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Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative



Next VOREC Steering Committee Meeting (Friday, August 23)
The next Steering Committee meeting will be held virtually from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Meetings are open to the public. For more information on this meeting check-out the Get Involved section below. 

Who we are

Group of field year 2021 VOREC Community Grant recipients stands outside with Governor Scott, Commissioner Michael Snyder, VOREC Program Manager Jackie Dagger, and select VOREC Steering Committee members. An overcast sky and snow sprinkled ground is visible behind the group.The Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) is a collective impact network of public/private partners organized by the state to sustain, grow and drive sustainable development in Vermont’s outdoor recreation sector by leveraging natural outdoor recreation assets, brand and culture.

VOREC uses a collective impact framework to support a multi-sector approach to addressing complex social and economic issues. The five components of collective impact include, developing a common agenda, establishing backbone support, coordinating mutually reinforcing activities, using shared measurement, and continuously communicating ideas and progress. 

VOREC is primarily supported through the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the VOREC Steering Committee. 

To learn more about VOREC explore our content below using the “Quick links” provided.  

Core pillars

  • Grow outdoor recreation-related businesses.
  • Increase participation in outdoor recreation activities among all demographics.
  • Strengthen the quality and extent of outdoor recreation resources.
  • Increase stewardship of outdoor recreation resources and environmental quality.
  • Promote and enjoy the health and wellness benefits of outdoor recreation.

Quick links

History and structure

Governor Phil Scott signed Executive Order #11-17 establishing the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) in June 2017. The Executive Order tasks VOREC with promoting prudent stewardship of State recreation assets and marketing the outdoor recreation values and attributes of Vermont to effectively foster economic growth.

To accomplish this mission and be advisory to the Governor, a 15-person steering committee was established made up of stakeholders across Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy. The Steering Committee is tasked with identifying and engaging a broad set of outdoor recreation businesses and other stakeholders for the purposes of creating the VOREC as well as developing and maintaining a strategy and specific action plan with measurable outcomes. The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) in partnership with the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) support the Steering Committee and provide critical staff support to move forward identified priorities with the VOREC network.

“Vermont’s natural beauty, combined with outdoor recreation opportunities, are economic engines for our state and a driving force for why people visit and live in Vermont.” – Governor Phil Scott

In Vermont, outdoor recreation touches all aspects of our life and community. We know that by working to leverage outdoor recreation to steward our state’s world class natural resources and connect those resources to our downtown centers we can create transformative outcomes that support sustainable tourism, better retention of Vermont employees and residents, and strong local economies.


VOREC Community Grants Program

Learn more about the program

This funding opportunity was established in 2018 when the Vermont legislature passed Act 194. Through public forums and surveys the VOREC Steering Committee identified the need to create a source of funding for the purpose of helping municipalities across the state implement projects identified in their municipal planning goals that build local economies with outdoor recreation at the center. 

The grant started as a pilot program with $100,000 in 2018 and now has received two allocations of $5 million one-time general funds. The first allocation of $5 million was granted out in 2021 and the second award is accepting applications through December 2023. 

The grant program website is kept up-to-date and information about the next round of applications will be posted once available. 

Related resources

Move Forward Together Vermont: Designing our Outdoor Recreation Future

Visit our website

Move Forward Together Vermont is a partnership project between the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) and VOREC. Through this work we are creating a shared vision for Vermont's outdoor recreation future, and a set of priorities and action steps for the next five years. FPR, VOREC and our partners will use these outcomes to guide and support decisions about where to focus energy and resources across the outdoor recreation landscape. 

This project kicked off in September 2023 and is expected to last through fall 2024. 

VOREC Action Plan

View our current Action Plan (2018)
This is an evolving document and will continue to be updated as VOREC's work moves forward

The VOREC Steering Committee is tasked through Executive Order #11-17 with developing and maintaining a strategy and specific action plan with measurable outcomes for the purpose of strengthening Vermont's outdoor recreation economy. Action must at a minimum: 

  • Contribute to efforts to market the outdoor recreation values and attributes of Vermont to effectively foster economic growth.
  • Examine and promote laws, policies and initiatives that encourage outdoor recreation business.
  • Strengthen stewardship of outdoor recreation resources and the organizations that support them.
  • Mobilize the members of the VOREC to develop and implement the initiatives of the VOREC Committee.
  • Encourage, incentivize, and guide the development of community-oriented outdoor recreation assets increasing economic impacts.

The current action plan was created in 2018 from feedback gathered through a series of public forums held across the state in Arlington, East Dummerston, Hartford / White River Junction, Island Pond, Rutland, Saint Albans and Waterbury. Feedback was also collected through a public engagement survey (Survey Charts) and emailed comments. It reflects the actions Vermonters have suggested will make the biggest impact for improving outdoor recreation opportunities in the state. 

Related resources: 

Meet our Program Manager

Program Manager Jackie Dagger stands in front of Lake Champlain at Sunset







Jackie Dagger was hired to support the VOREC Program in April 2021. In this role, she is  responsible for leading efforts to enhance the VOREC program and strengthen Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy. Dagger began her career in outdoor education before moving into consulting and then public service. After growing up in Woodstock, Vermont she moved to Washington state where she worked with local municipalities and state and federal agencies to develop and lead public engagement and outreach projects focused on transportation, wastewater management, and municipal planning. Jackie loves playing outside and can be found around Vermont enjoying some of her favorite places on skis, by foot or climbing up rocks. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from George Washington University and is a graduate of Seattle Antioch University’s Center for Creative Change.  

Meet our Steering Committee

How it works

Steering Committee members gather in a circle in the Town of Randolph listening to community members talk about the town's outdoor recreation resources on a sunny day.The VOREC Steering Committee is made up of 15 member positions which represent a wide variety of stakeholders in Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy. To see current steering committee members and the communities they represent take a look at the Steering Committee Member table below.

The Steering Committee meets bi-monthly, typically the second Friday of the month. through a mix of virtual and in-person meetings held across the state. Meetings are open to public observation and meeting agendas allow for public comment at the end of meetings.

To find more information about upcoming meetings see the Get Involved section. Information about what the steering committee has been discussing is recorded in our recent meeting materials and virtual meetings are recorded and posted to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation YouTube channel.    

Steering Committee Chair

Becca Washburn, Director
Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR)
Division of Lands Administration and Recreation 

Service Start: 2023

Steering Committee Vice Chair

Heather Pelham, Commissioner
Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD)
Department of Marketing and Tourism

Service Start: 2023

Steering Committee Members

Member Organization Rec Community Location Service Start Current Term End
Mike Debonis Green Mountain Club Recreation Non-profits (Hiking) Waterbury Center 2017 June 2025
Frazier Blair Orvis Outdoor Recreation Industry (Manufacturing) Manchester 2022 June 2025
Abby Long Kingdom Trails Association VTGC Non-motorized Recreation East Burke 2019 June 2025
Tommy O'Connor Vermont ATV Sportsman's Association VTGC Motorized Recreation Barre 2024 June 2026
Josh Ryan Timber and Stone, LLC Outdoor Recreation Industry (Trail Building) East Montpelier 2017 June 2025
Shelby Semmes Trust for Public Land (TPL) Conservation Non-profits Montpelier 2020 June 2025
Drew Simmons Pale Morning Media Outdoor Recreation Industry (Media) Waitsfield 2017 June 2025
Frank Stanley VT Traditions Coalition Outdoor Recreation Planning member at-large Monkton 2018 June 2025
Karrie Thomas Northern Forest Canoe Trail Outdoor Recreation Non-profits (Paddling) Waitsfield 2019 June 2025

Vacant positions

VOREC is working through active steering committee members and partners to fill these positions

  • Outdoor Recreation Industry (2 openings)
  • Economic Development Member-at-large
  • Outdoor Recreation Non-profits

Meeting Materials

Guiding Documents

Get Involved

Upcoming events

Steering Committee Meetings

Friday, August 23 from 9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. 
Location: Virtual Meeting

Meeting agenda and link to join meeting will be posted at least five business days in advance

Join our email list

Email our Program Manager with title line "Join VOREC email list" to be added to receive notifications about upcoming VOREC Steering Committee meetings, upcoming partner events, and funding opportunities.

Notifications are sent bi-monthly ahead of Steering Committee meetings and sometimes more often if there are other partner opportunities to share. 

Contact us

Jackie Dagger

Becca Washburn


    Funding opportunities

    State Funding and Assistance 

    Federal Funding and Assistance

    Outdoor recreation economy information


    Vermont Economic Impact Studies