December Newsletter 2018                                                      View this email in your browser
Another Record Breaking Year in the Parks!
Vermont State Parks saw over one million visits this year! This record breaking number is a testament to how much our 55 state parks are valued. It is also a reminder of why it's so important to care for and preserve them. The access the parks offer to Vermont's diverse landscapes, the emotional and health benefits they provide, and stewardship they inspire in Vermonters and visitors alike, are invaluable.

As we reflect on the year, we are so grateful for the generosity of people like you that made it possible to get more people out into Vermont's state parks, provide park passes to foster families, and support park improvements. 

In 2019, we will continue our focus on increasing access to the parks, especially for underserved communities, and work to bring new and exciting educational experiences to some of the state's most visited and well-loved parks. We look forward to having you by our side in the years and millions more visits to come. 
Ways to Support Our Work
39 down, 16 to go! 
In 2013, inspired by a story of a mom trying to get outside every weekend, Brian and Lori Miller, along with their two children, Leah and Collin, set out on their quest to visit all 55 state parks. For the Millers, the geographic and financial accessibility of Vermont State Parks make the parks the perfect fit to set aside family time outdoors, unplug, and have fun. Here is an update from their latest adventures this summer. 

As I write this during the snowiest November on record, I'm trying to relive the warm, green memories we have from this summer as our quest for all the Vermont state parks continued with visits to Quechee, Burton Island, Camel’s Hump, and Woodford.

It’s hard to imagine right now with all this white on the ground, but in August, with all of our camping gear in tow behind our bikes and on our backs, we boarded the island ferry to head to Burton Island for a family camping trip. This was quite the opposite of the touristy Quechee experience we started the summer with! The weekend was filled with lots of fishing, wiffle ball games, swimming, and a beautiful canoe ride around the island with a gorgeous sunset. It became clear to us why people visit Burton Island again and again, making reservations long in advance. Read more HERE 

We love seeing photos and hearing stories from
people who share our love for Vermont State Parks. 
Share Your Story

Part 2: Education in the Parks Series

In a recent interview, Vermont State Parks Conservation Education Coordinator, Rebecca Roy, articulated the importance of conservation education and the role our state parks and their staff play in inspiring stewardship of natural places.  

What types of educational programs does Vermont State Parks offer? 
We have 13-17 seasonal park interpreters annually leading educational and inspirational activities in state parks across Vermont from Woodford SP to Lake Carmi SP. They lead programs such as loon hikes, sunset paddling adventures, campfire programs, nature walks, fishing, and survival skills. We have a robust Junior Ranger program for children of all ages, and developed self-guided nature trails with informational booklets, educational panels along trails all telling the stories of these special places. We have a day camp at our newest state park, Muckross State Park in Springfield. This place-based experiential education camp is for students grades 1-8 from Springfield and is led by a diverse NCCC crew under the guidance of Park Manager Margie Reurink. In the fall we offer field trip opportunities for teachers and students who want to dig deeper into natural history, outdoor education, and service learning.

"Interpreters tell the stories of the natural and cultural histories of our special places. They reveal the meanings of the resources. They inspire park visitors to learn more, to care more, and to act more in stewardship."

What is a park interpreter? 
Credit for using the word interpretation to describe the work of outdoor educators, tour guides, and naturalists goes to John Muir who penned in his Yosemite notebook: “I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can." (John Muir, 1896) Interpreters tell the stories of the natural and cultural histories of our special places. They reveal the meanings of the resources. They inspire park visitors to learn more, to care more, and to act more in stewardship. Ultimately we want to inspire people to care about the places we work to protect, we want them to head home and act in stewardship in their every day lives. We want them to continue to explore the outdoors, and lead healthier and happier lives because of us. Beck, Cable, and Knudson in Interpreting Cultural ad Natural Heritage described interpreters: “Interpreters lead, enable, and encourage. Interpreters educate. Interpreters entertain. Interpreters inform. But most of all, interpreters enrich recreational experiences.” (Beck, Cable, Knudson, 2018) I use the National Association for Interpretation’s Certified Interpretive Guide training for our Vermont State Park interpreters.

To learn more about VSP's educational programming visit their website, follow them on Facebook, or head out into the state park closest to you.

Business Partnerships - A Win-Win!
Over 20 businesses joined VPF's Business Partnership Program this year. This partnership provides businesses the opportunity to support our parks and gives us a chance to say thanks by providing free park passes to business employees!

Check out the profiles of two of our 2018 Park Benefactors, Burton and King Arthur Flour, below and be on the lookout for more info on the program in the new year! 

Burton Snowboards, founded by Jake Burton in 1977 and headquartered in Burlington, designs and manufacturers industry-leading products for snowboarding and the snowboard lifestyle. The privately held company has played a pivotal role in growing snowboarding from a backyard hobby to a world-class sport by creating groundbreaking products, supporting a team of top snowboarders and pushing resorts to allow snowboarding. “As a Vermont-based company that values outdoor recreation, we are happy to be a part of Vermont Parks Forever’s Business Partnership Program,” said CEO Donna Carpenter. “It gives us a chance to support the state parks while also giving our employees the opportunity to get out and enjoy the parks.” For more information on Burton, head to and follow our line at, and @burtonsnowboards on Instagram.

King Arthur Flour is a 100% employee-owned company headquartered in Norwich, Vermont. Founded in 1790, King Arthur Flour has a centuries-old heritage of commitment to spreading the joy of baking through education, superior products, and baking resources. King Arthur’s mission is to inspire and share, to teach, and to use baking to build strong communities and preserve the vitality of our planet. They are proud to support the State of Vermont and Vermont Parks Forever through the Business Partnership Program. As a founding B (Beneficial) Corporation, King Arthur Flour measures progress with a triple bottom line — people, planet, and profit. The company's high-quality flours, mixes and ingredients are available in supermarkets nationwide and online, and they run a baking school with two campuses in Norwich, Vermont and Washington State. More than 3,500 tested and trusted baking tools, ingredients, and recipes are available online at
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 © 2018 Vermont Parks Forever, All rights reserved.

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

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