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first_imgTown of Granby, VT, Granby, Vermont $15,000 to maintain trails and improve signage at the Cow Mountain Pond Municipal Forest Area.“Without the funds from this grant, the Town of Granby would not be able to maintain our trail system to acceptable hiking safety standards,” said Bruce Berryman, a volunteer in Granby working on the project. “Visitors and residents will now have a more enjoyable experience as they walk through the 1,800 acres of pristine forest environment, including a patch of 200 acres of old growth forest, surrounding Cow Mountain Pond.” Western Foothills Land Trust, Norway, Maine: $21,000 to connect the recreational and educational assets of Roberts Farm Preserve to downtown Norway.“The funding will help build a Nordic ski trail linking the trail system at Roberts Farm Preserve to downtown Norway, creating a skiable village,” said Western Foothills Land Trust Executive Director Lee Dassler.  “In the winter of 2018-2019 more than 3,000 skiers and snowshoers enjoyed the 20k trail system. Those visitors frequent our Main Street restaurants, shops, and services while in town, and this trail will connect them directly to the downtown,” she said.Source: CONCORD, NH:  The Northern Forest Center 6.22.2020 Vermont Business Magazine The Northern Forest Center today announced 10 towns and organizations that will receive $302,000 collectively to improve outdoor recreation opportunities in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Seven of the grants go to organizations in the Northeast Kingdom.The grants are provided by the Northern Forest Destination Development Initiative, which is managed by the Northern Forest Center in partnership with the Northeastern Vermont Development Association and NEK (Northeast Kingdom) Collaborative of Vermont. Funding comes from the Northern Border Regional Commission.The Destination Development Initiative helps communities develop recreational assets that attract visitors and drive visitor spending, while also improving quality of life for local residents. “Many of the projects, for example, will connect existing recreation areas to downtown commercial areas through new trails and recreational amenities that residents and visitors will both be able to enjoy,” said Joe Short, vice president of the Northern Forest Center. “We tailored this grant program to invest in economic development and to serve people living in these communities,” said Short.According to the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation economy supports 206,000 jobs with a payroll of $6.3 billion across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The sector generates $22.4 billion in consumer spending and $1.5 billion in state and local tax revenues in the three states.”Over recent years, we’ve seen many Northeast Kingdom communities embrace outdoor recreation as a way to build and strengthen their local economies,” said David Snedeker, executive director of Northeastern Vermont Development Association. “With the support of Northern Border Regional Commission funding, NVDA is pleased that we are able to assist these local efforts.””We’ll be linking and upgrading the two most popular hiking trails in Greensboro— the Porter Brook Nature Trail ending near Caspian Lake, and The Nature Conservancy’s Barr Hill Natural Area,” said Clive Gray, chairman of the Greensboro Land Trust. “The two trails attract hundreds of local and out-of-town visitors in spring, summer and fall. We hope that improved structures, signage and safety features on both trails will enable us to attract many more visitors to our town.”Other projects selected for funding include trails, wayfinding signage, maps and itineraries to connect paddlers with underused waterways, and improvements to parks and recreation buildings.  The projects will serve diverse recreation groups, from paddlers to mountain bikers to people requiring wheelchair-accessible paths.The initiative prioritizes projects that are in sync with community-developed plans and priorities. In Rangeley, Maine, a wayfinding project emerged as a priority from a months-long community destination planning process(link is external).“Outdoor recreation is a critical component of economic development in the Northern Forest,” said Rich Grogan, executive director of the Northern Border Regional Commission. “We’re excited that these investments will further the development of this sector and build capacity in our region.”The total $302,000 in federal grants awarded will be matched by $608,000 in local matching funds, bringing the total investment in recreational development through this initiative to $910,000. In the NEK, the $214,800 grant investment is matched by more than $400,000, bringing total NEK project investments to $634,072.Another round of funding will be available in 2021 to public and non-profit entities in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties in Vermont; Coos County, New Hampshire; and Oxford and Franklin counties in Maine. New funding opportunities will be announced in the biweekly Northern Forest News Digest. Subscriptions are available free by signing up at https://northernforest.org/newsletter-signup.(link is external) “Outdoor recreation trail networks contribute significantly to our region’s quality of life and economic well-being,” said Katherine Sims of the NEK Collaborative. “We’re excited about this opportunity to invest in trail infrastructure projects in the region and support the future growth of this important sector.”The full list of grant recipients includes:VermontCraftsbury Community Care Center, Craftsbury, Vermont: $30,000 to build accessible paths open to the public and connected to the town trail system.“Our new ADA handicap accessible trail will allow for all residents at The Care Center to participate in healthy activities with increased independence and safety while having greater access to nature throughout the trail system,” said Norm Hanson, board member with the Care Center. “The Town of Craftsbury Trails Initiative aims to have trails in each village to enhance quality of life for all, and this ADA accessible trail is strongly supported by the town as a special feature that will eventually connect with town trails. This grant will allow this long-awaited project to become a reality and in turn enhance the lives of many individuals,” he said. Greensboro Land Trust, Greensboro, Vermont: $12,000 to repair bridges and add and improve signage at Barr Hill.”We’ll be linking and upgrading the two most popular hiking trails in Greensboro — the Porter Brook Nature Trail ending near Caspian Lake, and The Nature Conservancy’s Barr Hill Natural Area,” said Clive Gray, chairman of the Greensboro Land Trust. “Barr Hill, acquired by The Vermont Nature Conservancy in 1971, is its oldest preserve. The Porter Brook Nature Trail was conserved by the Greensboro Land Trust in 2018. The two trails attract hundreds of local and out-of-town visitors in spring, summer and fall. We hope that improved structures, signage and safety features on both trails will enable us to attract many more visitors to our town.” Town of Brighton, Brighton, Vermont. $38,200 for improvements to Island Pond’s Lakeside Park, including trailhead improvements and a dock.“The proposed dock on Island Pond will bring the lake closer visually to the downtown and provide a place for residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of the lake,” said Town Manager Joel Cope.  “It will also allow boaters to tie up and enjoy the downtown for eating, shopping, walking or other recreational activities in the town Lakeside Park.” Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, Rangeley, Maine: $36,000 to implement a strategic wayfinding project that enhances visitors’ experience, establishes a consistent brand, and promotes healthier lifestyles.“This funding ensures that we can implement a wayfinding system for the Rangeley Region,” said David Miller, executive director of the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust. “We are lucky to live in one of the best parts of Maine and this grant will help us all — community members and visitors — get outside and get active and healthy. Given the challenges facing our nation, there has never been a better time than now to increase access to the great outdoors for all of us. With support from the Center we are on our way!” he said. Vermont Land Trust, Newport, Vermont: $50,000 to build a boardwalk that connects Newport’s beach area to Bluffside Farm, creating a waterfront recreation corridor.“Newport City has embraced ‘looking to the lake’ as a way to build economic opportunity that supports residents, and attracts new businesses and visitors,” said Tracy Zschau, vice president for conservation at the Vermont Land Trust. “This project is one of several that are building off each other and leveraging state, federal and private dollars to change Newport’s relationship to Lake Memphremagog and to the outdoor recreation economy. Vermont Land Trust is thrilled to be a partner during this exciting time in the region, and we’re so grateful for the timely support of the Northern Forest Outdoor Recreation grant program,” she said. Regional (Including Vermont)Northern Forest Canoe Trail, regional: $19,600 to map and promote underutilized waterways of the Northern Forest. “The Northern Forest Canoe Trail is excited to use funds from the Northern Forest Destination Development Initiative to expand our catalogue of resources for paddlers,” said Karrie Thomas, executive director of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. “This Summer we will create maps, videos and trip descriptions of select day- and weekend- trips in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Coos County New Hampshire and Maine’s High Peaks. This project aligns with our mission to help paddlers discover the region and fall in love with our waterways, landscapes and communities,” she said. Maine:Mahoosuc Pathways, Bethel, Maine: $30,000 to develop a “Main Street to the Mountains” recreational wayfinding system.“The Main St. to the Mountains project will help us connect through trails and wayfinding the places where people live and work with where they play,” said Gabe Perkins, executive director of Mahoosuc Pathways. “It grows out of our recent Community Destination Academy experience and years of community effort. This grant elevates the project from an idea to a reality; without it we wouldn’t be moving forward.” NorthWoods Stewardship Center, E. Charleston, Vermont: $50,000 to replace the main lodge roof.“This grant is providing critical matching funds to replace the roof on the NorthWoods Lodge,” said Maria Young, executive director of the NorthWoods Stewardship Center. “The lodge is the hub of outdoor recreation and conservation programs on our 1,500-acre campus and the gateway to a network of multi-season trails that stretch through the Kingdom Heritage Lands, one of the largest and wildest contiguous forests in Vermont. The new roof will end moisture damage to the building and provide an opportunity to install high-efficiency insulation and waterproofing. We expect to reduce heating costs and better use our large hosting space through the winter and shoulder months,” she said.last_img read more

first_img Japan women’s volleyball captain Saori Kimura speaks to the media on Monday at Tokyo’s National Training Center. | KAZ NAGATSUKA Japan national team volleyball player Erika Araki talks to reporters on Monday in Tokyo. | KAZ NAGATSUKA KEYWORDS But Team Japan will not alter its goal that it set for the Summer Olympics in Brazil.“We finished seventh at the world championship in 2014 (in Italy), we were fifth in last year’s World Cup (in Japan),” Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe said during Monday’s media availability at the National Training Center in Tokyo. “We haven’t finished in the top four (at the global tournaments after the team’s silver-medal showing at the 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix) and that’s one of the things that are different from the last time (the London Olympics).”Japan earned the bronze medal at the 2010 world championship and was fourth in the 2011 World Cup before it captured the bronze medal at the 2012 London Games, which was its first Olympic medal since the 1984 Los Angeles Games (bronze).“So the volleyball officials around the world are probably thinking that Japan won’t reach a medal (in Rio),” Manabe said. “And I understand they think that way.”But Manabe, who’s been at the helm since 2009, looks to stun the world in Rio by outmaneuvering the opponents.The 52-year-old hinted that his Japan team might try to apply some new tactics for the Summer Games.Japan’s men’s and women’s national teams have captured a combined three Olympic gold medals. Manabe, a former setter for the men’s national team, said that those teams courageously introduced unprecedented playing styles that helped them finish on top.“Japanese are shorter in height,” said Manabe, who’s brought some new strategies to his team, such as “Hybrid 6,” in which each player flexibly plays without a set position, while utilizing one or zero middle blockers, with the purpose of scoring more points.“So you’ve got to do something to play on par against the rest of the world. You’ve got to turn your disadvantages into advantages. Otherwise, you can’t win in Rio.”Veterans Saori Kimura, Erika Araki, Mai Yamaguchi and Saori Sakoda will make their second consecutive Olympic appearances in Rio. Manabe expects them to provide leadership on the court, and he seems to rely on Kimura, the team’s captain, in particular. He said that ever since the 29-year-old wing spiker took the role, she’s led the team surprisingly well with her team-first attitude.“Before London, she had been focusing on herself,” Manabe said. “But now the first thing that comes out of her mouth is the team, the second thing is also the team, and the third thing is about our younger players.”Kimura said that she’s tried to create an atmosphere in which every player can fully maximize her ability.“Hopefully, we will have that both in practices and games,” said Kimura, who hurt her right pinkie during May’s Olympic qualifier and hasn’t fully recovered from the injury.Araki, who served as Japan’s team captain during the London Olympics, said that she and Kimura have talked about the team, like where the team is at the moment and how it should play in games, on a daily basis.“We’ve gone through so many situations, but I’d like to help her as much as I can,” said Araki, who’ll be making her third straight Olympics along with Kimura. “We’ve been on this team for a long time, trying to deliver victories. Hopefully, we’ll develop this team further.”Winning a medal — a better-colored one — in Rio will be a daunting task, and Kimura knows “it’s easier to say than actually do it.”But she said she wants to “achieve it with these members.”Japan is in Pool A in the 12-team Olympic competition. The top four teams in the preliminary round will advance to the knockout stage. But Manabe and his squad consider their first match against Asian foe South Korea in the tournament’s opener on Aug. 6 could significant weight in determining how far it will go.“With the knockout stage in sight, this is a game we must win,” Araki said of the South Korea contest. “We are going to have to concentrate every single set and get the win.”Japan fell to South Korea 3-1 in May’s Olympic qualifier in Tokyo. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES RELATED PHOTOS The Japan women’s national volleyball team earned the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. But it looks to win a better-colored medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games next month.The feat won’t be achieved easily and the players and team staff know that. Saori Kimura, Masayoshi Manabe, 2016 Rio Olympics, 2012 London Olympics, Erika Araki, Mai Yamaguchi, Saori Sakoda IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

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