In honor of Vermont Sports’ 30th anniversary, we wanted to profile just 30 people. Thirty people who had a significant impact in the last 30 years on outdoor recreation in Vermont. Thirty people who had shaped our landscape.
Thirty people who are still living in Vermont today. Those were the parameters. We couldn’t do it: there are far more than that. In many instances, it was not just one person but a team, a couple, business partners or a family who had equal impact. Instead, we have made 30 entries: 20 people who have impacted outdoor recreation, three legislators who shaped the landscape, five families with lasting legacies and then, a section unto itself, the trailblazers who have made mountain biking what it is here.
The math doesn’t quite add up but one thing is clear: Vermont’s outdoor recreation scene would not be what it is today without their contributions. We hope this list (in alphabetical order) will be just the start of an honor roll we can add to in years ahead.
(Opening photo: Groton Pond, by Nathanael Asaro)
1-MARCEL BEAUDIN: A Bridge to the Lake
Marcel Beaudin, now 91, didn’t need a sailing center. The Barre-born architect was a sailboat racer who took home trophies at the Lake Champlain Yacht Club in Shelburne. His modernist buildings have been written up in Dwell. He could sail his own boats, or borrow one when he needed. But Beaudin was well aware how much of a privilege this was. Two decades ago, Beaudin envisioned a sailing center at the heart of the Burlington waterfront that would provide access to all, regardless of their income or sailing background. He helped spearhead the Community Sailing Center, which operated out of a scrappy warehouse for many years. Beaudin did everything from helping to launch the center to designing the new waterfront building that opened in 2017. Early on, he even modified a Sonar so it could be used by Vermont Adaptive. “I was a yachtie and grew up crewing on boats in Long Island Sound and realized how expensive and exclusive sailing could be,” Beaudin told Vermont Sports in 2017. “It was my vision to make the lake and boats accessible to everyone and this has gone beyond my wildest dreams.” Today, the center gets more than 8,000 out on the lake annually, regardless of their age, gender, race, physical abilities or the means to pay.