Outdoor Gear Exchange Charitable Grant Fund
Summer/Fall 2020 Charitable Grant Fund Applications Are Now Live!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to make the difficult decision to forego our Spring 2020 grant cycle. However, we are happy to announce that we will be moving forward with our Fall 2020 cycle one month earlier than usual to accommodate warmer weather projects that are in need of funding. This means that Fall 2020 grant applications will become available August 1st, will be due September 1st, and that grants will be awarded September 15th.
In light of the social justice movements occurring throughout the country, we will also be allotting 50% of the available 2020 grant funds to projects that are focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the outdoor industry.
Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented year. We look forward to reading your applications.
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, land access, trail development and outdoor educational programming.
At Outdoor Gear Exchange, we believe access 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 better 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, with Outdoor Gear Exchange then matching every dollar contributed towards our charitable giving efforts. 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 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/non-profit educational programming that fosters an appreciation for the natural world and/or outdoor recreation.
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.
Recipients of the Fall 2019 Grant Cycle
Bristol Recreation Club
Bristol Recreation Club's OGE Grant will be used for the improvement of the trail around the New Haven River, including bench cutting and the installation of stone steps. This project will increase access to outdoor recreation for folks regardless of age, ability, or socioeconomic situation.
Friends of the Winooski River
The Friends of the Winooski River will use their grant for the restoration of the river access point on the Montpelier High School grounds. This project will increase participation in outdoor recreation as well as aid in the preservation and rehabilitation of the riparian habitat through native tree/shrub planting and the development of a boat chute.
Lake Champlain Land Trust
The Lake Champlain Land Trust will use their grant for the restoration of Derway Cove in collaboration with the Winooski Valley Parks District. This project will be a key factor in the preservation/rehabilitation of the riparian habitats in Derway Cove and water quality of Lake Champlain through native tree/shrub planting, removal of invasive species, and the installation of educational signs.
Northwoods Stewardship Center
The Grant Fund will support the purchase of nordic ski equipment for youth winter programming. This project will increase participation in winter-based recreation in a rural area, and aid in the development of a relationship with nature among children and teens.
The Mad River Path Association
The Grant Fund will support the Mad River Path Association's construction of a boardwalk on the Mill Brook Trail. This project will increase access to outdoor recreation across multiple user groups (mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, nordic skiing, etc.)
Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land will use their OGE grant for the protection of the Long Trail on the Codding Hollow property. This project will increase participation in trail-based recreation for years to come with the permanent protection of the Long Trail (there are only 6.5 miles remaining to be conserved!)
Recipients of the Spring 2019 Grant Cycle
Cochran's Ski Area
The Grant Fund will support the development of a beginner and adaptive mountain bike friendly trail on Cochran's property.
Green Mountain Club
The Grant Fund will support the establishment of an expanded parking area at the Wheeler Pond trailhead, open to hikers, trail runners, and snowshoers.
Hinesburg Community School
The Grant Fund will support the purchase of climbing gear for their middle school climbing team.
King Street Center
The Grant Fund will support the purchase of required gear for six students from underserved communities to participate in the summer leadership programs at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps.
Mad River Riders
The Grant Fund will support the construction of a new intermediate multi-use trail, the Butternut Hill Trail. This trail will be open to mountain bikers, hikers, snowshoers, and nordic skiers!
Grant Fund Archives
Since The Outdoor Gear Exchange Charitable Grant Fund's inception in 2013, we have granted over $54,000 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.