASE READ: Future of the Cavendish Update

 The Cavendish Community and Conservation Association (CCCA) has made a decision to no longer support the Cavendish Update stating their reasons as follows, “At the last CCCA board meeting the directors closely reviewed the current balance in our bank account and the general state of our finances, including what we have spent and what we have in over the past several years. We have supported the Cavendish Update for a number of years now and we believe that it continues to have value to the community. However, we have reluctantly determined that we can no longer afford the cost of supporting the CU based on our current finances. We have other projects that require our financial support and we have a shrinking pot of money that must be carefully allocated and conserved. We will continue our financial support of the CU through the first of June.”

It would not have been possible to continue the CU without CCCA’s support, and so heartfelt thanks for supporting it for so long.

So what should become of the CU? Is it still needed? How can it be supported? These questions have lead me to look at the bigger picture of what’s ahead for Cavendish and how digital outreach, namely the “Cavendish Update,” could be re tooled to serve a more critical purpose. 

The Cavendish Update includes a lot more than a weekly e-mail:
• Blog 
• Guides-Including:

Cavendish is Losing its Year Round Community: According to the US Census data, Cavendish lost 7% of its year round population from 2000 to 2010. Since 2010, using statistics provided in the town report, Cavendish Town Elementary School (CTES) had a decrease in enrollment from 108 students in 2010 to 91 students in 2013. This decrease represents a loss of more than a classroom plus (average size is approximately 15 students). If this trend continues, Cavendish will ultimately lose its school, which in turn would have a serious impact on the town.

Reversing the Trend: Cavendish has a lot to offer for those that want a rural community with close proximity to outdoor recreational opportunities and the ability to participate in a way of life that is rapidly disappearing from the American landscape.

Unlike the Cavendish residents in the first half of the 20th century, where the Mill industry was the largest single employer, we have more in common with the original settlers where the single biggest employer was the individual. One look through the Cavendish Business Directory will show that we have many people who have home based businesses. Thanks to the internet, many can telecommute. As one software designer noted, “When I lived in Boston, I had to load my equipment in the car and drive anywhere from a half hour to several hours in order to do the things I enjoy. Living in Cavendish I can take advantage of the perfect conditions to bike or ski by just opening my backdoor.”

While a manufacturing plant or other major business is unlikely to move to Cavendish, there are people in Boston and in other parts of the country that would appreciate what Cavendish has to offer. However, they don’t know about us and if they do, we don’t offer a coordinated approach to help them actively consider relocating.

Digital Outreach: In addition to the various aspects of the CU, outlined above, all of which are available to anyone who has access to the web, there are several components that are needed: a website that not only promotes the town but provides resource information for visitors, potential residents and residents (the municipal website is the town governance site); Pinterest (this now has a big following in certain circles-librarians, teachers, self employed individuals etc.; Instagram (a picture is worth a thousand words) and possibly Twitter.

Next Steps: If you are interested in participating in a meeting to explore the expansion of the CU, how to support it and/or  have ideas, suggestions or want to make a donation please e-mail or call 802-226-7807.

Please Note: Without some form of support in place by the end of May 2014, the CU will cease as of June 1.

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