2019 Naming Grants – Thank you!

In 2019, we set out to strengthen the connection between our mountain bike community and Vermont’s outdoor-minded business community. Our VOICe program transitioned into the launch of our Naming Grants program.

The Naming Grants provide an opportunity for outdoor-minded companies to have an influence on Vermont’s outdoor recreation infrastructure in a way that reflects the outdoor passions of their employees. Together, we are able to embolden employee happiness, loyalty, camaraderie and connection to place.

Here’s how a VMBA Naming Grant works:

  • A company gathers employees that love trails – they develop grant criteria that reflect the types of trail projects they want to see built
  • VMBA shares the Naming Grant with the chapters
  • Chapters develop proposals for the company’s consideration
  • The company and their employees determine which project(s) to support

At the 2019 Annual Meeting, held on Nov. 21 2019, the present companies were able to announce and hear from the chapter recipients. Below is a little bit on each company, their grant criteria, and the chapter and project details that received each grant.

2019 VMBA Naming Grants:

Burton

Burton is excited to foster a relationship with a local VMBA chapter with a grant of $5,000 to be put towards the maintenance of trail(s). It is understood that popular trails take wear and tear on a seasonal basis and continual upkeep is necessary to continue to provide exceptionally riding, sustainable trail. Burton sees this partnership in the form of grant dollars as well as human capital that can help foster engagement in the maintenance of our local trails.

Chapter Recipient: Waterbury Area Trails Alliance

Project: Joe’s is among the first MTB trails built at Perry Hill and remains the network’s most popular expert trail twenty years later. Known for its technical rock features (including the notorious Roots, Rocks, & Reggae, and Joe’s OG chute), Joe’s is the big draw for advanced riders at Perry Hill. On any given Saturday you can see license plates in the parking lot from as far ranging as British Columbia and others. Joe’s even was voted the top trail in Vermont in Vermont Sports Black Diamond Awards. Teton Gravity Research​ recently described a section of Joe’s trail as “unlike anything I have ever ridden before. It’s awesome,” and described Waterbury as “the best riding of the trip.” WATA has invested countless volunteer hours into maintaining Joe’s over the years, but increased ridership has degraded sections of the trail. This project will repair eroded areas and build the trail to sustainable standards while maintaining the character of this classic trail. The project will also include addressing drainage issues on Scotch Tape, the primary climbing trail accessing Joe’s.

Cabot #1

Cabot is excited to partner with a local VMBA chapters with a grant of $5,000 to be put towards trail maintenance or reroute work.

Chapter Recipient: Stowe Trails Partnership

Project: Cady Hill Forest is STP’s most popular trail destination for locals and visitors alike. Between June, July, and August they see over 20,000 trail visitors to Cady Hill alone, with Florence and Bears being the main attraction for mountain bikers. They estimate that Florence experiences at least 40,000 visitors within the same period because mountain bikers are prone to lapping this trail more than twice in one visit. Both Florence and Bears are multi-use trails serving a range of users including mountain bikers, runners, dog walkers, snowshoers, and skiers. As of now both of these trails are accessible and used by bikers of varying riding skill levels, including everyone from novice to advanced riders. Given the high traffic on these trails, Florence and Bears, STP seeks to hire Tom Lepesqueur to give the trails a thorough spring tune-up using a mini-excavator and hand tools. Both trails are considered “flow” style trails, meaning they are machine-built with banked turns, jumps, and berms that add an extra element of fun to the trail. Lepesqueur will focus on repairing the worn-out sections of specific, high-traffic turns and landings to mitigate further degradation of the trail due to their continuous use. His work will ensure that turn and jump radiuses are safe and ready to withstand a season of heavy traffic while also fixing braking bumps and allowing water to drain properly. Lepesqueur will use both a mini-excavator and hand tools to reshape these critical portions of the trail so everything rides smoothly for the duration of the riding season. 

Cabot #2

Cabot is excited to partner with a local VMBA chapters with a grant of $7,500 to be put towards a new trail build.

Chapter Recipient: Upper Valley Mountain Bike Association

Project: UVMBA plans to expand their trail network to be more inclusive to both young and inexperienced riders, and potentially the addition of trails designed for disabled riders. With the help of the Naming Grant, UVMBA will procure design assistance, install proper signage and purchase materials for a flow/skills trail for young and inexperienced users. UVMBA maintains several biking trail areas in the area known as the Upper Valley, centered by the Lebanon, NH and White River Junction, VT area. Their largest area is known as the Boston Lot/ Landmark Trail System in Lebanon, NH, and it encompasses about 22 miles of trail. The land is primarily owned by Dartmouth College and, to a lesser extent, by the City of Lebanon and the Lebanon School District. 

Cabot #3

Cabot is excited to partner with a local VMBA chapters with a grant of $2,000 to be put towards adaptive enhancements to an existing trail. This grant requires that the chapter cash matches the grant total.

Chapter Recipient: Millstone Trails Alliance

Project: MTA will continue to work with the Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (VAS) to promote Millstone Trails as a challenging but accessible trails system for adaptive athletes. In assistance with Barre Town, MTA plans to address the following points to provide a more enjoyable experience for adaptive riders at Millstone Trails:

  • Gate(s)
  • Grass/Brush Trimming
  • Bridge Work

Greenworks

Greenworks is excited to partner with a local VMBA chapters with two grants of $5,000 to be put towards one of the following:
• Trail maintenance or reroute work
• Surfacing or bridging material
• Professional trail design work
• Adaptive enhancements to an existing trail
• As part of a new trail building fundraising plan

The goal of this partnership is to align Greenworks conservation and land stewardship goals with local trail builders throughout Vermont.

Chapter Recipient: Brewster River Mountain Bike Club

Project: BRMBC is seeking to build an extension of or an additional loop from an existing intermediate trail locally know as “Bermie Sanders” at Cricket Hill.  It is envisioned that one would ride most of Bermie and then have a choice to continue directly to its end or to take the new trail for an additional distance of approximately 0.75 miles before completing the Bermie trail. Some trail networks refer to this scheme as a “stacked loop” system. The trails at Cricket Hill are located on a section of school department property adjacent to Cricket Hill Road in the Town of Hyde Park.  Numerous trails devoted to cross country skiing, snow shoeing, walking and mountain biking have been established there, beginning around 2003 with the first XC trails. Families with small children love the pump track and the two easier trails, Fluffy Bunny and Megan’s Trail while older kids as well as their parents and other local riders prefer Bermie Sanders for the exercise of the climb to the top of the hill and, of course, the flowy, bermed downhill, machine-built by Brooke Scatchard, owner of Sinuosity.  The proposed extension will add another 3/4 of a mile, making it even more popular with the more serious riders yet certainly rideable for a wide range of abilities.

Long Trail Brewing Co. & Farrell Distributing Co. 

Long Trail Brewing Co. and Farrell Distributing Co. are excited to partner with a local VMBA chapter with a grant of $5,000 to be put towards maintenance, signage, building materials, adaptive refurbishment, professional design work, a new trail build or trail permitting. Long Trail Brewing pioneered early innovations in the craft beer that sparked one of Vermont’s most progressive and impactful industries. Similarly, VMBA’s innovations are unique to VT riding. A commitment to environmental responsibility and empowering Vermonters towards impactful community programs makes Long Trail and VMBA a great match. This grant is meant to lift up our shared values and express our connection to the world.

Chapter Recipient: Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance

Project: The Velomont Trail and Hut Network will be a statewide, multi-use, non-motorized trail designed for mountain biking as well as hiking, xc skiing, and snowshoeing supported by strategically located huts providing overnight accommodations. RASTA is partnering with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to construct approximately 18 miles of non-motorized multi-use hiking and mountain biking trail to be known as the Velomont Trail. The requested funds will support contracting a professional trail builder to help re-construct 6 miles of unmaintained historic trail between Chittenden Brook Hut and Morrill Brook to meet sustainable IMBA/USFS standards for use by mountain bikers and hikers. The improvements to these existing trail segments will not only limit the number of new trails on our public lands but also provide adaptive riders the opportunity to recreate.

Outdoor Gear Exchange

Outdoor Gear Exchange is excited to partner with a local VMBA chapters with a grant of $5,000 to be put towards one of the following:
• Trail maintenance or reroute work
• Surfacing or bridging material
• Professional trail design work
• Adaptive enhancements to an existing trail
• As part of a new trail building fundraising plan

The goal of this partnership is to create more opportunity for riding, ideally in one of three main program areas – trails in new areas to broaden access, connectivity and/or progressive trails that allow for riders of all abilities to work on their skills (this could include an additional trail that adds to a network’s options too)

Chapter Recipient: Mad River Riders

Project: The Revolution trail was originally built in 2012-13 and became an instant Mad River Valley classic. Revolution is hosted by 3 private landowners, American Flatbread, Featherbed Inn and Dana Forest Farm and serves as a key connection to and from the Mad River Rider’s Camel’s Hump State Forest-Howe Block trails, with trail links to our Tucker Hill, Eurich Pond and Sugarbush Resort networks. Based on trail counter data, Revolution was getting ~39,000 annual visits in 2016 when the first phase of Evolution was opened. The positive attention has only grown with additional trails and increased awareness of the Riders’ network. The Revolution>Evolution>Evolution II route completed in 2019 yields a beautiful, fun, intermediate, 4.5 mile, 1200’ ascent/descent right to American Flatbread and better connects the Sugarbush Resort areas to Waitsfield village with high quality trails. With growing visitor numbers, we have identified several areas that need upgrades to reduce impacts, improve sustainability and make this essential connector trail more fun and accessible to a wider variety of users. The work includes enhancing drainage, armoring wet spots with more stone, rounding tight switchback turns, smoothing expert-level rough technical sections and adding side features to increase fun for all abilities. Our landowner partners have also requested this work. 

VSECU

VSECU is excited to partner with a local VMBA chapter with a grant of $3000 to be put towards maintenance, signage, building materials, adaptive refurbishment, professional design work, a
new trail build or trail permitting. The goal of this partnership would be to better align the work of VMBA with the core values of VSECU which center on bringing people together to empower the possibilities for greater financial, environmental and social prosperity. This grant relationship bridges VESCU with VMBA, a strong values-based and impact-driven organization.

Chapter Recipient: Slate Valley Trails

Project: The Poultney Elementary School and Community Trail Project will create a recreational asset that the Poultney area youth can easily access, allowing them to have safe, beginner terrain to learn bicycle skills, and how to operate a bicycle on trails. This is an essential component of a larger collaborative project involving Slate Valley Trails, Poultney Elementary School (PES), the Town of Poultney, and Johnson and Son Bikeworks (a local bicycle shop) that will help create a bicycle education program at PES. Part of the project will be on town land connected to PES property, locally known as Veterans Park. Veterans Park consists of 2 tennis courts, a basketball court, 4 softball fields, a soccer field, and a playground area with play equipment and picnic facilities that are open to the public and for programming. This project also serves to easily connect the youth and the community to the Slate Valley Trails trail system via a portion of the River and Rail Trail. This project encourages outdoor recreation and wellness for all Poultney area community members, and is easily accessible from the Poultney Downtown for residents and visitors alike.

 

Vermont Country Store will be receiving grant proposals from southern chapters in Dec 2019 / Jan 2020 – recipients announced March 2020

Thank you to Mountain Flyer Magazine and Specialized, both will be providing funds to the VMBA Trail Grant!

The grants are meant to:

  1. Lift up the value of volunteerism as critical and respected asset in Vermont
  2. Ignite a culture of transparent, authentic stewardship among outdoor-minded businesses and VMBA

Do you own an outdoor minded business? Do your employees and their families love trails? To find out more about the Naming Grants, check out our web page.

 

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