About Voices for the Lake

Voices for the Lake (VFL) was established in response to an urgent need to connect the public with issues concerning the stewardship identified by the LCBP State of the Lake Report. Established by the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center and funded by the Institute of the Museum of Library Services, the project aims to build community participation through online, exhibit-based and outreach programming.  VFL uses social media tools to build a virtual community of people with rich, personal stories about Lake Champlain and its rivers and streams. In collaboration with the Vermont Folklife Center, VFL uses storytelling as a means to move individuals to reflect on their personal connections to water and connect to their communities. With support from the Vermont Department of Libraries, VFL works with watershed communities in both Vermont and New York to help build digital storytelling skills. This community-generated archive of stories is also part of an innovative exhibit at ECHO where visitors can interact with existing stories and contribute their own stories to the project. Please visit our Credits page to learn more about the technology behind this unique open source project.


  • VFL provides a platform for the public to share their experiences with and perspectives on water. VFL does not control content but provides a forum for many, diverse voices of the Lake Champlain Basin to collect, interact, and learn from one another.
  • VFL takes the perspective that we have much to learn from the voices of the public. As an institutional expert and relationship broker, ECHO draws  from VFL to understand the interests and needs of the community and provide opportunities for individuals to take action in support of lake stewardship.
  • VFL believes that technology can be a tool to connect individuals with similar values, collect diverse perspectives and questions, and to broker relationships among residents, experts and resources in the field.
  • VFL celebrates the diverse values and concerns of the people living in the Lake Champlain Basin. It invites people to share their voices in a range of formats--as audio, video, photo or text contributions--to an online archive or an in-person exhibit. It also encourages contributors to explore, interact and connect with other voices. These many voices will help determine the future directions of the Voices For the Lake project.


Institute of Museum and Library Services The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
Vermont Department of Libraries The Vermont Department of Libraries provides a variety of library and information services to state government, libraries statewide, the general public, and Vermonters with special needs.
Vermont Folklife Center The Vermont Folklife Center, founded in 1984, is dedicated to preserving and presenting the folkarts and cultural traditions of Vermont and the surrounding region. Through ongoing field research, a multimedia archive and an apprenticeship program, the Center documents and conserves cultural heritage which could easily be lost. The Center also uses exhibits, media, publication and educational projects to bring recognition to the skills, talents and traditions of Vermonters, past and present.


Burlington Free Press The Burlington Free Press is Vermont’s largest daily newspaper with a website that draws up to 5 million page views monthly. The Free Press is publisher of the weekly print and online section, Green Mountain. This publication is a community resource produced jointly by Free Press staff and conservationists who have a deep passion for protecting the environment.