In 2019, we initiated the Naming Grants program to strengthen the bond between our mountain bike community and Vermont’s outdoor-centric businesses. This year, five companies, fueled by a passion for the outdoors, collectively contributed over $20,000 for projects across 5 Chapters, set to be implemented next building season. We are immensely grateful for companies that recognize the pivotal role of mountain biking in a thriving Vermont.
Naming Grants offer outdoor-minded businesses a chance to directly shape Vermont’s outdoor recreation infrastructure, aligning with their employees’ passions. We collaborate closely with each company to tailor their Grant, from goals to scope to geography. Together, we enhance our trail systems and elevate the satisfaction, loyalty, and connection to place for their employees and customers. If your company is interested or wants to learn more, please visit our Naming Grants page.
During our Member Appreciation Party last month, we unveiled the 2023 Naming Grant recipients. Below is a brief overview of each Naming Grant and Chapter recipient and the specific trail project they will undertake with the support next year.
2023 VMBA Naming Grants:
Darn Tough & Waterbury Area Trail System (WATA)
WATA plans to utilize a $2,500 Darn Tough Naming Grant to execute essential repairs and updates to two directional downhill trails, Hillfarmer and Highbridge, in Little River State Park. WATA intends to contract renowned Vermont trail builders Lepesqueur & Daughters Trailworks for the project. The proposed work will involve a combination of hand and machine techniques to rejuvenate the trails and address existing water drainage issues.
Fuse Marketing & Fellowship of the Wheel (FOTW)
FOTW will use a $2,500 Fuse Naming Grant to support the construction of a new trail at Bombardier Park in Milton. This trail network is expanding with a purpose-built multi-use singletrack. In 2021, community members proposed a 1.5-mile mountain bike loop for beginners. FOTW, involved in design and construction, completed the loop in June 2023. Now, with this grant, FOTW plans to extend the trail another half mile, connecting to additional neighborhoods. A pre-existing, unmaintained skills area along the route also needs reclamation for progression opportunities, which is part of FOTW’s overall plan.
MTBVT & Upper Valley MTB Association (UVMBA)
UVMBA, with the support of the MTBVT Naming Grant that was funded by the Green Mountain Showdown, will be able to complete an exciting new trail project called “For Pete’s Sake.” This machine-made trail in the Craft’s Hill Area of the Landmark network is set to redefine riding experiences. Featuring steep bank turns, jump gaps, and a high-speed flow, it’s a departure from their traditional “Old School” trails that characterize much of hte Boston Lot / Landmark system. The project will be completed with the support of a mini excavator and aligns with user preferences for a mix of trail types, as revealed in UVMBA’s most recent user survey. This venture pushes the boundaries of progressive trail riding in the region and contributes to the long-term plan of diversifying their trail network.
Royal Group & Richmond Mountain Trails (RMT)
RMT will be deploying a $10,000 Naming Grant from the Royal Group Naming Grant to help complete a new directional descending trail, “Boulder Downhill,” at the Driving Range network in Bolton. The Driving Range, Vermont’s first fully adaptive-built mountain bike network, opened to wide fanfare and tremendously positive feedback this past summer and continues to garner strong community support and engagement. This Naming Grant from The Royal Group will help RMT complete Phase 1 of the network and significantly expanding riding opportunities in the region.
VBT Bicycling Vacations & Velomont Trail Collective VTC
VTC will utilize a VBT Bicycling Vacations Naming Grant to help support upgrades to a 2.5-mile stretch of the Catamount Trail along the Somerset Reservoir. The trail is set for enhancements, including a new bridge, water crossing fortification, trail-smoothing, and drainage improvements. The project, spanning around six weeks, also presents job training opportunities for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. These improvements will establish sustainable, year-round access by transforming a previously winter-centric trail, crucially connecting the new Stratton Town Forest and Grout Pond Hut.
As we reflect on the fifth year of our Naming Grants program, we’re filled with gratitude for the not only the commitment of these five exceptional companies, but for all the Naming Grant partners who’ve supported our Chapters’ work. Driven by a shared passion for the outdoors, these grants propel transformative trail projects across the state. We extend our deepest thanks to Darn Tough, Fuse Marketing, MTBVT, Royal Group, and VBT Bicycling Vacations for their commitment to enhancing our trail systems and fostering a deeper connection between our community and the great outdoors. This collaboration is a testament to the power of shared visions and collective efforts, and we’re eager to witness the positive impact these projects will have in the upcoming building season. Stay tuned!
If your company shares this vision, we invite you to explore the possibilities of our Naming Grants program and join us in building a thriving outdoor community in Vermont. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more.