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Success of the Trail Building Fund

IMBA's Trail Building Fund is a reserve of cash that provides the spark for trail projects across the United States. In recent years, IMBA's professional region directors have helped deploy the funds in their territories, choosing strategic partnerships where Trail Building Fund money can leverage much bigger funding mechanisms, including the federally-based Recreational Trails Program. In this way, a modest investment of $5,000 to $10,000 from the Trail Building Fund can grow into trail projects costing $50,000 to $100,000, or more.

Trek Bicycles is another important factor in leveraging the Trail Building Fund. Trek donates $10 to the Trail Building Fund for every sale of a full-suspension mountain bike. Better yet, many Trek dealers pparticipate in the Trek Double Down program, matching the donation with another $10 on the same purchase.

Here are the success stories of four projects that received Trail Building Fund money in 2011/2012. Jump to the bottom for the full list of projects.

Rockburn Branch Bike Park, Elkridge, MD

Located between the major metropolitan areas of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., the Rockburn Branch Skills Park opened this summer. The park includes a pump track and three downhill lines: one for beginners, one for intermediate riders and one for more advanced riders. In 2011, after two years of discussions between the IMBA-affiliated club MORE and Howard County, Mid-Atlantic Region Director Frank Maguire deployed Trail Building Fund money to get the project underway.

"An important expenditure was creating professionally produced graphics to market the project," says Maguire. "Rather than just a long report, the images helped both the public and potential partners understand exactly what was being proposed."

Trail Building Fund money was also used to leverage a donation from Clif Bar and to complete the park’s pump track. In turn, other major donors, including REI, Diamondback and a private donor each provided $10,000 toward the project. The Trail Building Fund contributed a total of $10,000 to the project's estimated $150,000 price tag.

Duluth Traverse, Duluth, MN

In IMBA’s Upper Midwest region, a proposed 100-mile trail system is becoming a reality thanks to the relentless efforts of Region Director Hansi Johnson and our local IMBA chapter, the Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS). The Duluth Traverse, a 40-mile segment representing the first phase of the project, has been planned and is shovel ready thanks to an investment of Trail Building Fund money.

The city of Duluth was awarded a $250,000 Parks and Trails Legacy grant from the Department of Natural Resources to be used for the Duluth Traverse project. COGGS will also receive $100,000 annually from the city of Duluth's Park Fund until the Duluth Traverse project is completed.

"It's my goal to make Duluth the premier trail city in the nation," Mayor Don Ness said. "Paved trails, hiking trails, ski trails and singletrack bike trails are all critical elements of our trail system. We're going to have three, world-class cross-city trail systems that not only connect neighborhoods, but also encourage a more active lifestyle."

Truckee Pump Park, Truckee, CA

In 2011, local riders in Truckee, CA, sought help from Pacific Region Director Anna Laxague with their idea to build a pump park. In order to help win the support of the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District, Laxague directed $2,000 of Trail Building Fund money to bring in a professional trail specialist from IMBA for consultation, feasibility studies and professional graphic designs of the proposed project. The conceptual plan not only illustrated how the park would look, but also its impact and value. The designs were then used to help obtain additional funding, including money from Specialized.

The pump park is 17,000 square feet and cost about $45,000 total. It includes a traditional pump track, a pump park, a loop for the smallest kids on push-bikes and a nearby BMX track. Future expansion plans include dirt jumps and singletrack trails. Local riders are also working toward providing skills clinics at the pump park.

Currently, there is no mountain bike club in Truckee. Following the success of the pump park, which has energized the locals, Laxague is working with those involved to form an IMBA chapter, which will allow the group to organize under the IMBA banner and leverage the additional funds, resources and guidance that come with it.

Coldwater Mountain, Anniston, AL

IMBA’s signature trail project for 2012, the singletrack system at Coldwater Mountain, required an unprecedented effort from the team of professional trail builders who make up IMBA’s Trail Solutions staff. Sensing the potential to create a major new riding area in the Southeast, IMBA-SORBA Region Director Tom Sauret used Trail Building Fund money to unlock funding from the Recreational Trails Program and the State of Alabama.

The result is a destination-worthy riding area that’s slated to reach 60 miles of purpose-built mountain bike trails.

Here’s how one local rider expressed his appreciation: "I live in Anniston, near the new Coldwater Mountain trails. I just wanted to take a moment to let your organization know what a great job you did in building [the initial] trail. I had the pleasure of riding it for the first time last week and can't wait to get back. I have been out of biking for about 15 years and am so excited to have something of this caliber at my disposal and so close to home. The trail is top-notch and insanely fun to ride, and our local economy will surely benefit from its presence. Please pass this along to any and all involved."

Full List of Projects that Recieved Help from the IMBA Trail Building Fund in 2011/2012:

  • Bailey Trails (CO)
  • Belle Isle (VA)
  • Big Bend (TX)
  • Chequamegon (WI)
  • Carpenter's Bypass (OR)
  • Coldwater Mountain (AL)
  • Cuyuna Ride Center (MN)
  • Duluth Traverse (MN)
  • Galbriath Gap (PA)
  • Grindstone (NM)
  • Jabberwocky (OR)
  • Percy Warner Park (TN)
  • Pogonip (CA)
  • Reimers Ranch (TX)
  • Rockburn (MD)
  • Sugarbush (MN)
  • Truckee Pump Park (CA)
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