Beginning in March 2013, community members met to discuss the vision for Manchester.

The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) Community Visit Program was a structured process that enabled the community to identify and prioritize goals, foster local leadership, and serve as a catalyst for the development and realization of concrete, achievable action plans. In all over 200 residents came together with resource team members from state, federal, non-profit, and private resources. After three meetings the Manchester community identifying four initiatives:

Develop a Small Business Incubator – chaired John Conte (

Become a Biking Center and Destination – chaired by Ellen Ecker Ogden (

Attract Higher Education Opportunities – chaired Jen Hyatt (

Redevelop the Riverside and Open a Riverwalk – chaired Bill Laberge at (

Overall, Manchester 2020 is chaired by local resident Brian Keefe ( The full VCRD Manchester 2020 report is available online. To learn more about Manchester 2020 progress, sign up for the Manchester 2020 electronic newsletter by contacting Tricia Hayes at

Today, the four task forces continue their work to refine and enhance the identified initiatives. Much has been accomplished to date including enhanced signage and equipment for cyclists, expansion of the Riverwalk  and inventory of educational and business opportunities.

Manchester 2020 – looking to the future with a respect and understanding of the past.