The VOREC Community Grant Program is not accepting new projects at this time. Applications for the 2023 grant round closed on December 15, 2023.
The Vermont Outdoor Recreation Community Grant Program was established in 2018 when the Vermont legislature passed Act 194. Grant funding can be used for a variety of purposes with the result being a community(ies) that can show measurable success supporting and growing their local economies through leveraging outdoor recreation.
The program is closely tied to the five pillars of the VOREC program which are to:
- 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.
Recognizing the wonderful variety and complexity of Vermont’s existing outdoor recreation infrastructure, assets, and use, it is important to note that outdoor recreation is defined by VOREC and the community grant program as leisure, sport and therapeutic recreation activities pursued outdoors, mainly in a natural setting. Outdoor Recreation encompasses a wide scope of potential activities and the role of VOREC and the grant program is to elevate the knowledge base and potential of traditional and growing outdoor recreation activities.
Inclusion, openness, and innovation are fundamental principles of VOREC and we encourage creative and collaborative approaches. If you have a project idea and are unsure if it would qualify for a VOREC Community grant, please reach out to program staff who can help guide you.
2023 VOREC Community Grant Program
The Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) are pleased to announce that the applications for the 2023-2024 VOREC Community Grant Program will open on October 9, 2023.
The program will award up to $6 million to communities around the state. Projects will be funded across four tracks –Implementation, Project Development, Outdoor Equity and Flood Recovery.
Please use the links below to locate information on this page:
Projects that support local outdoor recreation economies and will be ready to implement in Spring 2024. In order to receive funding for this track, all necessary permits, engineering plans or designs should have been secured or be in the process of being secured.
Projects that will support local outdoor recreation economies, but need design, scoping, or planning work done in order to be ready for implementation.
Outdoor Equity (implemented through a partnership with the Office of Racial Equity (ORE))
Projects that will reduce barriers and expand opportunities for people to access Vermont’s outdoors. In particular, this track will fund projects that support BIPOC, LGBTQ+ people, people with low incomes, speakers of languages beyond English and/or people with disabilities.
No minimum or maximum
Projects that repair or replace outdoor recreation infrastructure that was damaged due to flooding between July 10, 2023 and August 15, 2023. Infrastructure should be repaired or replaced in a manner that is more resilient to natural disaster.
No minimum or maximum
Grants are intended to give communities the resources they need to achieve their vision for a thriving outdoor recreation economy. Multi-faceted, cross-sector projects are encouraged. All projects must relate to at least one of the VOREC Pillars, listed on the VOREC website. Ultimately, the goal is to fund successful projects that demonstrate the wide array of benefits outdoor recreation has for local communities.
For more ideas about projects that are eligible for VOREC Community Grants, check out The Next Outdoor Playgrounds and the Next Outdoor Playgrounds II, published by VT Sports magazine to highlight the recipients of the 2022 VOREC Community Grant Program. The VOREC Application Guidance (coming soon!) will also have a more complete list of which activities are eligible under each of the grant tracks.
Applicants must choose one track to apply to, although there may be projects that span multiple tracks. For example, a community may have a project that is ready to implement, supports and expands the local outdoor economy and has components of flood recovery. This overlap in tracks is welcome! Even though applicants will choose one track, projects will be reviewed for alignment with tracks that aren’t selected. If application reviewers believe the project fits better under a different track, they will consult the applicant to discuss next steps and the path forward.
Open Application Period: October 9 – December 15
Grant Review and Selection: December 15 – February 28
Grant Agreement Development: March 1 – May 31
Project Implementation: June 1, 2024 – December 31, 2025*
*Please note that Flood Recovery grants can be reimbursed for eligible expenses starting July 11, 2023.
The application will be available through December 15, 2023 11:59 PM
Application Preview - This is a Microsoft Word version of the application questions. Please use this document to review the questions required for the application and to share amongst your project partners. However, in order to apply for the 2023 VOREC Community Grant Program, you must use the online application linked above. Word or pdf applications will not be accepted.
Notification of Change to Landowner Permissions for Flood Recovery Track Grants - Update November 15, 2023
Updated Flood Recovery Landowner Permission Form - Update November 15, 2023
Municipal Technical Assistance Program
Towns that need help with grant development, management, or administration, can get support from the State of Vermont’s Municipal Technical Assistance Program. The program is intended to assist communities that have a limited capacity for accessing and applying for state and federal grants. To be eligible for this program, towns must be pre-approved by the Vermont Agency of Administration. Here is the current list of pre-approved of towns. If you have further questions about how this program can help, please email the Vermont Agency of Administration at ADM.ARPAMuniAssist@vermont.gov.
Rural Economic Development Initiative
The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), a program of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), helps rural communities access funding they need for community and business development through grant-writing support. To be eligible for this assistance, the project must be based in or primarily serve a community with a population of less than 5,000 people. If you qualify and are interested in help from the REDI program, please submit a REDI inquiry form by Friday, October 20, 2023. Contact: Mariah Noth, Mariah@vhcb.org
Grant Program Webinar
The webinar for the 2023 VOREC Community Grant Program happened on October 17 from 1-2 p.m. It included a presentation explaining the goals of the grant program and eligible activities for the four tracks. There was also time at the end of the session for questions from attendees.
Frequently Asked Questions
For answers to frequently asked questions regarding the program check out the program’s FAQs document. Staff will be adding to this document as questions come in from the webinars, open office hours and emails.
2023 VOREC Community Grant Program FAQs (Updated 12/12/23)
Open Office Hours
Staff at FPR will host a series of virtual open office hours for prospective grantees to learn more details about the four grant tracks and ask questions. Each opportunity will focus on a different track. The first half-hour of the session will be open for questions specific to the identified track. The second half hour of every session will be open for questions on any topic related to the grant program. Open office hours will be recorded and either the recording or transcript will be posted here. To access the open office hours, click the link below the date to join the online video meeting or call into the listed number at the scheduled time. If none of these times work for you, please email ANR.FPRRecreationGrants@vermont.gov with your questions and we will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible.
- October 24, 3:00-4:00 PM
- Theme: Flood Recovery
- Flood Recovery Open Office Hours Transcript
- November 7, 7:00-8:00 PM
- Theme: Outdoor Equity
- Outdoor Equity Open Office Hours Recording and Transcript
- November 21 – 1:00-2:00 PM
- Theme: Construction Projects
- Construction Projects Open Office Hours Recording
- Construction Projects Open Office Hours Transcript
- December 5 – 3:00-4:00 PM
- Theme: Open
- Open Office Hours Recording and Transcript
Application Review Committee
We are looking for volunteers from outside the Departments of Forests, Parks and Recreation to help score applications for the 2023 VOREC Community Grant Program. We anticipate we will receive a large number of applications, so we are seeking volunteers to expand our review team to ensure every application is evaluated with comparable levels of energy and focus. Read the position description and then complete the online form to share your interest in joining the committee.
Explore VT From These 8 New Basecamps (Published in Vermont Sports on 11.17.20. See "What the VOREC Grant Will Do" sections for examples of past projects)
The Next Outdoor Playgrounds (Published in Vermont Sports on 05.06.22)
The Next Adventure Towns, Part II (Published in Vermont Sports on 09.15.22)
Information on the FY22 VOREC Grant Program
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