The Weekly Recreation Check-In is a members-only benefit, emailed to members each Friday. The Rec Check-In includes an assortment of information including details and registration materials for upcoming events, resource materials and links to relevant websites, member requests for information, training opportunities, grant and funding opportunities, employment opportunities, etc. Members say that the Rec Check-In is a valuable member benefit. Below is a sample check-in:
Sample Recreation Check-In (9/16/2011)…
Creating and implementing a community’s plans for new or improved recreation facilities can be a daunting task. Regardless of the size of a community, municipal staff or volunteer planning commissions are usually in need of some assistance to get projects off the ground. Obtaining grants is one important way to fund planning and implementation projects. Each grant, generally, has goals and minimum requirements and may take the form of technical assistance from a specialist or provide straight funding for a community to use on a specific project. They may be financed by private foundations or government entities. Some require matching funds while others do not. Below is a short list of some grants available to communities in Vermont. It is by no means an exhaustive list.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund Program (LWCF) became effective in January 1965 to create parks and open spaces, protect wilderness and forests, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities. LWCF grants provide up to 50% matching assistance to the state and local governments. Eligible activities include outdoor recreation facility development, and land acquisition to serve conservation or future outdoor recreation development. Funds are apportioned through the National Park Service (NPS). In Vermont, LWCF is administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. The application deadline varies from year to year; in 2010 it was in April.
VRTF provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail use. The grants program is financed by the portion of state and federal gas tax monies attributable to off-highway vehicle use (such as snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, etc). Eligible projects include trail development, maintenance, and restoration, development of trail-side and trailhead facilities, creating accessible trails, acquisition of trail easements or fee acquisition of trail corridors, maps/publications, and purchase of trail-building hand tools. Typically a January deadline.
The Enhancements Program is an exciting and innovative program for non-traditional transportation-related projects managed by the Vermont Agency of Transportation. This program can be a funding source for activities such as new sidewalks, bike paths, historic preservation, environmental mitigation, and more. It can aid in the creation of a multi-modal and environmentally sustainable transportation system that encourages non-motorized use and enhances Vermont’s historic landscapes and human scale of development. The Application must commit to a local match of at least 20% of the total project cost. At least one-half of the required local match (10% of the total project cost) must be in cash. (E.g., For a project with a $125,000 total cost, you may apply for up to $100,000 in Federal funds and commit to $25,000 in local match, $12,500 of which must be in cash.) In 2010, the application process required a June pre-application letter and an August deadline for the final application.
The statewide Safe Routes to School program, as required by the recently passed Federal Transportation Bill - SAFETEA-LU - is intended to benefit children in primary and middle schools (K-8). Safe Routes to School (SR2S) is about kids walking and biking to school: regularly, routinely, and safely. SR2S integrates elements of transportation, economics, health and physical activity, environmental awareness and safety into one program. The Vermont SR2S program will provide support in the form of funding and services to participating schools around the state. Schools will evaluate existing conditions and attitudes, actively encourage walking and bicycling by students and will identify infrastructure projects to make walking and bicycling safer. In 2010, the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program had approximately $1.5 million allocated to participating SRTS schools/communities for technical assistance, planning, design and construction of infrastructure projects with a goal of removing barriers that deter students from walking and bicycling to school in Vermont. Projects must be "in the vicinity of schools" which is defined as the area within bicycling and walking distance of the school (approximately 2 miles). In 2010, the application deadline was in May.
Funds are available for water-related projects that protect or restore fish and wildlife habitats; protect or restore river corridors and shorelines; control aquatic nuisance species; enhance recreational use and enjoyment; identify and protect historic and cultural resources; educate people about watershed resources; or monitor fish and wildlife populations and/or water quality. In 2010, the application deadline was in May.
Since 1992, the Lake Champlain Basin Program has awarded nearly $3.6 million in local grants and funded more than sixty important research and demonstration projects about the Champlain Basin. The local grants are key to implementing the plan, Opportunities for Action at the grassroots level. Research and demonstration projects provide the sound science that is key to implementing the plan. Additional technical support to communities has been provided through the Watershed Environmental Assistance Program, in cooperation with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Go to their website for the application deadlines for the variety of grants administered by the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
Funded by sales of Vermont's Conservation License Plates, grant funds are available for water-related projects that: protect or restore fish and wildlife habitats; protect or restore water quality, and shorelines; reduce phosphorus loading and/or sedimentation as part of Clean & Clear objectives; enhance recreational use and enjoyment; identify and protect historic and cultural resources; educate people about watershed resources; or monitor fish and wildlife populations and/or water quality. Municipalities, local or regional governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and citizen groups are eligible to receive Watershed Grants for work on public or private lands. Individuals and state and federal agencies are not eligible to receive funds directly, but may be partners of a project. The maximum grant amount is $20,000. In 2009, the application deadline was in December.
The VYCC accomplishes its mission of teaching personal responsibility through the completion of important, educationally-rich conservation projects. The VYCC receives funding from federal, state, and local governments or organizations and through a variety of fundraising efforts by our Development staff. These grants and gifts help to cover some of the operating costs of our crews. We ask Project Sponsors to cover the balance of the costs in return for the work accomplished. Often the VYCC will partner with project sponsors to apply for a variety of grants which can cover the balance of these costs which typically range from $5,500 to $7,000 per week depending on the type of crew.
The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program is the community assistance arm of the National Park Service. RTCA supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects. RTCA staff provide technical assistance to communities so they can conserve rivers, preserve open space, and develop trails and greenways.
Vermont has a long history of managing its forests for multiple uses, including timber, fuel wood, wildlife, habitat, and recreation. In addition to the 4.5 million acres of land that we traditionally viewed as forestland, another forest touches our lives every day: our urban and community forest. Trees along streets, in parks and town greens, and on municipal forest lands are our community forests. These trees provide numerous environmental, social and economic benefits, however, they are not always managed as a community resource. In Vermont assistance in the urban and community forestry is provided by the Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program. One of their programs is Tree Planting Grants. Applications require a planting and tree establishment maintenance plan and need to be matched 50/50. The maximum grant amount is up to $10,000. Recently these grants have only been available for Designated Downtowns and Designated Village Centers,
In honor of champions of the environment and to encourage and support local conservation successes, the Conservation Fund partners with corporations, foundations and individuals to recognize outstanding leadership in conservation through a variety of award and grant programs. Non-profit organizations, public agencies, and individuals are eligible for assistance to stimulate the planning and implementation of greenways in communities throughout America. The 2010 application deadline was June 15. Most grants range from $500 to $1,000. The maximum grant is $2,500.
Created in 1998, American Hiking Society's National Trails Fund is the only privately supported national grants program providing funding to grassroots organizations working toward establishing, protecting and maintaining foot trails in America. Many of our favorite trails need major repairs due to an enormous backlog of badly needed maintenance. National Trails Fund grants help give local organizations the resources they need to secure access, volunteers, tools, and materials to protect America's cherished hiking trails. To date, American Hiking has granted nearly $487,500 to 157 different trail projects across the U.S. for land acquisition, constituency building campaigns, and a variety of trail work projects. Awards typically range from $500 to $5,000 per project.
The Bikes Belong Grant Program strives to put more people on bicycles more often by funding important and influential projects that leverage federal funding and build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. These projects include bike paths and rail trails, as well as mountain bike trails, bike parks, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives. Since 1999, Bikes Belong has awarded 203 grants to municipalities and grassroots groups in 48 states and the District of Columbia, investing nearly $1.6 million in community bicycling projects and leveraging close to $550 million in federal, state, and private funding.
Outdoor recreation and conservation are the heartbeat of REI's giving philosophy. Since 1976 we have contributed nearly $29 million to nonprofit organizations in support of efforts to make outdoor activities welcoming and accessible to all people and promote stewardship of the outdoors. REI's annual giving budget is approximately 3 percent of the previous year's operating profits. In 2009 we donated $2 million to more than 250 local and national groups. REI's giving efforts are distinguished by our unique employee-driven approach. Our grants program is predominantly guided by local employee nominations. We believe this "on the ground" view is the most authentic way to allocate community support because REI's thousands of employees work, play and volunteer in their communities. As a result, they have the most direct connection with local nonprofits that share our stewardship commitment. Because of our local focus, we do not accept unsolicited grant requests and proposals.
Many foundations support conservation initiatives, including trails and greenways development. It is important with any foundation prospecting to call ahead to discuss your project and request specific guidelines, and to focus on specific project needs that best fit the goals of the foundation's giving program
Vermont Community Foundation
VCF provides modest grants to projects that leverage other resources and make a significant difference to the state and address a clear community need. In 2010 the VCF Community Fund grant rounds will include a winter and a fall grant round, which offer general operating support for organizations and project support for municipalities and public schools working in our three priority paths: Basic Human Needs: Children, Elderly and Family Services; Housing, Food and Shelter, Health; Sustainable Communities: Arts, Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Environment, Economic Development; Successful Communities: Civic Engagement, Diversity and Equity, Education.
The Vermont Community Foundation publishes the Vermont Directory of Foundations. The Directory covers foundations incorporated in Vermont as well as those outside of Vermont making regular Vermont contributions, and is a publication specifically designed for VT grantseekers. It is available in two formats: a free online copy or a printed copy for a fee. Special note: Vermont public libraries are entitled to receive a complimentary copy of the printed directory.
The Foundation Center is a national information center on corporate and private foundations, community foundations, and grant making public charities. They publish The Foundation Directory, a national reference with detailed descriptions and giving histories that you can find at most libraries. You can also subscribe to it online.
The Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA) was formed in 1987 with twelve member foundations from across the United States. Today, their members represent over 220 foundations from North America and around the world. Their web site includes many nonprofit and foundation links and a directory of funders.
River Network is a national organization that supports local river and watershed groups, publishes extensive articles on foundation fundraising through its many publications. Many are available online.
The following businesses are commercial members of the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association. Please remember to patronize them and include them in your bidding process when purchasing products. Thank you.
- Advantage Sport USA Inc.
- Advantage Tennis
- All Around Towne Photo
- Allen Pools and Spas
- American Ramp Company
- BigToys-Rocks & Ropes
- Bromley Mountain Resort
- Dubois & King
- Electro-Mech Scoreboard Co.
- Franklin Paint Company
- GameTime Play Systems/Marturano Recreation
- Goldstar Products, Inc.
- Gunstock Mountain Resort
- Jay Peak Resort
- Keith's II Sports
- Magic Falls Rafting Co.
- M.E. O'Brien
- Musco Sports Lighting
- New England Turfgrass Foundation
- Northeast Nursery
- Northeast Playground Builders
- Northern Lights Rock and Ice
- Northstar Fireworks
- Park Street Playgrounds, LLC
- Pettinelli & Assoc
- Pioneer Athletics
- R.J. Thomas Mfg. Co. Inc.
- UltiPlay Parks & Playgrounds, Inc.
- US Sports Institute
- Vermont Commercial Fitness
- Vermont Display Inc.
- Vermont Systems
721 Main Street, Colchester, VT 05446
Phone: 802-878-2077 Fax: 802-878-2921 Email