Dear Trail Supporter,
Our community, local businesses, and nonprofits are all being hit hard financially during this pandemic. Stimulus checks and CARE Act funds are thankfully helping many of our businesses and bank accounts. We understand these are tough times and you may need to use this money for your basic needs. Many of us in this community are in that boat. However, if you can, we suggest using your stimulus check to support each other, the local businesses and restaurants we often frequent, and local nonprofits.
If you are going to make a donation, first please consider contributing to an organization directly battling against the coronavirus or a family directly affected by it. Any remaining funds you may have please consider supporting trails, the VVMTA, and local businesses and restaurants.
This pandemic has shown how important trails are for our community and are undoubtedly even more important than ever. Trails are a daily escape from our homes and improve our mental and physical health. As the local leader for soft surface trails, our organization’s income has been severely impacted just like many others. We have many exciting projects and programs on the agenda to complete and execute in 2020 and we need your help bringing these to life. Please consider donating to us so we can hit the ground running this summer and continue to maintain, build, and advocate for trails.
Here’s what one of our board members is doing with his stimulus check:
- $200 to VVMTA to support trails
- $500 on locally owned retail purchases
- $500 on locally owned restaurants & breweries; on takeout now and dine-in when open
This is one example on how you can spread your stimulus check across our community to make a broad and significant impact. If you are going to support locally owned businesses, restaurants, and breweries consider supporting one of our supporters.
Additionally, as part of the CARES Act package, for taxpayers who don’t itemize deductions, a new $300 deduction has been established for donations to nonprofits. This is a big deal, and means that if you donate to the VVMTA, you can write off the entire donation on your 2020 taxes. For individuals who itemize, the cap on charitable giving deductions has been raised from 50% to 100% of adjusted gross income.
We encourage you to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and happy by getting out on our trails. But remember, please be sure to recreate responsibly. Thank you for supporting our community, trails, and the VVMTA.
Executive Director – Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance
CC: Vail Valley Mountain Trails Alliance Board of Directors
2020 Trail Projects & Programs to Support:
Minturn Bike Park Construction: Phase 1 is planned to begin this spring with a projected opening in the late summer/early fall. We raised over $50,000 from you, our community in 2019 and are committing over $55,000 of our reserve funds to complete Phase 1 this summer. This is a big hit to our bank account but see the incredible value that this free and open to the public bike park will bring to all ages, abilities, and demographics of our community.
Cougar Ridge Reroute: We received a grant from the National Forest Foundation to reroute large sections of Cougar Ridge this summer. However, the grant funds do not cover the full cost and scope of this four year in the making project. We need your support to transform this horribly eroded, road-like trail, into one of the best trails in our county. Reroute to be built by VVMTA volunteers and the same trail builders who rerouted the North Trail in 2019. *Concept plan shown below is a draft and subject to change. In fact it already has with even more new trail than currently shown!
East Eagle Planning, “Redneck Extension” & Will’s Thrill Improvements: Two new trails have been added to the existing BLM trail system in Eagle. The 1.5 mile “Redneck Extension” (new name TBD) is half complete with the remaining scheduled to be completed this Spring with the Hardscrabble Trails Coalition. Will’s Thrill is the new name for the existing past non-sytem trail Dirt Surfer’s Love Child. HTC and VVMTA are fundraising to hire local professional trail builder Momentum Trail Concepts to keep the raw, hand built feeling of this trail and add some progressive and expert level features. Additionally, East Eagle beyond these trails are a blank canvas and can include up to 15 miles of new singletrack trail. The planning and environmental costs to bring new trails to this area are significant, $10,000+ to be specific.
Adopt A Trail: Even though it is volunteer driven, the Adopt A Trail (AAT) program is far from free for us to operate. We spend over $40,000 annually to support staff, planning, tools, training, swag, and events. We are fortunate to receive a large portion of support for this program through a grant from the National Forest Foundation but need continued community donations to grow and operate this program on an annual basis. The demand to grow this program continues to exist with 65 trails being adopted in 2020 (up from 51 in 2019). We anticipate almost 4,000 hours of volunteer trail maintenance in Eagle County this year!
Wildlife Trail Ambassador Program: As part of the AAT program, the Wildlife Trail Ambassador (WTA) program is also volunteer driven. This program also requires financial resources including staff time, training, supplies, swag, and planning. The VVMTA recognized the need to be the leaders in proactively approaching the education and communication surrounding seasonal trail closures to protect wildlife and our trails. The WTA program has contacted and educated thousands of trail users at seasonally closed trailheads to help protect deer and elk during calving season.