|Community trail projects will have a stronger mountain biking perspective thanks to a new agreement signed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance (Rivers & Trails) program of the National Park Service. |
The five-year agreement will develop four to six trail projects annually. 2002 projects include:
Bonneville Shoreline Trail, Salt Lake City, Utah
Roanoke Valley Greenways, Roanoke, Virginia
Arroyo Seco Watershed Restoration Project, Los Angeles County, California
Spring Mountain Perimeter Trail, Spring Mountains, Nevada
Boston Hill Trail, Silver City, New Mexico
The agreement will also:
Promote mountain biking as a family activity with health benefits.
Encourage the design of trail systems with broad appeal.
Develop and promote mountain biking success stories.
Develop a model "Urban Trails Park" concept.
"Rivers & Trails projects are the kind of broad-based community initiatives in which mountain bicyclists need to play a part," said IMBA executive director Tim Blumenthal. "Most IMBA members live in urban areas and are always looking for appealing places to ride. This partnership will help create new dirt trails that are integral components of community trail systems."
Rivers & Trails helps communities build trail and greenway systems, restore rivers and wildlife habitat, and preserve open space. Their work largely focuses on urban and suburban locations, where demand for trail networks is the greatest.
Last year, Rivers & Trails helped develop more than 700 miles of trail, protected 1,000 river miles and preserved almost 30,000 acres of open space. Local mountain bikers are often involved in these projects. Rivers & Trails helps build partnerships, engage public participation, identify funding and provide technical planning expertise. They have 30 field offices and 90 professional conservation and recreation planners who facilitate projects in all 50 states.
"A successful trails project needs the perspective and participation from all trail users," said Attila Bality, NPS Recreation Planner. "Our local project champions are delighted we can help bring IMBA's trail expertise to the table. We're really excited about the opportunities this partnership can bring to community trails projects."www.imba.org