The Yampa Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) has awarded three Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund (TMEF) grants for the 2021 cycle, a total of $29,122. Stagecoach State Park was awarded $7,000 for repairs to trails and culverts damaged by runoff, the City of Steamboat Springs and Steamboat Digs Dogs were awarded $7,122 for trail improvements at Rita Valentine Park, and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are receiving $15,000 for two shared summer seasonal full-time staff.
This was the sixth granting year for TMEF, established in 2015 to provide permanent funding support for non-motorized trail and trailhead maintenance projects on public lands in Routt and Moffat Counties. Total award amounts are based on YVCF’s endowment spending policy and increase as the fund balance grows. The fundraising goal of $1 million to $1.5 million by 2026 will provide approximately $60,000 for trail maintenance projects each year when reached; the current fund balance is $958,156.
Decisions on how to spend TMEF revenue are made by a board comprised of four land managers including the City of Steamboat Springs, one representative each from the City of Craig and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and two community members at large. Grants can be made to public land managers or nonprofit organizations partnering with a public land organization.
Since inception, $77,130 has been awarded out of the fund, supporting a variety of projects highly valued by trail users in the Yampa Valley. Grants have been used for materials for bridge repairs in Loudy-Simpson Park, trail stabilization around Pearl Lake, and restoration of the NPR downhill biking trail on Emerald Mountain, as well as funding seasonal staff focused on trail maintenance projects. The full-time seasonal USFS employee hired in 2021 with a $9,500 TMEF grant assisted with many trail projects across the district’s 350 miles of non-motorized trails, including proving essential for quickly re-opening the popular Mad Creek trail after a rockslide in spring 2021. Brendan Kelly, USFS Recreation Specialist, said “Without the extra seasonal staff we were able to hire with TMEF funds, the highly trafficked Mad Creek trail would have been closed for weeks rather than the 2 days it took to clear it.”
To learn more about the work accomplished by USFS’s Non-Motorized Trail Crew in 2021: TRAIL REPORT
To see photos of the trail improvements at Pearl Lake State Park: PEARL TRAIL
Donations to support trail maintenance can be made at: SUPPORT TRAILS
Pearl Lake State Park trail upgrade