Tag - community resources

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Cool Down in These Lamoille County Public Swimming Holes
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A New Community Resource: The Boardwalk at Barnes Camp in Stowe
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When Is 13 Not a Lucky Number?
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Lamoille Valley Rail Trail
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Biking For Everyone

Cool Down in These Lamoille County Public Swimming Holes

By: Lea Kilvádyová

When summer temperatures spent days hovering close to 90 degrees, I found it refreshing to cool down in Vermont’s bodies of water. Brooks, rivers, ponds and lakes, Lamoille County has got it all!

Journey's End_Johnson VT Swimming

In Johnson, where I live, the community has been working diligently to preserve public access to water so we all can enjoy this precious resource in perpetuity. “Journey’s End” is a spectacular swimming hole and waterfall carved into the bedrock of Foote Brook. It takes a short 10-minute walk to reach Journey’s End from a public parking pull-off about 0.4 miles up Plot Road. The trail has been cleared, is well marked, and the walk is easy thanks to Johnson Conservation Commission building wooden bridges and steps along the way.

Journey's End_Johnson VT Swimming

My other recommendation is for Beard Recreation Park, located on School Street just below the Powerhouse Covered Bridge. For generations, local residents and visitors have enjoyed a beautiful, Olympic-sized swimming hole and a beach along the Gihon River. The Town purchased and conserved the land in 2015. Thanks to the Town’s effort, this land will now forever be accessible to the public as the “Beard Recreation Park”. With approximately 600 feet of river frontage, this parcel possesses beautiful shoreline, waterfalls, and swimming spots along the Gihon River. The park also features a picnic table, a grill, and a stone stairway installed by Johnson Conservation Commission.

For more information on places to enjoy in Johnson all year long, visit www.johnsonconnect.net.

A New Community Resource: The Boardwalk at Barnes Camp in Stowe

By: Lea Kilvádyová

Ribbon cutting and boardwalk opening ceremony held on Oct 27, 2017.

 

Last month, Governor Scott, Congressman Peter Welch, and members of the Smugglers’ Notch Partners celebrated the opening of the Boardwalk at Barnes Camp Visitors’ Center in Smugglers’ Notch at Stowe. The five-foot-wide Boardwalk is approximately an eighth of a mile long and is a universally accessible portion of the Long Trail. The Boardwalk is built on spiral piers over a wetland and offers stunning, and previously unavailable views of the Notch. The Boardwalk is situated near Barnes Camp –a historic building built in 1927 — which played a key role in the development of Vermont’s outdoor recreation economy before the advent of ski lodges and resorts.

Mike DeBonis, Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club noted, “Wheelchair users and through hikers alike can enjoy the unique wetland, interpretative panels and spectacular views on this fully accessible portion of the Long Trail.” DeBonis added that the relocation of the Long Trail portion that connects to the Boardwalk will be completed in the Spring and hikers will be able to park at the Barnes Camp Visitors Center to hike over the Notch.

Interpretative panels narrate the natural history of the area.

The Lamoille County Planning Commission served as project manager for the Boardwalk. Senator Sanders obtained a generous Federal Highway earmark that funded about eighty percent of the construction costs. The remaining funds were provided by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the Green Mountain Club, Spruce Peak Resort Association, Lamoille County Planning Commission and Lamoille Economic Development Corporation.

When Is 13 Not a Lucky Number?

By: Wendy Hubbard RN, BSN, Vermont Department of Health

Many of us have heard the saying “Lucky Number 13.” When is 13 not a lucky number? Thirteen is no longer a lucky number when it is associated with the increased rates of 13 cancers. These cancers have been associated with being overweight or obese. The “Cancer and Obesity” report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on October 3rd can be found on their website.

The CDC infographic discusses what communities are doing to encourage their neighbors to increase their physical activity and get healthy foods into their daily meal plan. I would like us to take a moment and look at the resources in the Lamoille Valley. There are many activities going on and simple, no cost ways we can encourage each other to have improved health.

Families, for example, can get out and walk or bike on the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.Find a walking buddy to encourage each other and get out there and enjoy the fall air.

Local schools encourage breakfast and offer healthy meal choices for breakfast and lunch. There are summer meal programs for children in many areas. The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program offers food benefits, nutrition education, recipes and breastfeeding supports to families that meet the eligibility requirements. You can call 888-7447 for more information on WIC services.

The 3-4-50 website has Vermont specific data along with tips and strategies to reduce obesity.

The 3 represents the 3 behaviors that are the leading causes of cancer:

  1. Tobacco use
  2. Poor diet
  3. Lack of physical exercise and obesity

These 3 behaviors contribute to 4 chronic diseases:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart disease & stroke
  3. Type 2 diabetes
  4. Lung disease

These behaviors and chronic diseases are the cause of more than 50% of deaths in Vermont.

Lamoille Valley Rail Trail

By: Lea Kilvádyová, Lamoille County Planning Commission

This year’s foliage marks the second season of a year-round use of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail between Morristown and Cambridge. And, what a ride it has been to be able to take advantage of this precious addition to living well in Lamoille!

For me, the Rail Trail has become a pleasurable way to commute on bike from my home in Johnson to my place of work in Morrisville. For an after work and after-school activity, my family has developed a fun routine riding our bikes from Johnson Village to an iconic bridge overlooking Lamoille River in Johnson. In addition to biking, the trail has become my red carpet for running; an activity I have been attempting to start and sustain for years. Now – thanks to the Rail Trail, I have successfully been putting in 5K twice a week! I encourage all to explore the Trail; it is peaceful, safe and very scenic. In addition, unlike most terrain in Lamoille County, it is uniquely flat which makes it accessible to all ages.

Lamoille County Towns have worked hard to make the use of the trail easy and fun. Through the dedication of local volunteers, and with help from grant funding agencies such as the Northern Borders Regional Commission, Cambridge, for example, built an award-winning trailhead facility that includes a railway-themed playground. Hyde Park designed a state-of-the-art wayfinding system to better connect the trail with the village center. Johnson’s trailhead kiosk, adjacent to the spectacularly back-dropped Old Mill Park, includes essential amenities such as a drinking fountain and a wheelchair accessible port-o-let.

My organization, Lamoille County Planning Commission, assisted the towns’ Rail Trail efforts by securing the funding, providing project management support, and creating maps and information brochures for the section of the trail between Cambridge and Morristown. The maps are available at all trailheads in Lamoille County and can also be downloaded here: https://www.lvrt.org/trail-maps. Copley Hospital is among generous sponsors that contributed to the printing of the brochures.

Last but not least, a big thank you belongs to the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers for overseeing the construction of the Rail Trail and spearheading a fundraising campaign to complete the full 93-miles of the trail between St. Johnsbury and Swanton.

Biking For Everyone

By: Caleb Magoon

mountain bike

Biking should be a fun, healthy activity that anyone can do, right? Well, it is…but there are limitations. Whether you like to mountain bike, road bike or just cruise around with the kids, riding can be intimidating. Finding safe and accessible terrain can be a challenge for the young, old and novices. Our paved roads are crowded and often quite hilly. Our mountain bike trails are second to none, though they are mostly intermediate or expert level with very few true beginner trails. Although our assets for biking around Lamoille County are great, we’ve historically had limited options for people who aren’t hard-core enthusiasts.

I am happy to say that this is changing. Clubs and organizations have recognized the need for terrain, trails and pathways more suitable for the young, old, novices, and first timers. One huge development will be the completion of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail. I don’t know of any other surface in the state that is equal in length, flat, and free of motorized traffic.

Such a project represents the democratization of biking. It will be a place where anyone can ride comfortably, easily, and safely. Whether you ride for fun, exercise, commuting, or all three, LVRT will open up a lot of terrain for use during all four seasons. It will also connect our communities in a new way, linking together many existing recreation assets.

Another new development is the new mountain bike trails being built on Cricket Hill in Hyde Park. Cricket Hill has been a fantastic free community resource for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking for over a decade. Now they’re poised to add mountain biking to the repertoire. Mello Velo is one of the newest mountain bike clubs to spring out of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association. For their first project, Mellow Velo wanted to focus on trails for novice riders. Cricket Hill was a great location already possessing parking, a trailhead and some double track trails. The group wrote a state recreation trails grant for $30,000 to make the project happen. These trails will be fun for anyone, but will be especially great for kids and adults new to the sport. Completion is expected this summer.

Creating recreation for “non-expert” riders can sometimes be challenging since novices don’t always speak out or advocate as strongly as sports enthusiasts. But as these biking assets have become available, I have realized the importance of providing biking to all. I’ve heard countless stories of kids finding their first groove on a mountain bike or older folks getting back into riding late in life because they have a safe place to do it. Providing resources to everyone is an important part of growing any sport. It’s good to see things moving in that direction for the health and benefit of Lamoille County residents.


Caleb Magoon is a Hyde Park native who grew up hiking, hunting, biking and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains. His passions for sports and recreation have fueled his career as the owner of Power Play Sports and Waterbury Sports. Caleb encourages outdoor activity and believes it is an essential element to a healthy lifestyle and the Vermont way of life. Caleb serves the Lamoille Valley by volunteering on numerous community boards such as the Lamoille County Planning Commission, The Morrisville Alliance for Commerce and Culture, Mellow Velo, and the state chapter of The Main Street Alliance. He lives, plays and works in Hyde Park with his wife Kerrie.