The Northeast Kingdom is the name given to the three counties (Orleans, Essex and Caledonia) in Vermont’s northeast corner. In area, it’s slightly larger than the state of Delaware (where I used to live, and which also has 3 counties). The NEK’s three counties have a total population of about 62,000 (vs. Delaware’s ~900,000), most of whom are in Caledonia (larger towns: St. Johnsbury, Lyndonville) and Orleans (larger towns: Newport, Derby) counties.
It’s been my home since the late 1990’s. My wife and I had been coming to see friends regularly for 2 decades before we moved. Though I’ll rightly be considered a flat-lander the rest of my days here, this is where I want to be, it’s home.
Service to Community
I try to give back to wherever I live. In my former home (Newark, DE), I served on and chaired a citizen advisory committee that reviewed proposals for community development & local block grant funding, and recommended to the city council how to allocate the funds.
Here, I serve on the board of the Northeast Kingdom Collaborative and in the past volunteered for hospice and served on the local advisory board for the Community High School of Vermont (associated with the Dept. of Corrections). Some years ago, I was a board member and for a while chair, of the Northeast Kingdom Workforce Investment Board. It has disbanded.
The NEK Collaborative started as a way to pull people from across the NEK to share information, to work together. It became more formal – board and by-laws – when it was named the local organization associated with the NEK’s REAP Zone status through USDA/Rural Development. See more on the board’s current efforts.
More about the Northeast Kingdom
<opinion> The region seems to have a tradition of rivalry between neighboring towns or counties that gets in the way of common efforts. It happens too with small businesses competing, rather than finding ways to work together. </opinion> [here “/” is geek for “end”]
The NEK has been recognized by National Geographic as a geotourism destination, has highly regarded trails and low-traffic back roads – for mountain bikes, walking, horses, ATVs when it’s warm; for skis, snowshoes and snowmobiles when it’s not. I’m not a hunter or fisher, but many of my neighbors and many of our visitors are.