Milestones, Our Communities, Plainfield

WGDR, Plainfield Celebrates 50 Years

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PLAINFIELD – WGDR, Plainfield has been broadcasting across central Vermont at 91.1 FM since the late spring of 1973.


photo by Central Vermont Community Radio
WGDR/WGDH has over 75 radio hosts, is the second-oldest community radio station in the country and is Vermont’s biggest and oldest community radio station.

To celebrate reaching 50 years on the air, Central Vermont Community Radio (CVCR), the non-profit that manages WGDR, Plainfield, and WGDH, Hardwick (the second station of CVCR), will host a birthday weekend of live and local programming, May 17 through May 19 on WGDR 91.1 FM and WGDH 91.7 FM. Folks from further afield can listen online at WGDR.org or later via the archives. Programming will feature interviews with past programmers and station managers and live musical and DJ performances.

On Saturday, May 18, CVCR invites the local listening community to come to the station for a “Party at the Pratt,” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.  There will be live bluegrass music, tours of the station, food, and a chance to meet the nearly 75 programmers and other volunteers who are part of the station

The WGDR studio is located on the Goddard Campus at the Pratt Library. Directions are available at WGDR.org.

The station has been a way for Vermonters to share their views, talents, and engage in civil discourse over the last five decades.

Hundreds of local folks have hosted shows, including highly curated music shows, call-in programs, gardening, interviews with local leaders and organizers on the matters of the day, and the everyday needs of the community, from missing dog alerts to mutual aid information.

The station is a source of alternative news and national programming. This includes being the first in the state to broadcast “Democracy Now,” a continued commitment to airing public affairs analysis that digs into issues of climate change, food systems and security, organizing for social justice and change. 

Erica Heilman, producer of Rumble Strip and a member of the CVCR Programming Committee remarked: “Community radio is what the local community sounds like. The local stories, the good, the bad, and the oddities of our collective experience as a community, the obscure musical tastes. It all comes together as a truly unique listening experience that delights and surprises you every time you tune in. What is happening on WGDR and WGDH right now is some of the best radio you will hear anywhere.”

The station was built and operated by Goddard College for nearly 50 years, first as a college station, and then in the 2000s as a community station focused on an educational mission. In late 2020, Goddard initiated the gift of the station to the local community via the new non-profit, CVCR. It was approved in May of 2021.

The station provides a forum to cultivate  social justice, stewardship of the natural world, and appreciation of the independent arts, offering over 50-locally made programs by Vermonters of all ages and backgrounds. WGDR/WGDH is two of eight community radio stations in Vermont. The stations have the largest broadcast reach to nearly 70,000 households in 60 towns and cities in Washington and Lamoille counties and various locations across the Northeast Kingdom. Thousands more from across Vermont and beyond listen online.

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