Media contact: Eleanor Blick
IMBA Director of Communications
(Boulder, Colo., May 4, 2021) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is pleased to award Trails Count grants to two recipients, helping them advance trail advocacy efforts by providing trail counters courtesy of a partnership with Eco-Counter.
“Having relevant data that speaks to the impacts of trails is a key component in advocacy work. Many communities are better understanding how to gather data and how to apply it, and we’re excited to offer a program that helps with those efforts,” said Anthony Duncan, IMBA’s Director of Local Programs.
The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition in Harrisonburg, VA, and the Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance in Cincinnati, OH, will each receive two PYRO-box counters and technical assistance to fully develop and advance their counting programs.
Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition is partnering with the George Washington National Forest to provide trail counts that justify their nearly $800,000 investment in trail development on the forest over the last decade. The data will help inform a 20-year plan to build additional trails in the North River District as well as support efforts to declare the region a National Scenic Area.
"The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition is excited to continue expanding trail opportunities in the George Washington National Forest. Our latest project was funded in part by an IMBA Dig In grant and we are eager to use Eco-Counters to measure the expected increase in visitors. We continue to build more accessible trails for more people on our public lands, and with the help of Eco-Counters, we will be able to quantify how more accessible and more welcoming trails increase visitation," said Kyle Lawrence, Executive Director for Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition.
The Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance will be building on existing mountain biking studies establishing counts for mountain biking growth on Mount Airy trails. This will support CORA’s efforts to quantify the effects of the increase in usage since new trails were built in Mount Airy.
“CORA is very excited to be a recipient of the IMBA Trails Count Grant from Eco-Counter. Tracking trail users will help us better understand what trails are used and improve access for all. Also, we will survey users and create a study to ensure that CORA and Cincinnati Parks are providing equitable access to trails,” said Jason Reser, Trail Development Director for Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance.
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 in the Fall of 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.