Media contact: Eleanor Blick
Senior IMBA Communication and Advocacy Officer
(Boulder, Colorado, October 24, 2021) – The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) awarded its fifth round of Trail Accelerator Grants to eight grantees in seven states, bringing the total to 33 awards nationwide since the start of the grant program. This round of grants will distribute over $ 100,000 to community trail planning and design projects, which will grow to at least $ 200,000 with participant matching funds. Awards were given to projects in Ventura, California; Cuchara, Colorado; Chillicothe, Ohio; Bethel, Maine; Waynesboro, Virginia; Dodgeville, Wisconsin; Ashland, Wisconsin; and Lewisburg, West Virginia.
“Trails take time. Lucky years for mountain bikers, and often decades to go from dreams to dirt. Our Trail Accelerator Grants provide a professional trail plan that dramatically accelerates the pace of the project. completed trails benefiting local communities in North Carolina and Wisconsin, with rapid progress on dozens of additional trails and it continues. We look forward to partnering with these eight new communities on their vision for more leads near us, ”said David Wiens, Director of IMBA Director.
The IMBA Trail Accelerator Grant is a competitive grant offering for communities that need support to realize their vision of transformational trail systems. A professionally planned sustainable trail network can serve as a model and inspiration for an entire mountain biking region. Winners provide matching funds and receive professional trail planning and consulting services from IMBA Trail Solutions to initiate trail development efforts, which can help generate more interest and investment in projects. community trails. Previous grants from the IMBA Trail Accelerator raised $ 7.85 million for trails and counting. Projects should show strong partnerships between local leaders, government entities, land managers, landowners, community groups and local IMBA partners. The next round of grants will open in 2022, and IMBA invites communities to apply through its website.
2021 Trail Accelerator Grant Communities:
Ventura, California – Mariano Rancho Preserve: $ 10,000 grant
The Ventura Land Trust aims to create a robust trail system paired with features optimized for biking in a 1,645 acre nature reserve. This effort will bring public trails to an area that has thousands of residents who could access them from their front door, including a historically disadvantaged neighborhood. The plan has great potential to introduce many residents to the joy of the trails while providing a training area for local NICA runners, who currently have to travel to other towns to train. The Mariano Rancho Reserve is privately owned from Spanish land concessions, so officially opening it to the public with high quality mountain biking equipment will be a significant addition to the community.
Cuchara, Colorado – Cuchara Mountain Park / USFS Trails: $ 15,000 grant
The Cuchara Foundation raised funds for Huerfano County to purchase a 47-acre park, which will be used as an eco-friendly destination for recreational, educational and cultural programs year-round. In partnership with many local and regional groups, including the county’s Youth Conservation Corps, the foundation’s vision includes multiple levels of skill areas and a main trail through the park. In addition, the plot also joins National Forest Lands, where a strong relationship with the US Forest Service exists and may allow trails to be extended for more backcountry driving experiences. Since Huerfano County could truly benefit from a boost in economic engines, tourism and healthy outdoor opportunities for local residents, these trail developments will play a vital role in the well-being of the region. community. The Cuchara Foundation is already planning to help local schools design programs and after-school camps to bring children outside.
Bethel, Maine – Main Street to the Mountains: $ 10,000 grant
Interior woods + trails and a host of community partners are keen to add trails to Bethel Community Forest and Bingham Forest, with the ultimate goal of a diverse 30- to 40-mile trail network near town that includes three schools. At the same time, increasing the number of trails will help Bethel leverage its current winter tourism to make it an economic driver based on recreation throughout the year, while protecting and enhancing the rugged beauty and natural region. Although Oxford County is blessed with great outdoor opportunities, it remains one of the less healthy counties in Maine. The trails will therefore provide a vital avenue to help local residents improve their physical and mental health. Once the trail network is in place, two local youth riding programs will benefit from better access and sustainability to support their efforts.
Chillicothe, Ohio – Ross County ATV Master Plan: $ 20,000 grant
Chillicothe Trails, with a large roster of local partners, is looking to assess public lands in their county with the goal of adding up to 50 miles of quality trails, as well as a pump track and skill park. Ross County has several acres of publicly accessible land. Therefore, creating a cohesive plan for expansion and modification will guide community efforts. Emphasis will be placed on beginner / intermediate options for new NICA teams and expanding the expert pitch to attract visitors from a wider region. As the region faces financial and health challenges, building trails throughout the county can go a long way in getting people out and driving economic growth.
Waynesboro, Virginia – Sunset Park: $ 25,000 grant
The Shenandoah Valley Cycling Coalition, the Waynesboro Parks and Recreation Department and other community groups aim to bring the first natural surface trails to Waynesboro, making them directly accessible to residents who currently have to drive to recreate themselves. The vision includes approximately three miles of trail plus a skill area on a 100-acre site that includes an old landfill. The park will be a great asset to the community, especially young people, as three schools and the Augusta County Boys and Girls Club are a short bike ride away. The ability to salvage an old landfill while providing recreation for many underserved residents makes this project very valuable to the people of Waynesboro.
Lewisburg, West Virginia – Greenbrier Valley Trail Map: $ 25,000 grant
The Masters of Hell of Greenbrier Valley The Youth Mountain Bike Team, as part of the Greenbrier Valley Trails Plan Working Group, wants to increase trail possibilities in the area through a feasibility study to assess several properties, including a state forest and two towns. The goal is to complete 50 miles of unique, diverse track, a NICA race site and bike park. These additions will provide much-needed beginner trails on VM’s rugged terrain and give student athletes the boost in mileage they need. As the state faces many health issues, bringing outdoor opportunities closer to people will provide a path to well-being for all residents. Finally, in addition to offering an excellent mountain bike, the effort will result in an active recreation model within a commercially managed forest.
Dodgeville, Wisconsin – Spring Valley Tract: $ 8,000 grant
The Drift-Free Zone is a 24,000 square mile expanse of the upper Midwest that escaped glaciation during the last Ice Age, resulting in a rugged, rugged landscape deeply cut by cold water streams. It is an excellent terrain for trails and a total immersion in nature. The Land conservation without drift will work with IMBA’s team of experts to develop plans for a trail system on newly acquired 300 acres of land. An Ambassador Landscape, the Spring Valley Tract trail system will be designed to accommodate a diversity of users – hiking, mountain biking, nature swimming and quiet winter sports. These trails will be a great addition for regional NICA teams, as well as bikers and hikers in nearby Madison, which currently has few natural trail systems.
Ashland, Wisconsin – MMC Bikeways: $ 10,000 grant
The City of Ashland and the Ashland Memorial Medical Center are collaborating on a 70-acre MMC-owned plot, where they hope to build up to five miles of track as well as a pumping track or bicycle park. Since the closest trailhead is currently 30 miles away, this property will provide crucial trails close to the house for residents, including several high schools, two colleges, and land owned by the Chippewa Nation. For adult and youth programming around the trails, the City has joined forces with the North Coast Cycling Association as good as SPARK, an after-school and summer program that lends bikes to teens as part of its efforts to prevent youth drug addiction. The addition of these trails will facilitate the creation of a composite NICA team for the region, providing young cyclists with another outlet for healthy recreation and social interaction.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) creates, improves and protects great places for mountain biking. It focuses on creating more trails near home to increase the quantity and quality of mountain bike trail communities across the United States, so everyone has access to rides near home. and iconic backcountry experiences. Since 1988, IMBA has been the global leader in mountain biking advocacy and the only organization entirely focused on trails and access for all types of mountain bikers in all regions of the United States. , innovative land management practices and cooperation between trail user groups. IMBA US is a nationwide network of local groups, individual riders and passionate volunteers who work together for the benefit of the entire community.