Fall 2023 Charitable Grant Fund Applications Are Open!
The Outdoor Gear Exchange Charitable Grant Fund's mission is to enhance outdoor recreation opportunities in Vermont communities by partnering with qualified organizations that focus on land conservation, lowering barriers to the outdoors, trail development and outdoor educational programming.
At Outdoor Gear Exchange, we believe lowering barriers to and conservation of our natural landscapes is critical to the health of Vermont’s communities, many of which remain underserved and underfunded by traditional state services and educational entities. Our Charitable Grant Fund looks to provide resources to nonprofits aligned with our own vision for greater outdoor access and education.
Through two annual grant cycles, the Charitable Grant Fund awards three to six organizations grants of up to $2,000. These grants are funded by customer donations through our consignment program. Funds are preferentially provided for specific aspects of individual local projects.
Awardees are selected through an internal juried process looking to identify projects for which the grant will make the most positive impact.
We are thrilled about the number of applications that we receive during each grant cycle. We do ask, however, that your project meets this list of guidelines before you apply:
- The awarded grant will have a substantively positive financial impact for your organization, and be significant in bringing your project to completion.
- Your project will have a tangible, positive impact on our local (in or around the state of Vermont) recreational community.
- We preferentially support the non-administrative aspects of projects that provide infrastructural developments related to trail access or conservation. Examples include: The construction of composting outhouses along the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, building and maintaining bridges on Fellowship of the Wheel mountain bike trails, and the establishment of a picnic area on the Mill Trail Property.
- For applicants with an education focus, we seek to fund public/nonprofit educational programming that fosters an appreciation for the natural world and/or outdoor recreation.
- For applicants with a focus on justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion work, we seek to fund programming that lowers barriers to the outdoors for historically excluded groups (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and others).
How To Apply
During each of the year's two grant application periods, a link to a current application will be made available at the top of this page. If you think your organization's project meets our eligibility guidelines, complete an application and send it via email to our Charitable Grant Fund Coordinator.
Grant Cycle Timeline
The Outdoor Gear Exchange Charitable Grant Fund is divided into two cycles each year, with applications for the spring cycle being available from April 1st to May 1st and applications for the fall cycle being available from September 1st to October 1st.
Recipients of the Spring 2023 Grant Cycle
Brewster River Mountain Bike Club
Brewster River Mountain Bike Club’s primary purpose is to ensure the sustainable future of mountain biking in Underhill, Cambridge, and neighboring towns in Vermont. In addition to funding from the Deb Towne Memorial Fund, OGE’s funding will support the building of a 2000 ft multi-use ADA compliant recreation path on the perimeter of the Underhill Central School play fields.
Fellowship of the Wheel
Fellowship of the Wheel’s mission is to make Chittenden County the best place to live and recreate by creating access to multi-use trails for all bodies, building and maintaining sustainable trail networks, and enhancing community vitality through outdoor recreation. In partnership with the Williston Conservation Commission, Vermont Adaptive Sports, and the Chittenden County District Wetland Ecologist, FOTW will be regrading the Mud Pond Quiet Connector Trail to make it adaptive user friendly.
Mad River Path
Mad River Path is a community-supported organization whose mission is to build, maintain, and conserve a system of continuous public pathways and trails connecting the towns of Warren, Waitsfield, Fayston, and Moretown. This network of paths and trails fosters a healthy community by connecting the people, businesses, and special places of the Mad River Valley, Vermont. Mad River Path will be utilizing funding to construct a boardwalk along the newly acquired Spaulding Greenway segment. This path is in close proximity to a park, newly conserved agricultural lands, and local neighborhoods.
The mission of the Kingdom Trail Association is to provide recreation and education opportunities by managing, maintaining, and building trails to foster the health of our community, surrounding environment, and regional economy. We strive to accomplish this mission by offering a 100+ mile network of quality, non-motorized, multi-use trails for all levels of ability, incorporating the best of our local scenery and natural diversity. With the help of Adaptive Sports Partners, the Kelly Brush Foundation, and students from St. Johnsbury Academy, Kingdom Trails will be rebuilding bridges to be adaptive user friendly, per KASA standards.
Recipients of the Fall 2022 Grant Cycle
South Hero Land Trust
The South Hero Land Trust will use their grant to develop an adaptive paddling naturalist program in partnership with North Branch Nature Center and Northeast Disabled Athletic Association.
Huntington Community Forest Stewardship Committee
The grant awarded to the Huntington Community Forest Stewardship Committee will be used to build a new boardwalk over marsh in a newly-acquired block of land. This land is accessible to the local elementary school.
Richmond Mountain Trails
This grant's funding will go towards building a trail kiosk at the new 'Driving Range' trail network. This is a multi-use place for climbing, hiking, skiing, and mountain biking.
Vermont Huts Association
The grant awarded to the Vermont Huts Association will be used to purchase snowshoes for F.O.R.E.S.T. youth program. The F.O.R.E.S.T. program allows underserved youth to explore nature in safe and accessible ways.
The grant awarded to Water Wanderings will go towards purchasing camp materials like camp chairs, tarps, and other items for the shared use of the community.
The grant awarded to Vermont AMBUCS will be used to convert an existing adaptive bike to electric, and fund programming to engage the community with this bike and its capabilities to create access.
The $2000 grant we have awarded to Audobon Vermont will go towards funding future after-school and camp programming for youth in the area.
Vermont Transmasc Camp
The grant awarded to Vermont Transmasc Camp will be used to purchase cold weather camping gear for campers who may not have access to it.
Waterbury Area Trails Alliance
The grant awarded to the Waterbury Area Trails Alliance will help them convert their trail work tools to all-electric as well as purchase new tools, as volunteer trail work is what keeps WATA going.
Victory Hill Sector
Victory Hill Sector will use their grant to rehab Leif's Trail, a popular 2-mile singletrack trail.
Grant Fund Archives
Since The Outdoor Gear Exchange Charitable Grant Fund's inception in 2013, we have granted over $100,000 to local non-profit organizations who share our goal of enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities for all Vermonters. Click the link below to learn more about our previous season's grant cycle awardees.