In 2019, we set out to strengthen the connection between our mountain bike community and Vermont’s outdoor-minded businesses through the Naming Grants program. This year, 7 companies with a passion for the outdoors are collectively providing $33,500 for projects across 8 Chapters, to be implemented during this upcoming 2022 season. We are incredibly grateful for companies like these that see the importance of mountain biking in a healthy, thriving Vermont.
Naming Grants provide an opportunity for outdoor-minded businesses to have a direct influence on Vermont’s outdoor recreation infrastructure in a way that reflects the passions of their employees. We work closely with each company to shape their Grant, from goals to scope to geography. Together, we not only enhance our trail systems, but the satisfaction, loyalty, and connection to place of their employees and customers. If your company might be interested in participating, or simply to learn more, please visit our Naming Grants page.
Earlier this month, we announced the 2021 Naming Grants live at our Member Appreciation Party. Below is a brief summary of each Naming Grant recipient and their respective trail project they’ll be helping make happen during the 2022 building season.
2021 VMBA Naming Grants:
Each of these companies was excited to partner with a local VMBA Chapter, supporting efforts including trail maintenance & reroutes, new or upgraded bridges, professional trail design work, adaptive enhancements to existing trails, and major maintenance equipment acquisitions. The common goal of these partnerships is to lift up the value of trail volunteerism in Vermont and align outdoor-minded businesses with the land stewardship goals of VMBA Chapters.
SunCommon Naming Grant
Chapter Recipient: Richmond Mountain Trails (RMT)
RMT will be leveraging $5,000 in support from SunCommon towards the design and construction of the first uphill and first downhill trails on a privately held 500-acre property in Bolton. These trails are to be welcoming for adaptive-cyclists, setting a new standard for inclusive trail building in Vermont while anchoring a new network of up to eight miles of trails. The project is shovel-ready and will be primarily hand-built by volunteers during 2022.
Fuse Marketing Naming Grant
Chapter Recipient: Waterbury Area Trails Alliance (WATA)
WATA will be applying $5,000 in support from Fuse Marketing to execute a full rehabilitation of the Rastaman trail, the longest and most iconic trail in the Perry Hill network. Being one of Perry’s oldest and most popular trails, it’s overdue for repairs, particularly in areas that have eroded from use over time. The project scope includes working with a professional trail builder who has helped sculpt many of Perry’s most well-known technical features, which will selectively replace damaged areas to make them more durable and sustainable (and fun!).
Vermont Country Store
Chapter Recipient: Ridgeline Outdoor Collective
Ridgeline will be deploying $5,000 in funding from Vermont Country Store to help complete Sections 7, 8, and 9 of the Velomont Trail, a conceptual statewide single-track trail and hut-to-hut network linking Vermont’s rural communities with existing trail networks. These funds will help reconstruct 6 miles of unmaintained historic trail between Chittenden Brook Hut and Morrill Brook, serving as a “gateway” to southern Vermont and Rutland & Bennington Counties. Segment 7 of the Velomont Trail will also serve as a backcountry ski/splitboard skin track for the proposed expansion of the Brandon Gap Backcountry Area into Chittenden Brook Bowl.
Mascoma Naming Grant
Chapter Recipient: Fellowship of the Wheel (FOTW)
FOTW will use Mascoma’s $4,500 Naming Grant to assist in making adaptive enhancements to the Flow Loop at Saxon Hill in Essex. The proposed enhancements will primarily involve replacing and widening bridges, allowing the trails in this loop to be suitable for adaptive mountain bike (aMTB) or off-road hand-cycle users who have disabilities that prevent them from using conventional mountain bikes. These enhancements will also serve to make the trails more approachable to children, beginners, hikers, and older trail users.
Cabot Creamery Naming Grant
Chapter Recipient: Caledonia Trail Collaborative (CTC)
CTC will be utilizing $5,000 in support from Cabot to round out fundraising for a new 1.4-mile machine-built flow trail in the St. Johnsbury Town Forest, a major addition to its current recreational opportunities. An existing logging road will be used as a complementary climbing trail, with new construction to include a short section of additional climbing trail to access a fun, flowy descent back to the parking area. The project is shovel ready, with construction slated to start this fall and wrap up by early June 2022.
Outdoor Gear Exchange (OGE) Naming Grant
Chapter Recipient: Slate Valley Trails (SVT)
SVT will apply $5,000 in Naming Grant support from OGE for the acquisition of a climate-friendly trail maintenance vehicle. The electric UTV will efficiently and sustainably transport people, material, and tools throughout SVT’s vast trail system to perform maintenance and new trail construction. The trail network has a robust double-track work road system that would allow such a vehicle to closely access even the most remote reaches of the trail network, greatly increasing the efficiency of SVT’s trail stewardship work.
Ranch Camp Naming Grants (2)
Chapter Recipient: Southern Vermont Trails Association (SoVTA)
SoVTA will be using $2,000 in Naming Grant support from Ranch Camp to construct and install two new trail map kiosks at the Crosstown Trail heads in West Dover. The trails are used year-round by an extremely varied user base, both in age and user type, including hikers, bikers, runners, walkers, dog walkers, snowshoes and cross-country skiers. The improved wayfinding signage will allow less experienced users to better navigate the trails at Crosstown, replacing the dilapidated current signage with larger, and easier to interpret trail maps that will also have room for community events.
Chapter Recipient #2: Woodstock Area Mountain Bike Association (WAMBA)
WAMBA is planning to use $2,000 in Ranch Camp support to rehabilitate approximately 1.1 miles of existing single-track along the Reservoir and Peninsula Loop trails, part of the Aqueduct Trail System. These are two of the oldest and most popular trails in the network, and work will include root removal, erosion repair, re-routes, new and upgraded boardwalks, new drainages, improved benching, berming, and installation of trail features, such as rollers, jumps and rock gardens. The trail rehab will be designed and built to minimize impacts to the environment.
Thank you to the incredible support from these outdoor-minded businesses and to the hard work of our Chapters and volunteers that make Vermont’s trails among the best in the country!