Leahy Secures $270,00 for Green Mountain Club Headquarters
GMC Will Rebuild its Visitor Center
General Contact: Ben Rose, Executive Director
Phone: (802) 244-7037 ext. 12
Photos available upon request.
Waterbury Center, VT -- Senator Patrick Leahy has secured a $270,000 federal economic development appropriation to help the Green Mountain Club (GMC) rebuild its Visitor Center, which includes the Marvin B. Gameroff Hiker Center. In January 2003 the Visitor Center, located in Waterbury Center, was gutted by fire.
In preparation for the Green Mountain Club’s 100th birthday in 2010, in June 2007 the club announced its Second Century Campaign, with the objectives of raising funds to rebuild from the fire, conservation of Long Trail lands, and increasing funding for future maintenance of the Long Trail, trail shelters, and stewardship of land near the Long Trail.
“I know how important rebuilding from the 2003 fire is to the Green Mountain Club and its programs,” said Leahy. “As the oldest long distance hiking trail in America approaches its centennial, the Long Trail is a national treasure. Since the fire, I have wanted to help the club when it was ready to rebuild. Club members work hard to maintain and protect the trail. They and the hundreds of thousands of hikers who enjoy the trail will make good use of a new hiker center.”
Construction is slated to begin this summer at GMC’s headquarters on Cabin Lane, just west of Route 100, midway between Waterbury and Stowe. The Green Mountain Club is a member-supported non-profit founded in 1910 to build, maintain, and protect the Long Trail as a free public resource. The club currently has 9,500 members. 200,000 people per year hike on the Long Trail.
GMC Executive Director Ben Rose thanked Senator Leahy for his leadership: “Senator Leahy has always gone to bat for Vermont’s mountains and hiking trails. This was a tough budget year, and this appropriation is a testament to Senator Leahy’s strong support for the Green Mountain Club. The club is now in a position to go forward this year with over a million dollars of construction. The appropriation leverages significant short-term and long-term economic benefit for this region of Vermont.”
“The Long Trail and its corridor are now key components of Vermont’s character”, notes Andrew S. Nuquist of Montpelier, a Co-Chair of the Second Century Campaign. “Maintaining this natural and recreational resource requires ongoing effort and expenditures by the Green Mountain Club. This award assists the club as we approach the start of our second century of stewardship.”
Along with Nuquist, the campaign is co-chaired by Joe Frank of South Burlington. Both Frank and Nuquist are past Presidents of the Green Mountain Club. Bob Northrop of Underhill, a seven-time Long Trail end-to-ender, is Honorary Campaign Chair.
Support for the Second Century Campaign comes from hundreds of individual donors, with corporate leadership from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Foundation, Casella Waste Systems, Carris Reels Foundation, Peregrine Outfitters, Laticrete International, Vermont Country Store, and Sugarbush Resort. Rose notes: “The Long Trail is a great example of public/private partnership.”
To contribute or to learn more about the Second Century Campaign contact Green Mountain Club Development Officer, Shawn Keeley at 802-244-7037 x33. For general or membership information about GMC, refer to www.greenmountainclub.org.
Background on the Second Century Campaign:
In January 2003, the Green Mountain Club’s historic south barn that housed its Marvin B. Gameroff Hiker Center at its headquarters in Waterbury Center, Vermont, was lost in a fire. Green Mountain Club leaders opted to defer rebuilding when it became clear that what was needed was not just a building, but a comprehensive campaign designed to strengthen the Green Mountain Club’s long-term capacity to protect and maintain the Long Trail in advance of its upcoming 100th anniversary.
The Green Mountain Club set a minimum goal of $5.25 million for the Second Century Campaign, which includes:
• Completion of permanent protection of land in the Long Trail corridor, including funding the stewardship of the Green Mountain Club’s land and easements.
• Ensuring ongoing maintenance of trails and shelters.
• Addressing critical headquarters infrastructure needs by reconstructing an environmentally advanced, energy efficient gathering and education facility in Waterbury Center.
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