Sunday, October 14, 2012

Long Trail's Winooski Footbridge Almost A Reality

I'll confess I hadn't paid much attention since the Green Mountain Club announced it's plans last spring to build the dream: a Long Trail Footbridge over the Winooski River.  For a good overview check out the GMC's spring 2012 Winooski Bridge Project video.  What with the local devastation wrought last fall by Tropical Storm Irene...and the large sum of money it would take I was expecting an uphill trek that would take several years to raise the million dollars it was going to take. 

I'm happy to report I was wrong.  I spent an evening last week making fundraising calls for the Club's fall operating budget and I learned $1.2M has been raised already and all that stands in the way of breaking ground is finalizing a land purchase for the south end of the bridge and some permiting.  Thanks to a generous $250,000 donation from former Long Trail caretaker Don Zwick, the GMC is only $100,000 away from it's goal of $1.3M for the whole project.  Miles of road hiking will be replaced by new trails through amazing hardwoods stands, including newly conserved lands. 

Although the groundbreaking didn't take place this fall, hopefully by this time next year Long Trail thru-hikers will be celebrating the new bridge in Bolton!  You can contribute to the Long Trail here, but a gift of $250 will put your name on this project.  Contact Maisie Howard, Director of Development @ 802-241-8322 or for more info

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