VHC Board member was invited to speak at the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Conference, held October 10-11 in Fairlee, Vermont. She was part of a panel entitled, Multi-Use Trails: How to Keep Everyone Equally Pleased. Her co-panelists were Cindy Locke from VAST, Greg Western from the Cross Vermont Trail, Steve Lotspeich, Community Planner for Waterbury, and Walter Opusynski, Field Recreation Specialist from the Agency of Natural Resources. They met a few times before the session to discuss the topics that each of panelist would address in their 10 minute presentations. Walter moderated the session. Cindy discussed volunteers & partnerships, Greg discussed trail design considerations, Steve discussed planning, and Michelle discussed User Conflict. Questions were answered collectively later in the session.
The session was extremely well received. It also helped us to establish stronger relationships with the other panelists, who are all good people to know. Already, two tangible opportunities have come from this exercise. Walter asked VHC to participate in a visit to the Fosters Trail in Waterbury to determine ways to make it open and safe for equestrians, adding to the trail system in that area. Also, Greg has offered to mentor VHC on some trail construction in Barre and Groton next summer, and he has offered to come and look at the Ascutney Trail Around the Mountain with his multi-use trail design viewpoint. Michelle hasoften shared that it is really important for equestrians to take our seat at the table in the outdoor recreation community and make our presence known - not just for the Vermont Horse Council as an organization, but for each of us as individual users of trail resources.
Organizations such as the Vermont Mountain Bike Association and VAST are successful in part because of local "boots on the ground" around the state. Help VHC build its trail support system by volunteering to attend meetings and help with local projects. Please contact the VHC at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to learn more about how you can help with trail related concerns such as access and maintenance.
- Vermont Horse Council