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Keeping Apace With COVID-19: Workshops in July and Newly Scheduled for October

Social Distance Wall Site

Last Wednesday Brian Post, Jared Flynn, and I met at The Stone Trust Center in Dummerston, Vermont to review plans to incorporate social distancing into our workshop instruction. Scott Renault, the new General Manager of Scott Farm where our many of our workshops take place, joined us. It takes us all to assure that we can run our 2020 workshops safely in this time of COVID-19.

What does it take? Figuring how, in the space available, to build wall stints large enough for someone new to walling to learn the five basic rules and small enough for them to strip out and rebuild in one day.

Social Distance Wall Site

On July 4th, a volunteer crew of Stone Trust instructors will build those 8 stints, plus 8 retaining wall sections. Stone suppliers Semya Stone and George D. Judd & Sons, LLC – Goshen Stone® are working to make sure the stone we need arrives on time. Brian points out, “We’re calling in a lot of favors to make this work.” We sure are!

What makes it worth it? I sit at the hub of Stone Trust communications with the outside world. Every day brings emails and phone calls from people eager to learn to build freestanding walls, retaining walls, steps and stairs, flagstone walks and patios. Some come for professional reasons, others to build stonework into their landscapes at home. Many come in family groups. All convey excitement about learning to build with stone. We hate to disappoint!

The state of Vermont has opened travel to a wider geographic area:

As of July 1, Residents of other states who live in counties across New England and New York (as well as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia as of July 1, 2020) that have a similar active COVID-19 caseload to Vermont may enter the state for leisure travel without quarantining if they do so in a personal vehicle. (

COVID-19 Travel Information As of June 26, 2020
COVID-19 Travel Information As of June 26, 2020

Nevertheless, travel restrictions intended to control community spread make many of our registrants ineligible to come to Vermont in July, so we’ve scheduled a similar sequence of workshops in October. May all of us across the country observe the practices that protect each of us and those around us, so we can all safely return to free movement. Please stay home when possible, avoid crowds, keep 6 feet of distance, wear a mask, wash your hands often, avoid touching your face. We hope to see you at a workshop soon!


Amy-Louise Pfeffer

Executive Director