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Public Urged to Contribute to Vermont Foliage Reports

The fall foliage season is just getting underway in Vermont

Many people in northern New England have been buzzing that it seems the region’s famous fall foliage is late to arrive this year.

There are colors out there, though, and the tourism-dependent state of Vermont is now asking people to share what they see—in a new way—on social media.

“I think crowdsourcing for foliage reports is a brilliant idea,” Commissioner Wendy Knight of the Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing said of a new push from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation.

Commissioner Mike Snyder of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, who was attending a conference out-of-state Tuesday and unavailable for an on-camera interview, is now asking people to share foliage observations and pictures using the social media hashtag #FindYourPeakVT.

In his announcement on Twitter, Snyder wrote of the observations, “Peak color not required! Just give us a peek into your neck of the woods and share what piqued your interest this week.”

He noted it is important for people to include the locations of their observations and pictures.

At Bragg Farm Sugarhouse & Gift Shop in nearby East Montpelier, Barb LeGrand-Bragg says it seems to her that the autumn colors have been slow to arrive in her region. Still, she’s urging patience.

“They will burst into brightness,” LeGrand-Bragg said of the trees. “It never fails!”

Because tourist visits during foliage season are so critical to Vermont, bringing roughly $400-million in spending, LeGrand-Bragg said she is glad to point her customers to the best viewing spots.

“This is a small state and we like to help each other out,” the business owner said.

LeGrand-Bragg predicted the same spirit of helpfulness will likely have Vermonters taking Snyder up on his request for contributions of foliage reports.

Those citizen observations and photos will be used in Snyder’s official state foliage reports, aiming to reflect a range of communities and locations—which may just encourage travelers to get off the beaten path.

“I just get a thrill out of it,” professional photographer Adam Silverman said of the delight he finds in locating the best shots of fall foliage, even if it means traveling dirt roads and hiking through the woods.

Silverman, whose primary job is as the public information officer for the Vermont State Police, shared several of his 2018 fall foliage photos with necn and NBC10 Boston for this story.

Silverman said he plans to share more shots on Instagram and Facebook this season, using the new #FindYourPeakVT hashtag, as the autumn colors continue emerging.

“We are showcasing Vermont for the world through social media,” Silverman said of himself and other Vermont photographers who enjoy sharing shots of their state’s natural wonders. “We, as photographers, are able to capture such beauty because that’s what we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by.”

Tourism Commissioner Knight said she believes the first-person info shared with Commissioner Snyder will really connect with many visitors.

“When [travel advice] comes from someone who’s a real person, as opposed to someone like me—who gets paid to tell people how beautiful Vermont is—then it’s deemed more qualified or authentic,” Knight told necn and NBC10 Boston.

As for when prime foliage viewing will arrive–well, we can’t tell you. No one can. That’s all up to the trees, and they won’t announce it on social media.

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