Funding ideas from across the U.S.
Compiled by Stuart Macdonald, Colorado State Trails Coordinator
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 suggestions on trails funding from across the nation:
--$$$-- Cyclists can sponsor a mile of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to Mexico. The Trailblazer Fund of Adventure Cycling is raising funds for trail development at $100 a mile. Information: P O Box 8308, Missoula MT
--$$$-- The Share the Trails Team Triathlon is an annual event that brings equestrians, bicyclists, and hikers together in southwest Colorado. The Steamworks Brewing Co. in Durango brewed a special "Share the Trails Ale" for the event. Proceeds from sales of the golden raspberry wheat beer, only $2 a pint at the brewpub, will benefit the San Juan Mountains Association, sponsor of the Triathlon. Information: Steamworks Brewing Co., 801 E. 2nd Ave., Durango CO 81301 (970) 259-9200
--$$$-- The Bay Area Ridge Trail in the San Francisco Bay area received $250,000 for trail development from the California's Department of Motor Vehicles Personalized License Plate Fund. Napa County's State Legislators were credited with providing the political support, along with Mike Miller of the county's planning department and a board member of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council.
--$$$-- The Bay Area Ridge Trail is also a beneficiary of Earth Share of California, a coalition of environmental groups that qualify for workplace charitable giving campaigns. Employees can designate BART for their contribution, and the group will also receive a share of the undesignated contributions. Information: Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, 26 O'Farrell St., Ste. 400, San Francisco CA 94108 (415) 391-9300. On the Web at: www.ridgetrail.org
--$$$-- The American Hiking Society has started a National Trails Endowment, a fund to provide grants to hiking clubs for trail development and stewardship. The Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association provided a matching grant of $50,000. So far, $26,000 has been raised by just five AHS members. Information: American Hiking Society, 1322 Fenwick Ln., Silver Spring MD 20910.
--$$$-- Friends in high places: The Clinton Admin-istration has included in its budget request $15.1 million to purchase the last privately owned sections of the Appalachian Trail. Although most of the famous hiking trail is on federal land, there has been a long-standing push to secure the remaining privately-owned parcels, mostly in Virginia, Maryland, Vermont, and Maine.
--$$$-- In Nebraska, State Senator Beutler sponsored a bicycle tax bill, LB683 a bill to collect a $2.00 fee on bicycle sales. As much as $100,000 a year would go to the trails general fund, to be used at least half for local trails projects and up to half for state trails maintenance. Trail activists were, however, unable to get the bill passed this year. Information: Rich Rodenburg, Bike Pedalers, 1353 S 33rd, Lincoln, NE 68510; (402) 474-7000; email@example.com; or http://www.bikeped.com
--$$$-- Trails4All in Orange County, CA, has started a program to raise funds to support volunteer trail projects. Stores sell the "EnviroDollar Coupons" and some stores also match donations. Participating stores are listed in the Trails4All newsletter and their employees can win raffle items for supporting the program. Trails4All also helps stores set up a "Trails Advocacy Dept." with trail maps, sign samples, rules-of-the-trail, etc. Information: Jim Myer (714) 834-3136; e-mail: JMeyerT4A@aol.com. On the Web at: http://www.trails4all.org/