FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — June 24, 2021
CONTACT: Alicia DiCocco, Director of Development & Communications, (609) 410-0841, [email protected]
Green Mountain Club Announces Bold Campaign to Raise $4 Million to Protect the Long Trail System
The community is invited to participate in Long Trail Day
Waterbury Center, Vermont — The Green Mountain Club (GMC) unveiled a bold vision today to protect and enhance the Long Trail, one of Vermont’s most valuable recreational, economic and ecological resources. The 111-year-old organization long hailed for creating and stewarding the treasured Long Trail is announcing a $4 million capital campaign, known as the Long Trail Legacy Campaign. This campaign will invest further in the northern trail, build a Green Mountain Club Headquarters for year-round visitors and provide critical funding to protect portions of the trail in perpetuity.
The Long Trail Legacy Campaign is a result of the dramatic increase in demand for outdoor, recreational spaces as well as a deep understanding of the long-term responsibilities to stewarding this unique asset. “The GMC’s board of directors recognizes the dual demands of meeting the community and visitors’ desires to explore and enjoy Vermont’s trails, while planning for future recreational use, resource protection and conservation needs. The Long Trail Legacy Campaign is our comprehensive response to these needs,” stated Nancy McClellan, GMC Board member and capital committee chair.
GMC has deep roots in the state, as a vital recreational resource for Vermonters and visitors. Recently, GMC has experienced a 35 percent increase in use on the Long Trail and an 80 percent increase in use of overnight shelters, which has highlighted the urgency of meeting current demand while protecting this natural resource for future generations.
The core of the $4 million campaign is its emphasis on investment – investment in trails, land, the Waterbury campus and staff. Specifically, the campaign will enable GMC to protect another mile of the 272-mile trail in perpetuity, which includes the purchase of the Codding Hollow property in Johnson and Waterville, Vermont. It will allow for the construction of a new headquarters to better accommodate visitors looking to plan their hikes. It will fund long-planned trail work on the northern portion of the Long Trail. And lastly, it will add to its existing General Endowment and establish a Caretaker Endowment to support care of fragile alpine ecosystems, maintain trails and shelters and protect sensitive water and vegetation for future generations.
“This vital campaign will allow us to provide world-class recreational opportunities for Vermonters and visitors while stewarding the land for future use and enjoyment, but we can’t do it without the community’s support,” said GMC Executive Director Mike DeBonis. “This is why on August 28th we will host Long Trail Day, a celebration of the trail and an invitation to hike the trail while raising funds for the campaign.”
GMC already is experiencing an outpouring of support. A generous donor will match every dollar raised up to $30,000. Hikers can sign up for Long Trail Day by visiting www.greenmountainclub.org/longtrailday. Long Trail Day also will mark the public phase of GMC’s capital campaign, of which, thanks to generous donors, the club has raised 62 percent of the $4 million goal.
About the Green Mountain Club: Established in 1910 to build the Long Trail, the Green Mountain Club is a private non-profit organization with over 9,800 members. The GMC is dedicated to maintaining, managing, and protecting Vermont’s historic Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, and the Kingdom Heritage Trails in the Northeast Kingdom, and advocating for hiking opportunities in Vermont. Every year more than 1,000 volunteers work so that future generations will enjoy the 500-mile Long Trail System. Contact the Green Mountain Club to learn more about the GMC or to become a member.