By Phyl Newbeck
Lenore Budd is passionate about trails. When she moved to South Burlington in 1989 she got involved with a group of women who wanted to develop a recreation path and ended up serving on that committee for 13 years. It was only natural that when she moved to Hinesburg eight years ago she would immediately become a member of the Hinesburg Trails Committee, a volunteer position she continues to this day. “It wasn’t even an official committee at that point,” she said “But they recruited me and I’ve been plugging away at it ever since.”
Budd’s academic background is in biology and natural resources. She has a strong interest in wildlife habitat which is what led her to work in Geographic Information Systems in the early days of that technology. When she moved to Vermont she took a job at ARD in Burlington which got her involved in local community projects. “It was wonderful and fun,” she said “But it didn’t get me outdoors and I wasn’t doing much in the wildlife field.”
Looking for something that would get her outside, Budd got involved with the Catamount Trail Association (CTA) which oversees the ski trail that traverses the state from north to south. Initially some portions of the trail followed snowmobile routes and Budd was hired as part of a grant to scout out ways to reroute those sections. When the CTA Trail Manager went on maternity leave, Budd was hired for that position. “I loved it,” she said “There was a lot of walking and skiing and snowshoeing and exploring on foot.” Also during that time, Budd helped write and edit two editions of the Catamount Trail Guidebook.
After her work at CTA, Budd moved to Shelburne Farms as Membership Coordinator for three years, also doing some guided walks for inn guests and getting involved with the trail network. Since then, she has held some part-time positions including work for the United Way and for Melvin Kaplan, a Julliard-trained musician who founded the Vermont Mozart Festival. Budd is no stranger to the world of classical music having grown up playing the flute and piano and singing in choruses. She is now learning the cello.
Budd’s volunteer efforts on behalf of outdoor recreation extend beyond the Hinesburg Trails Committee. She is part of the Vermont Advisory Board for the national Trust for Public Land and serves on the Hinesburg Land Trust. Other volunteer efforts have included the Vermont Trail and Greenways Council and a grant review committee for the Vermont Recreation Trails Program.
The tagline for the Hinesburg Trails Committee is Adventures Close to Home. “That’s what motivates me,” Budd said. “I think people need places close to home to get outdoors in the natural world. If people don’t experience the natural world they won’t care about it and they won’t value it and protect it.”
Budd said that although Hinesburg is still quite rural, it’s still important to make trail connections now and not wait until development occurs. “It’s harder to make trail connections once a community is built up,” she said. “We need to make sure those connections will exist in fifty years and not try to figure out how to root out a path through a back alley.”