February 2019 Newsletter                                                   View this email in your browser
Introducing Natural Connections! 
Bringing innovative education and museum-quality exhibits to
Vermont's state parks

Natural Connections is a first in the nation, multi-year project to redesign six nature centers in state parks across Vermont. We are working alongside Vermont State Parks and ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain to create one of a kind, museum-quality exhibits and exciting hands-on learning opportunities for children and adults alike in these nature centers.

The nearly 40 year-old Groton Nature Center is the first to be redesigned and its displays will be completely modernized and reimagined. Its location in the 27,000-acre Groton State Forest is home to seven state parks with over 70,000 visitors each year. The new and improved center will be accessible to these thousands of park visitors and the general public with no entry fee and is scheduled to open in summer 2020!

The redesigned nature center is sure to impress with engaging and interactive exhibits that tell the park's story through artifacts, dioramas, and maps, and a discovery center for scientific observation, arts and crafts, and research. Vermont State Parks' informed and skilled staff will offer programming, fostering connections to nature and inspiring stewardship of our parks and the environment.

Stay tuned for more updates on this project! 

                  The existing Groton Nature Center, built in 1981, will be completely revitalized through the Natural Connections project. 

We are so excited about this project and thankful for the numerous individuals and foundations who have generously showed their support along the way! 

Interested in supporting this project?
Make a Gift to Natural Connections
Natural Connections would not be possible without the ongoing support of our many donors. Thank you to the following individuals and foundations for their generosity.

Canaday Family Charitable Trust
Jan Blomstrann Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation
The WaterWheel Foundation 
Lintilhac Foundation
Elizabeth Steele
Winthrop H. Smith Family Foundation
Susan Z. Ritz/Larsen Fund
Many individual and anonymous donors
Vermont for Us is Like our Second Home
Story by Lisa Steen
When you live in Northern Massachusetts and your boyfriend of six years lives in Southeast Canada, and you're both avid campers, where better to meet than halfway between in Vermont to enjoy the vast state parks and camping grounds.  It’s a scenic three-hour ride for both of us to drive to Vermont, and we have been meeting here now for several years. We always enjoy both our week-long camping vacations and weekend getaways at Little River, Lake Elmore, and Grand Isle among others.

Vermont provides endless opportunities to reconnect with Nature. We appreciate the spacious and well-maintained campgrounds. Everywhere we camp, the park staff is ultra-helpful, friendly, and very knowledgeable about the area. John and I are always eager to find new wooded hiking trails, bike paths, and glassy lakes to paddle our kayaks. We are amazed constantly by the spectacular lakeside and hilltop views. Whether camping (tent or camper), hiking in Stowe, antique shopping, or even just perusing the local flea & farmers markets, there is never a shortage of places for us to discover and enjoy. Vermont is definitely our favorite place to rendezvous. We’ve camped in Canada and in Massachusetts, but Vermont for us is like our 2nd home. 
John near the top of Mt. Elmore 
Lisa waking up to coffee, the best part of the day 

We love seeing photos and hearing stories from people who share our love for 
Vermont State Parks.
CLICK HERE to share your story!

A Message from Our Friends at Vermont State Parks 

Come Work with Us! 

Work in the beautiful Vermont outdoors with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Happy customers continuously tell us that our staff are the best around. Our staff tell us that working for the parks is some of the most rewarding and meaningful work they’ve ever done. If you have an excellent work ethic, customer service and/or management experience, and great attitude, we’d love for you to apply.

We are currently recruiting park managers, park interpreters, attendants, deckhands for our Burton Island Ferry Boat and more. Part-time and full-time positions are available statewide. 

Learn more and apply online at:

2019 Business Partnership Program - Coming Soon! 

We'll be launching the 2019 Business Partnership Program this Spring, but it's never too early to sign up! The program provides businesses the opportunity to directly support our parks, and gives us a chance to say thanks by providing free park passes to business employees! 
 Interested in signing up or learning more? 
Contact us at 802.917.1719 or
Make a Gift to Vermont Parks Forever

Vermont Parks Forever was founded in 2013 to enhance and protect Vermont State Parks through charitable and private support. We collaborate with Vermont residents, parks visitors, and state government to improve our parks for the benefits of residents and visitors alike. 

Copyright © 2019 Vermont Parks Forever, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Vermont Parks Forever
PO Box 815
Montpelier, VT 05601

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