People dancing downtown Middlebury

Green Streets Challenge Middlebury

People dancing downtown Middlebury
People at a block party
Before-During-After at Middlebury Come Alive Outside Green Streets

Better Middlebury Community Comes Alive Outside!

The possibilities seem endless when creative volunteers come together to plan and execute a family-friendly event in Middlebury Vermont. The effort was led by Come Alive Outside, the Better Middlebury Partnership and Carpenter & Costin. Come Alive Outside, a non-profit organization based in Rutland, inspires collaborative community systems that create the awareness, intention, and opportunity for people to live healthier lives outside. The purpose was not only to create a fun event, but also to raise awareness of the downtown and encourage people to come downtown and shop.

On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in August, Carpenter & Costin rolled out six thousand square feet of fresh sod to carpet Middlebury’s Battell Bridge on Main Street, transforming into a barefoot-friendly block party for all ages. There was food, games and demonstrations throughout the event. While the music played, the adults danced and the children enjoyed each other, friends and families.

The sod was generously donated by Saratoga Sod Farms and the labor was donated by Carpenter & Costin’s team. After the event the sod was donated to the School District to refurbish part of their athletic fields, an excellent way to reuse the natural resource to bring smiles to hundreds of Middlebury families.

The event was the 2nd annual block party presented by the Better Middlebury Partnership and it was such a huge hit it will be back again next year!

Kids playing in street with foam toys

Green Street Challenge Rutland

Transforming Downtown Rutland into a Come Alive Outside Playground

Carpenter & Costin and Come Alive Outside recently transformed Center Street in Rutland into an urban playground in a pretty creative way. We captured the process in a time-lapse video so you can see what it takes in just about two minutes.

“We laid down 6,000 square feet of sod in the morning and then removed it in the evening thanks to a small army of volunteers who helped roll it up,” said Russ Marsan. “In between setting up and tearing down, Come Alive Outside and WonderFeet Kids Museum hosted many games and fun events for the kids to enjoy.”

Marsan continued, “The sod was generously donated by Saratoga Sod Farms, so after our event, we donated it to Habitat for Humanity’s newest home in Rutland. Now that’s what we call a win-win for our community!”

Sunflower Field

Kids Come Alive Outside to Learn

Men after tilling the soil for planting
Kids learning about planting sunflowers and pumpkins
Sunflower Field

Rutland Regional Medical Center Partners with Come Alive Outside and Carpenter & Costin

For the third year in row, over 350 elementary school children from the Rutland County Supervisory Union enjoyed a fun and educational day thanks to Come Alive Outside and dozens of volunteers from RRMC, Rutland Rec, Wonderfeet Kids Museum, GE & Carpenter & Costin to name a few.

In April, Team Carpenter & Costin laId out a plan, tilled the soil and prepared several acres to ensure a successful growing season. Kids then gathered in June to plant a huge pumpkin patch and over an acre of sunflowers under the guidance of instructors and volunteers from RRMC. The growing ‘farm’ was then monitored and periodically watered to ensure it stayed healthy.

In the Fall, the kids came back together to harvest the pumpkins, test their skills in the sunflower maze and learn more about sunflowers and growing foods sustainably.

Once again, the smiles on the kids’ faces made it all worth it!


Elementary school children planting pumpkins and sunflowers at Rutland Regional Medical Center.
snow sculpture of Minions by Team Carpenter & Costin

Rutland Winterfest Snow Sculpting

snow sculpture of a fire
snow sculpture of whales
snow sculpture of Minions by Team Carpenter & Costin

Snow Sculpting Competition

Rutland’s Winterfest was a big hit once again thanks to many volunteers who helped make things happen, and the large crowds that came to enjoy the events.  With events spread out over all 9 days of Presidents’ Week, there is definitely something of interest for everyone and every age group.

Pictured here are three amazing snow sculptures from just one of the events that has been a big hit in recent years. The entire day is made up of teams racing against the clock to create a winning sculpture and take home the bragging rights along with a cash prize.

Carpenter & Costin provides the manpower, snow boxes and of course the front-end loader to create the large 4’x8′ blocks for the teams. We’ve set these up for the past few years, and especially appreciate when Mother Nature helped out with some fresh powder.

At the end of the day, nothing is as enjoyable as seeing the kids watching in awe as giant snow blocks are transformed into some very creative works of art, and sometimes even some of their favorite cartoon characters!