Many thanks to The Valley Reporter for recently covering so many aspects of recreation, stewardship and the priorities of the Mad River Valley Trails Collaborative, more than 20 organizations that work together in the trails’ arena in the Mad River Valley. Here’s a little more clarity around a possible VOREC grant. While Governor Scott did allocate approximately $22 million to support outdoor recreation in Vermont, only $5 million has been allocated to the VOREC grant program. This is great news for Vermonters and possibly for the Mad River Valley. The VOREC grant application has not yet been released by the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation, so the local group is awaiting the grant criteria to determine the exact scope of our project. We’re very excited to participate in the first step of the process, which we think will be a letter of interest and then hopefully get invited to apply for a grant.

The Mad River Valley Recreation District is working hard to pull together information from many groups in order to take the first step toward a VOREC community grant. The proposed project includes a trail hub, a pedestrian bike/bridge (that the Mad River Riders have long been planning), landscaping and a number of other components still under discussion including the Mad River Path’s work on connecting trails to local businesses. The overarching goal of the proposed project is to continue improving access to our rich recreation resources while stimulating economic vitality by creating trail hubs that are integrated with business centers. There are no guarantees when it comes to grants. Some excellent grant requests get fully funded while others get partial funding or no funding at all. Once we have pulled together all the components and VOREC announces the requirements of the grant process, we will be in a better position to share the details, budget and seek further public input. We believe we have a great project that demonstrates how important recreation is to economic development in the Mad River Valley. Stay posted!

Laura Arnesen, Mad River Valley Recreation District.