IMBA Awards Nine New Trail Accelerator Grants for Projects Across the Country
Media contact: Eleanor Blick
IMBA Senior Communications & Advocacy Manager
(BOULDER, Colo., June 23, 2020) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is pleased to award its first round of Trails Count grants to two recipients, helping them advance trail advocacy efforts by providing trail counters courtesy of a partnership with Eco-Counter.
“IMBA recognizes data plays an important role in advocating for mountain biking trails and infrastructure. Understanding how to gather data and how to apply it to advocacy efforts can be a critical component for more trails,” said Anthony Duncan, IMBA’s Director of Local Programs.
The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association in Ashland, Oregon, will each receive two PYRO-box counters and technical assistance to fully develop and advance their counting programs.
Appalachian Mountain Bike Club is partnering with the University of Tennessee’s Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies to determine the economic and health impact of enhanced trail connectivity with the completion of the new Urban Wilderness Gateway Park at Baker Creek Preserve by using trail and bike park use data.
"We are thrilled to have been chosen for the IMBA Trails Count Grant and we're looking forward to our partnership with Dr. Fitzhugh at the University of Tennessee and Eco-Counter to assist us in recording the unprecedented trail usage we're experiencing here in Knoxville," said Matthew Kellogg, Executive Director for Appalachian Mountain Bike Club.
Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association is collaborating with Southern Oregon University, the city of Ashland and other community partners to obtain user data to expand the trail system within Ashland Watershed. The counting program will be a companion component to a 2019 economic impact study and user surveys.
“We are grateful to receive this grant and to our partners, Southern Oregon University and the Outdoor Adventure Leadership program for this project as we continue to advocate for and build new trails in Southern Oregon. Real numbers and data are more valuable than our anecdotal opinions, and we are excited to be able to quantify the use of our watershed for recreation,” said Casey Botts of Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association.
The Trails Count Grant Program is an assistance grant, valued at $5,000 per award, administered by IMBA in partnership with Eco-Counter. Awardees receive professional assistance and consultation services, educational materials and counting hardware and software to create effective trail counting programs. Trail data is a strong tool to leverage additional funding for trail infrastructure. The next application round for IMBA Local Partners will be November 1-30, 2020 and awarded in January 2021.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) creates, enhances and protects great places to ride mountain bikes. It is focused on creating more trails close to home to grow the quantity and quality of mountain bike trail communities across the U.S., so everyone has access to close-to-home rides and iconic backcountry experiences. Since 1988, IMBA has been the worldwide leader in mountain bike advocacy and the only organization focused entirely on trails and access for all types of mountain bikers in all parts of the U.S. IMBA teaches and encourages low-impact riding, grassroots advocacy, sustainable trail design, innovative land management practices and cooperation among trail user groups. IMBA U.S. is a national network of local groups, individual riders and passionate volunteers working together for the benefit of the entire community.
With 20 years of experience, Eco-Counter is the global leader in bike and pedestrian counting solutions. From bike counters deployed on San Francisco’s busiest cycle tracks, to trail counters in remote regions of New Zealand, temporary and permanent counters are trusted around the world.