Board Member

Organization:
Vermont Huts Association
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Organization Description
Vermont Huts Association (VHA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. VHA’s mission is to foster a deeper appreciation of our natural environment and strengthen Vermont’s communities by providing enriching and immersive outdoor experiences for all. Along with our partners, our vision to build the largest hut-supported trail system in the United States: a network of 485 miles of new and existing trail that connects 23 Vermont mountain biking chapters across public and private lands, linking 27 communities across the state while employing and training 330 young adults as they build 30 new huts and five new downtown hostels. This legacy project addresses multiple needs, and has the potential to conserve up to 214,000 acres of unprotected land. The Vermont Huts board is currently made up of 7 Vermonters of varying backgrounds and professions. We are looking to expand to a board of 10 people, with a direct focus on inviting new voices to the table who have an interest in guiding the growth of recreation in Vermont.
Organization's Approach to Diversity, Equity, Belonging, & Inclusion

As an organization, one of our main values is inclusivity and equity; it is through this lens we work to grow Vermont's outdoor recreation industry.

In partnership with Vermont Adaptive, we are constructing as much of the Velomont Trail, including trail tread and bridge deck widths, to meet standards suitable for adaptive riders. We contract builders familiar with adaptive riding standards while also having actual athletes consult plans and projects as well as test new trail to provide feedback.

All huts and hostels along the trail will be ADA compliant, as existing Chittenden Book and Grout Pond Huts are already.

In addition to local and tourism-based recreation, we also partner with other nonprofits, after school programs, and public schools to bring underserved students onto the trails and into the backcountry at no cost. The FOREST Program (Fostering Outdoor Recreation, Sustainability, Education, and Teamwork) currently serves students and families in Addison and Caledonia counties, with plans to double or triple offerings each year as new huts and trails are constructed. Our future vision includes partnerships with myriad demographic and age ranges in order to provide access to as many Vermonters as possible, purposefully including those who have historically been excluded or underserved. We are working to hire a diverse set of backcountry guides and educators to represent varying demographics in order to help participants feel safe and to best tailor the curriculum appropriately.

As of yet, our staff and board has representation from a multitude of genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and financial backgrounds. However, it is vital to us that we actively invite new members of varying identities to join us if they have a passion and interest in outdoor recreation. We know that there are voices missing in our group, and while we don't know the perfect way to ensure we do better, we are working to improve each step of the way. We have done away with antiquated annual financial contribution requirements from board members, and aim to pay board members a stipend beginning in 2024.

Board Terms and Term Limits
Board terms last three years; board members may serve up to six consecutive terms.
Frequency & Duration of Board Meetings
Quarterly for two hours at a time. They are generally virtual meetings, with one in person meeting per year. A hybrid option is available for in person meetings.
Stipends for Board Membership
Not currently; this is a future goal for Vermont Huts. This year we will form a Governance Committee to help guide these decisions and policies.
If Interested, Send Letter of Interest to the Following Point of Contact:
Dani Kehlmann
Point of Contact Email
dani@vermonthuts.org