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Funding ideas from America's trails

Get creative! That's the advice that successful trails activists invariably give. Finding funds for trails and conservation projects is the ultimate creative challenge. Here are some successful examples of trail and greenway funding from across the nation.

$$$ MCI/WorldCom's long distance phone service program for businesses continues to donate substantial royalties to the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Businesses that subscribe to this program receive low long distance rates, and MCI donates a royalty, based on the subscriber's phone charges, to IMBA. More than a dozen IMBA corporate supporters are currently subscribers. Information: Rod Kramer, IMBA Development Director (303) 545-9011 or

$$$ The American Discovery Trail benefits from the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, whose $2,500 Environmental Sustainability Grant is used to purchase trail markers. Contact: American Discovery Trail Society (800) 663-2387 or

$$$ The Hub Bike Shop of Aspen, Colorado, gives people an incentive to volunteer on projects. Each day a person volunteers on a Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers (RFOV) project, their name goes into a jar for a drawing to win a mountain bike at the end of the season. RFOV has also received free space from Basalt Mini Storage to store tools used by volunteers. Information:

$$$ The First Annual Denver Duck Derby was a benefit for the Platte River Greenway Preservation Trust. It's part of the Riverfest Festival which includes a trail relay race using different travel modes. Prizes included a year's use of a VW, airline tickets, shopping sprees, and resort weekends. Information: (303) 455-7109.

$$$ Clif Bar supports an on-going program to fuel trail work sessions with Clif Bars and Clif Shot. The donations go to clubs that are part of the International Mountain Bicycling Association network. They also contributed to the design and production of the IMBA Membership Handbook.

$$$ Trails4All of Orange County, CA, has a new "Trails4Chairs" wheelchair accessibility program, which identifies and assesses trails that could be suitable for all-terrain wheelchairs. Financial support has come from Bank of America, San Diego Gas & Electric, and the California Trails & Greenways Foundation.

$$$ In Durango, Colorado, the Animas River Trail is being supported by part of a 1/2 cent sales tax increase. City voters approved the tax to fund a new recreation center as well as the trail and greenway rehabilitation along the river.

$$$ Marin County, California, residents will have a new 11-mile trail thanks to an 800-acre land donation by Lucasfilm Ltd. A key part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail, the new section connects to trails that link the town of Novato with the Golden Gate Bridge. The trail will be managed by the county's Open Space District and will be open to hikers, bikes, and horses.

$$$ A new fiber optic cable on national forest land in Utah will help restore a historic path into the Ogden Valley. US West (now Qwest) is laying the cable along the historic trail and will provide funds and a new, gentler route for the North Ogden Divide Trail. The existing trail is four miles of rocky, 20-30 percent grades. The Utah Back Country Horsemen are working on the project with the company.

$$$ Lane County Parks in Eugene, Oregon, sponsored a trail run/walk that raised over $2,900 for materials for trail maintenance, and to outfit a volunteer trails patrol. Local businesses contributed fund and prizes, and REI provided low-cost tee-shirts. Information: (541) 682-2000.

$$$ Weiser River Trail Board member Dick Pugh said, "We have long needed a permanent income source to supplement memberships and grants. I was very excited when a Trail member offered to initiate this fund with a gift of $20,000." The new fund has been established with the Idaho Community Foundation, which handles administration and investment of the donations, and makes the 5% annual distribution. If ownership of the trail is ever transferred to another charity or agency, the distributions will go to the new group. Information: ICF, (208) 342-3535.

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