Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Statement of Our Values
We are trail builders and maintainers. Our vision is trails that are inviting to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
We support community trails convenient to where people live, work, go to school and enjoy the outdoors. Ultimately our goal is to join local trails together as a useful network with the Cross Vermont Trail a connection among them; across Vermont from Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River through the Winooski and Wells River valleys, with access for four season non motorized use.
We commit to this goal because we believe it has immense, multi-layered value for the people who use the trail, the property owners and businesses nearby, the communities through which it travels, and Vermont broadly; and that these values should accrue to people regardless of their age, ability, gender, ethnicity, race, socio-economic status or other distinguishing characteristics.
Therefore the values of diversity, equity and inclusion are essential to our work. We understand these values to mean:
- Diversity is the full range of people and communities who would visit our trails if barrier free and welcoming.
- Equity is barrier free places that allow for different ways of use depending on each person's needs and circumstances so all can enjoy the same opportunity for the benefits of our trails.
- Inclusion ensures people feel a sense of belonging, that they are welcome.
We will strive for barrier free and welcoming access for all people to our trails by:
- Seeking and listening to the full array of communities and user groups who would potentially access our trails and learning from them the barriers they find so we can understand what is needed to remove those barriers.
- Building and maintaining trails by design principles that accommodate people with all sorts of previous familiarity or practice and levels of physical strength. We strive to follow standards for slope, width, surface and related parameters to make trails that are safe and intuitive to use. Our mission is non-motorized access to trails for walking, biking, cross country skiing and the like, including people doing these activities with mobility assistive devices.
- Communicating clearly and positively. Signs, maps and trail guides that are functional to the full range of how trail users perceive information. Physical spaces such as trailheads whose presentation has a feeling of a being welcoming and open to the public. Providing objective information that empowers people to assess trails for themselves based on their own requirements and interests.
- Locating trails throughout our communities with direct connections to neighborhoods and destinations of all economic levels.
- Hiring staff and recruiting volunteers, that operate our organization, in a way which also incorporates the values of diversity, equity and inclusion following standard best practices.