Letter, Opinion

RASTA is changing its name; seeks public input

Dear Editor,

The Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA) is embarking on a name-changing process.

We feel our acronym evokes associations to a name that isn’t ours to use. Out of respect for the Rastafari religion and movement, we will soon be changing the name of our club. This name-changing process offers the opportunity to recognize the club’s expanded geographic reach and growing partnerships throughout the state.

From its birthplace in Rochester in 2013, the Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance has grown into a trail network encompassing nine towns in central Vermont. Founded by local outdoor enthusiasts who worked closely on Rochester’s Tropical Storm Irene recovery efforts, the alliance began with discussions on the collaborative response necessary for the area’s post-Irene economic revitalization and to sort a way through the low-impact creation of a local trail network.

Eight years later, the Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance and its many partners have spearheaded a number of trail development projects and have grown a strong local collective of trails in Rochester, Randolph, Goshen, Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Bethel, Braintree, Brandon and Hancock to serve passionate outdoor enthusiasts. These avid skiers, riders, walkers and hikers help create and maintain the alliance’s many multi-use trails and backcountry zones.

As spring approaches and our communities begin opening up after a year of lockdown, the energy of another new beginning is on the horizon. The alliance is taking stock of all we have accomplished in the communities we represent and looking forward to the new era our name change represents. The Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance continues in its dedication to providing sustainable multi-use trails for all to enjoy, and to strengthening community ties in the process. We celebrate our associations with the Catamount Trail Association, Vermont Mountain Bike Association, state and federal agencies, and many private landowners. The ongoing development of our networks, partnerships and friendships are vital to the club’s success and to the role these trails will continue to play in the region’s economic vitality as the state begins to reopen.

In the spirit of positivity that this trail club has brought to all the communities it has touched, it is reaching out to members for name suggestions. The goal is to work through the process in the next couple of months and to open the summer season with a new name in place.


Angus McCusker, executive director, Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance

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