The next VOREC Steering Committee meeting will be held virtually on Friday, June 9 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. All Bi-monthly Steering Committee meetings are open to the public. Please visit our Get Involved section for more information on how to participate.
Who we are
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 values / 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.
- Our history and structure
- Meet our Program Manager
- Meet our Steering Committee
- Get Involved
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 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.
- 2020 Annual Report to Governor
- 2019 Annual Report to Governor
- VOREC Recommendations
- Governor Scott’s Press release on VOREC Recommendations
- Governor Scott’s Press Conference on VOREC Recommendations
VOREC Community Grants 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 planning is underway to launch and award the second $5 million allocation.
The grant program website is kept up-to-date and information about the next round of applications will be posted once available.
- 2021 VOREC Community Grant one-pager to Legislature (February 2021)
- 2020 VOREC Community Grant Report to Legislature (January 15, 2020)
Meet our Program Manager
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
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
Steering Committee Co-Chair
Josh Hanford, Commissioner
Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD)
Department of Housing and Community Development
Steering Committee Members
|Mike Debonis||Green Mountain Club||Recreation Non-profits (Hiking)||Mooretown|
|Frazier Blair||Orvis||Outdoor Recreation Industry (Manufacturing)||Manchester|
|Hal Ellms||Pinnacle Outdoors Group||Outdoor Recreation Industry||Middlesex|
|Jeanne Gervais||Island Pond Chamber||Outdoor Recreation Non-profits||Island Pond|
|Danny Hale||VT ATV Sportsman's Association (VASA)||VTGC motorized recreation|
|Abby Long||Kingdom Trails Association||VTGC non-motorized recreation||East Burke|
|Kim Rupe||Vermont Council on rural Development (VCRD)||Economic Development member at-large|
|Josh Ryan||Timber and Stone, LLC||Outdoor Recreation Industry (Trail Building)||East Montpelier|
|Shelby Semmes||Trust for Public Land (TPL)||Conservation Non-profits||Warren|
|Marc Sherman||Outdoor Gear Exchange (OGE)||Outdoor Recreation Industry (Business)||Burlington|
|Drew Simmons||Pale Morning Media||Outdoor Recreation Industry (Media)||Waitsfield|
|Frank Stanley||VT Traditions Coalition||Outdoor Recreation Planning member at-large||Monkton|
|Karrie Thomas||Northern Forest Canoe Trail||Outdoor Recreation Non-profits (Paddling)||Waitsfield|
- 2023 meeting materials
- 2022 meeting materials
- 2021 meeting materials
- 2020 meeting materials
- 2019 meeting materials
- 2018 meeting materials
- 2017 meeting materials
Next Steering Committee Meeting
Friday, June 9 from 9a.m. - 11a.m. (Virtual Meeting)
Meeting ID: 283 060 928 863
Join by phone
Conference ID: 694 763 697#
Download Teams | Join on the web
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.
State Funding and Assistance
Federal Funding and Assistance
- Recreation Economy for Rural Communities (RERC) Program
- Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RCTA) Program
- Vermont Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
- Vermont Recreational Trails Program (RTP)
- Northern Borders Regional Commission (NBRC)
Outdoor recreation economy information
Vermont Economic Impact Studies
- Mad River Valley Active Transportation Plan
- Vermont Trails and Greenways Council Economic Impact Study
- Vermont ACCD Tourism Research
- Vermont Outdoor Industry Association Report
- The Gund Center’s Economic of Conservation Study