Based on a primary assessment of the Long Trail System, we were fortunate to avoid any major infrastructure damage or threats to trail continuity or hiker safety as a result of the torrential rain that battered the northeast and led to the July 2023 flood. However, many of our neighbors and communities did not come away unscathed. Members of the outdoor business coalition like Onion River Outdoors in downtown Montpelier suffered major flooding, and towns that often host resupplying and resting hikers such as Ludlow, Woodstock, Richmond, Waterbury and Johnson were hard-hit. GMC thrives because of the dedication of our many volunteers and we know how wonderful and generous our community is in offering their time, efforts, and resources. We know how eager and willing so many of you to come to the aid of others when it is needed. Here are some ways you can help:
Those who wish to volunteer for on-the-ground clean up and help can sign up through www.vermont.gov/volunteer. Registering through the state’s volunteer portal puts your name and skills on call for state-organized flood response and with other government and nonprofit partners, coordinating and connecting a large volunteer pool with various operations in need of manpower, various skills, and resources.
You can also get involved in locally-organized volunteer efforts, like the following:
- Montpelier Alive’s volunteer sign up
- Specific cleanup projects in Montpelier through VolunteerSignup
- The Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Barre city volunteer relief sign up
- Barre City volunteer sign up
- Waterbury community flood response
We appreciate any willingness to assist GMC but would like to direct this energy toward other relief projects. At this time, staff are coordinating ongoing assessment and field response with a priority of staff and hiker safety. We are not currently sending volunteers out into the field, but large volunteer clean-up projects will be available in the future as we gain a comprehensive understanding of the system-wide needs. Please check our website and be on the lookout for emails with future volunteer clean-up projects.
Another way to help if you’re unable to contribute physical labor or aren’t local to Vermont is through monetary donations. There are several funds and relief organizations accepting donations that will go specifically towards flood relief and recovery:
- Vermont Community Foundation’s Vermont Flood Response and Recovery Fund 2023
- Northeast Organic Farming Association’s (NOFA) Farmer Emergency Fund
- Vermont Disaster Recovery Fund
- Montpelier Alive is collecting donations to rebuild downtown and support local businesses
- Capstone’s Emergency Response Fund
- Northern New England Red Cross
- Your local United Way
Make sure you’ve vetted any funds or organizations you’re considering donating to, as unfortunately online scams do try to take advantage of natural disasters and those looking to offer support.
Another way to help is through the purchase of gift cards from affected businesses. This is a great way to support local restaurants, shops, farms, and other establishments as they address damage and losses and work to reopen. Businesses that are able to remain open are also in need of support, as many turn extra attention and resources toward community rebuilding.
Spread Support Opportunities
Share fundraisers and resources with friends and family. Encourage them to also share these ways to help. We’re grateful for this community of people who are so eager and willing to help.
For ongoing trail condition updates, reroutes, closures and guidance for hikers in the aftermath of the flood, visit our July 2023 Flood Updates page.