Are you a nature-enthusiast looking for a way to participate in local conservation efforts?
Audubon Vermont’s Adopt-A-Trail Program is an opportunity for community members to enjoy time outdoors, volunteer with us and get involved in local conservation action. The Green Mountain Audubon Center’s 250+ acre nature preserve has served as a refuge for humans and natural communities alike for over 50 years. We need your help to keep our trails safe and beautiful for all to enjoy.
Adopters will commit to three seasons (spring, summer, and fall) of conducting Trail Inspections and Trail Work Days on their selected trail (see inspection vs. work day below). Adopters will assist Audubon staff in managing and maintaining the Green Mountain Audubon Center's trail system. Maintenance activities include, but are not limited to: pruning overgrown brush along trails, clearing trails of debris (i.e. sticks, trash, rocks), restocking and/or updating kiosk materials, weed whacking, mowing, clearing debris from bridges, stairways and overlooks, and reporting trail hazards, vandalism or safety issues. Some of these activities are restricted to adults only (18+). Maintenance tasks involving carpentry and power tools will be aproved on a case by case basis depending on Trail Adopter experience.
Who can adopt?
Anyone over the age of 18 may become may become a Trail Adopter.
- Scout troops, school classes or clubs, youth groups, church groups, etc.
- Private and non-profit
- Individuals or pairs
- You may adopt alone or have the option of co-adopting with one other person
If a Trail Adopter group includes invidiuals under 18 they must be accompanied by an adult during any Trail Inspection or Trail Work days.
The following maintenance tasks are restricted to adopters 16 years or older: mowing, weed whacking, sawing and use of lopers.
Not sure if a task is safe for a young person? Send us an email!
How to Adopt
1). Choose a trail from our Trail Information and Availability page. Please pay special attention to the trail difficulty rating and expected maintenance tasks to make sure the trail is a good fit for you. Note: Also check the availability column before requesting a trail. Only one individual or group may adopt a trail at a time.
NOTE: Available- Daily monitoring of CoCoRaHS Precipitation Gauge. All other trails adopted.
2). Read the Adopt-A-Trail Handbook. This handbook outlines adopter responsibilities, trail maintenance schedules, trail reporting and safety protocols.
3). Once you have selected a trail and understand what is expected of Trail Adopters, it's time to sign up! Rain gauge monitoring is open for volunteers as well. Email our Community Science AmeriCorps Member, David Hewitt, to get involved.
4). Fill out Adopter Agreement. Every person in your group must submit this form.
5). Attend a Trail Maintenance Orientation lead by Audubon staff before your first trail visit. (We will also be hosting an Invasive Species Maintenance Orientation that will be mandatory for anyone interested in flagging and removal).
6). Perform a Trail Inspection once a month and a Trail Work Day at least four times a year. A Trail Inspection is a simple walk-through of your trail to note any hazards or concerns Audubon staff should know about. A Trail Work Day is a hands-on day at your trail where you will complete maintenance tasks. After every work day, Adopters must complete a Trail Report form to let staff know what maintenance has been done and other issues of concern. Trail Inspections do not require a Trail Report unless you encounter a problem that needs to be looked at (flooding, vandalism, erosion, damaged signange, steps, benches etc.)
Please make sure you submit your Trail Report either on paper or online the same day as your Inspection or Work Day.
Questions? E-mail David, email@example.com
Vermont Invasive Species - from the Vermont Agency for Natural Resources
Vermont Invasives - extensive visual guide