The Vermont region was explored and claimed for France in 1609, and the first French settlement was established in 1666. The first English settlers moved into the area in 1724. England gained control of the area in 1763 after the French and Indian Wars. In 1777, Vermont adopted its first constitution, abolishing slavery and providing for universal male suffrage without property qualifications. Not until 1791, after many delays and misunderstandings and, most important, after the dispute with New York was finally adjusted in 1790, did Vermont enter the Union. It was the first state to be admitted after the adoption of the Constitution by the 13 original states.
Common trees of Vermont are the commercially important sugar maple, the butternut, white pine, and yellow birch. Other recognized flora includes 15 types of conifer, 130 grasses, and 192 sedges. Two plant species, the milk-vetch and northeastern bulrush, are now endangered.
Native mammalian species include white-tailed deer, coyote, red fox and snowshoe hare. 6 animal species are now listed threatened or endangered in Vermont, including the Indiana bat, the bald eagle, and dwarf wedgemussel.
In addition to their Energy Audit Program, Vermont offers various tips and resources to increase energy efficiency, in terms of gas and electricity consumption, at homes or businesses. It provides technical assistance and financial incentives to Vermont household and business to increase their energy efficiency. The state has developed eco-friendly home-cleaning products; encourages purchase of green products and appliances that are Energy Star rated; promotes construction of LEED Certified Green Homes and provides educational resources, advocacy tools and a credible green standard for home builders.
Vermont is ranked as the greenest state in the nation, largely due to its green policies. It releases the fewest carcinogenic toxins and has the smallest carbon footprint in the country.
Vermont Academy is on top of their eco-conscious practices and policies with a Bottled Water Initiative, composting, recycling, organic and local source movements.
Other development and maintenance programs are guided by principles of land and energy conservation, by forest and wildlife habitat preservation, and by maintaining Vermont’s water quality and aesthetic beauty. They have sound Recycling Programs and Biodiesel Initiative in place. They are committed to reusing, recycling and treating waste through innovative techniques in a concerted effort to minimize impact on the environment.