Bennington Area Trails System and Catamount BMX

  • Knowledge  Bites

This is the first of the four-part 2021 Project Development Series. Hear from project leads from the Southern Vermont region on how they’ve stewarded their projects through each step, created community buy-in, dealt with failure, and learned to pivot and re-envision mission. 

There are three projects included in this project stewardship session, each with a different focus, that spans over the week of March 29th, 2021. Conversations will take place on three different occasions so that there is enough time to dig deep and ask questions about each project. In each session, you’ll hear from the project lead, a community champion, and a funder of the project.

The facilitator, Maggie Foley of Guilford, recently helped Winston Prouty create a strategic plan for their 108-acre campus. 

Project 3: Bennington Area Trails System and Catamount BMX – April 2, 12-2p

Many communities dream of having their own trail system. Join us to learn how BATS grew into the successful volunteer-run group it is today! No trials? No problem! BATS was formed in the summer of 2015 by a dedicated group of mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, and overall outdoor enthusiasts who recognized the amazing yet largely untapped potential that the southwestern Vermont landscape presents to trail enthusiasts. In the fall of 2015, BATS signed its first Land Access Agreements with Southern Vermont College (SVC) and a neighboring private landowner, and constructed its first trail, Hops & Vines. 

Andre-Ann, Catamount BMX track operator, is the epitome of “No one is coming to save you” volunteer take over.  Catamount BMX in Bennington holds the title as the ONLY BMX course in Vermont. This title was threatened in 2017 when the previous track operator could no longer continue their work, and no one was willing to take over. The track sat unused for two years, gathering dust and eventually collapsing in on itself. Andre-Anne, who had raced there since she was 8 years old, couldn’t bear to see this happen. So she took it into her own hands, even though previously she never imagined being a track operator, and bulldozed the old course and started from scratch. Join us to learn how Andre-Ann and her volunteers went zero to sixty in a few short months!

Be sure to register to receive the link to log on!