On May 29, 2024
Local News

$6.3 million in state grants to boost outdoor recreation

Nearly $1 million dedicated to local projects

The Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore and the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) announced May 29 the 51 new recipients of the VOREC Community Grant Program. These projects mark an investment of over $6 million into Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy.

“These grants are an investment in Vermont’s future,” said Secretary Moore. “They will help communities revitalize their outdoor recreation assets, create jobs, improve access to nature for everyone, and build stronger, more resilient communities for generations to come.”

Projects awarded in this year’s announcement fall into one of four tracks:  Implementation, Project Development, Outdoor Equity, and Flood Recovery. 

Awarded projects will enhance recreation economies in rural, mid-size and urban communities, lay the groundwork for future community-based projects, expand access to outdoor recreation for all people, and help communities and trail organizations recover from the flooding of summer 2023.

“We are pleased to support so many amazing projects across Vermont,” said Becca Washburn, chair of the VOREC steering committee and director of lands administration and recreation for the Dept. of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. “The interest in the program, as well as the strength of the applications demonstrates the opportunity communities from Grand Isle to Brattleboro see in investing in the connection between outdoor recreation and economic benefits.”

For the first time, the grant program also encouraged projects focused on outdoor equity to apply to a dedicated funding track. Grant recipient, Arwen Turner, executive director of Come Alive Outside, said: “Come Alive Outside is thrilled to receive funding through the VOREC Community Grant Program’s Outdoor Equity track. This funding supports the continued work of Come Alive Outside’s Outdoors For All Initiative, a collective of organizations, businesses, and advisors with lived experience representing underserved and underrepresented populations in outdoor recreation. This funding will boost the collective’s ability to develop both simple and highly innovative solutions that make accessing the health, wellness, and joy benefits of outdoor activities in Rutland more equitable.”

Governor Scott established the VOREC steering committee by executive order in June 2017 to bring together a broad set of outdoor recreation stakeholders to promote stewardship of state recreation assets and market Vermont’s outdoor recreation values and attributes to effectively foster responsible and sustainable economic growth. The VOREC Community Grant Program became one of the first and highest priorities of the committee. This grant round is the program’s fourth and most significant investment in communities across the state.

Recipients in Rutland and Winsor County include:

$365,680 to Merck Forest and Farmland Center to install a universal access trail a boardwalk to connect Mettawee Community School to Merck Forest and Farmland Center’s trail network and property.

$298,950 to Come Alive Outside to provide capacity and programming support to its outdoor equity efforts in Rutland County.

$100,000 to Green Mountain Horse Association to develop a flood mitigation and management plan for the Green Mountain Horse Association’s main campus in South Woodstock.

$ 92,298 to Smokey House Center to develop a community-informed plan to revitalize Smokey House’s degraded trail system and design a trail-based community science program.

$84,000 to the Town of Killington to build a critical connection between the
Sherburne Trails Parking Lot and Pesky Cairn trails. 

$44,166 to Hartland Winter Trails to repair and make more resilient the Hartland Winter Trail system that was damaged in the floods of Summer.

For more information visit: fpr.vermont.gov/recreation/recreation-grants/vorec-
community-grant-program.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Killington’s Amy Spear named president of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce

June 7, 2024
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors announced June 6 that Amy Spear will be the incoming president of the organization. Spear was selected from a robust pool of applicants following a six-month search committee process that leveraged the expertise of Burlington-based Hawley Consulting Services. The committee’s recommendation was ratified by the full board…

Come Alive Outside’s new board members bring passion, experience

June 5, 2024
Come Alive Outside announced the inclusion of two new members to its board: Barbara Spaulding and Dean Rinaldo, in a news release Monday, June 3. Barbara “Barbie” Spaulding is a well-known Rutland resident who produces the popular Bellevue Avenue Haunted House. She began the haunted house 21 years ago and has also published a children’s…

The Vermont Donor Milk Center opens new freezer site in Mendon

June 5, 2024
The Vermont Donor Milk Center (VDMC) has announce the opening of a new freezer site at 123 S. Mendon Road in Mendon. This expansion aims to increase the availability of pasteurized donor human milk to families in Vermont and northern New York. Since its inception in 2020, the VDMC has been dedicated to providing life-saving…

Public comment sought on long-range management plan for Blueberry Hill and Birdseye Wildlife Management Areas

June 5, 2024
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) will host an informational meeting open to the public on Wednesday, June 12, to present a draft long-range management plan (LRMP) for the Castleton Management Unit (CMU) plan for Blueberry Hill and Birdseye Wildlife Management Areas that will guide the management of these lands for the next 20…