In just the last sixty years, the U.S. population has doubled in size adding more than 150 million people and now has a population of about 320 million. Vermont has seen slower growth than the nation as a whole, but even in the rather rural Washington County the population has grown during that period from 43,000 to approximately 60,000 or an increase of almost 50%. Residents are mostly feeling multiple effects of this expansion in the human enterprise.
Some will say that this is a good thing. They believe it has helped to grow the economy, given us more choices about where to shop and dine, increased property values, and diversified our population and culture. Others disagree, claiming that this growth has intensified sprawl and traffic congestion, degraded our region’s scenic beauty, eroded wildlife habitat, decreased water quality, and undermined our sense of community.
How do you feel? Should the population of your town keep on growing, stay about the same, or gradually decrease? Let your voice be heard by taking an online survey about how Washington County residents feel about population growth. Simply go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VSPOP by April 10.
Vermonters for Sustainable Population (VSPOP) will share the results of the survey at a presentation on “What is an Optimal/Sustainable Population for Vermont?” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, at the Unitarian Church in Montpelier.
Please take a few minutes to contribute to our understanding of how Vermonters view the effects of population growth by filling out the survey, and join us at the church for a more in-depth consideration of the much overlooked question of how much population growth Vermonters would like to see in coming decades.
Executive Director of Vermonters for Sustainable Population