Our Mission and History
Since 1991, RW's mission has been to preserve and enhance the economic, historic and social vitality of downtown Waterbury, Vermont. With over 250 individual and business members, RW strives to create and maintain a vibrant community that is inviting, safe, economically sound, lively and livable.
RW was founded in 1991 by a handful of Waterbury citizens committed to restoring the historic Stimson and Graves block, located at the corner of Main and Stowe Streets. For the first 17 years of operation, it was an all-volunteer organization and today still depends heavily on the volunteer service of our community members. In 2006, RW played a lead role in Waterbury’s successful application to become Vermont’s 22nd Designated Downtown, thus allowing property and business owners and the Town & Village of Waterbury to take advantage of special tax credit and grant opportunities. Following downtown designation, RW’s work broadened beyond bricks and mortar projects to a more holistic approach to revitalization that includes strengthening the local economy, encouraging physical improvements, and developing special events and promotional programs.
After Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, ReBuild Waterbury formed as a unique project of RW with the mission of assisting individuals and families in the area in need of assistance to rebuild their homes from the disastrous effects of the storm. ReBuild Waterbury achieved its fundraising goal of just under $1,000,000, and coordinated a stunning 14,000+ volunteer hours from November 2011 to April 2013. The project emerged as a leader and model for other recovery efforts around Vermont.
Once again, RW finds itself at the cusp of change, spurred by the changes in the community after Tropical Storm Irene. In 2015 RW hired an economic development director who's purpose is to encourage and support sustainable and responsible economic growth in Waterbury. In 2016 RW began the process of merging with the Waterbury Tourism Council to bring all promotional activities under one umbrella.
RW represents a creative, community-based solution to solving infrastructure challenges faced by small towns. Our staff, volunteers and Board offer a broad cross-section of expertise and contribute to long-term community recovery planning, economic development, and “creative economy” development to promote Waterbury as a hub for artists, local food producers and restaurateurs, and specialty food and drink purveyors.