NNECAPA Project of the Year Award 2023

Two people holding an award

The Kingdom Trails Network Capacity Study has taken home another award: the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association (NNECAPA) 2023 Project of the Year! This is the third time this project has been recognized for its important contribution to community and recreation planning in the Northeast.

Kingdom Trails is a premiere mountain biking destination near Burke, Vermont that attracts over a hundred thousand visitors annually and generates millions of dollars in economic spending in adjacent communities. This popularity has brought distinct challenges, and these same communities are now encountering traffic, overburdened resources, and conflicts with private landowners.

Kingdom Trails Association hired SE Group, in collaboration with Stantec, to address these capacity issues and enhance the network’s positive impact on host communities.

Robust public engagement was pivotal to the success of this project. There were 15 focus group meetings, 950 responses to the visioning survey, over 300 post-ride surveys, and more than 200 people at the open house. The top-rated project goal was identified as, “relieving the pressure and stress currently being placed on landowners, communities, and roads by planning for managed growth consistent with and respecting the quality of life in the communities.”

Kingdom Trails Association (KTA) Executive Director, Abby Long, says “We’ve gotten to a great place, seen results from growth, and seen we need to make some adjustments, and this process is the start of that. To get us on the path towards balance.”

For more details on the study, please visit the project’s Storymap.

Pictured: Gabby Voeller, Senior Community Planner (left)