Governor Phil Scott Announces New Vermont Outdoor Recreation Communities Grant Program
During his Orleans County Capitol for a Day tour this week, Governor Phil Scott announced a new grant program available to help Vermont communities use outdoor recreation opportunities to grow their local economies.
The Vermont Outdoor Recreation Communities pilot grant program, proposed by the Scott Administration and passed by the Legislature in Act 194, will award grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 to one or more Vermont localities to support development of "outdoor recreation friendly" communities.
The program was a recommendation from the Governor's Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC), which is working toward four primary goals:
* To grow outdoor recreation businesses;
* To increase participation in outdoor recreation activities;
* To strengthen the quality and extent of outdoor recreation resources; and
* To increase stewardship of outdoor recreation resources.
"This pilot program allows us to direct resources to one or more communities that have a good foundation, but need a boost to help them maximize the value of their outdoor assets as an 'outdoor recreation friendly community,'" said Scott. "I appreciate the work of the VOREC Steering Committee, my teams at the Agency of Commerce & Community Development and Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, and lawmakers for supporting this program and continued partnership as we work to strengthen our regional economies across the state."
Grant funding will be awarded to support a range of eligible activities, including environmental stewardship, recreational programming and events, capital projects, and marketing and planning activities. Communities will be asked to demonstrate how they expect to grow their local economy by leveraging outdoor recreation and supporting each of VOREC's goals. Successful communities will be showcased as "pilot communities" for a longer-term community designation program with the goal of raising the economic tide for all recreation-oriented communities.
"Governor Scott created VOREC and charged us to find ways to inspire economic prosperity through growing and sustaining our vast outdoor recreation assets," said Michael Snyder, Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation and Chair of the VOREC Steering Committee. "This grant opportunity allows us to target resources toward communities that can be held as models for others that aspire to improve their local economic future through outdoor recreation."
The program is administered as a partnership between the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Applications for the grants are due December 14. For information and application materials, go to http://fpr.vermont.gov/VOREC. Questions about the program can be directed to Becca Washburn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-793-3432.