Spring 2021 Charitable Grant Fund Applications Are Now Live!
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, 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 (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/non-profit 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 Summer/Fall 2020 Grant Cycle
Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center
The Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center will use their grant for the purchase of snowshoes for their outdoor learning programs. This will ensure children can still enjoy the outdoors, even in winter.
Camels Hump Nordic Ski Area
The grant awarded to Camel's Hump Nordic Ski Area will support the development of a new connector trail from their parking area to their higher elevation trails. By creating access to higher elevation trails, folks will be able to enjoy nordic skiing earlier in the season without the crutch of snowmaking.
Green Mountain Conservancy
The Green Mountain Conservancy will use their grant for the establishment of a larger parking area and trail improvements at the Deer Run Nature Preserve. Increased parking will allow for more members of the public and students to enjoy the trails and natural area.
Stowe Land Trust
The Grant Fund will support the construction of a dock and boat launch on Joe's Pond in Morristown. This Stowe Land Trust project will provide additional recreation opportunities to a lower-income area.
Waterbury Area Trail Alliance
The Waterbury Area Trail Alliance has been awarded a grant to fund the replacement of two bridges at Perry Hill. The new bridges will be wide enough to accommodate ADA cycles and four-wheeler rescue vehicles.
Winooski Valley Parks District
The Grant Fund will support Winooski Valley Parks District's construction of a new bridge at the Ethan Allen Homestead trail network. This project will increase accessibility to the park for farmers, community gardeners, students, and the public for hyper-local enjoyment of the outdoors.
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!)
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.