We are pleased to bring you our 2019-2020 Annual Report. You can read the full report here or click on an image below. Thank you for your continued support which truly allows us to further our mission of improving our trails and public lands in Eagle County!
Deer Trails Community,
2020 was a challenging year but also an exciting one. Without a doubt, it was the busiest and most successful year yet for the VVMTA. Almost overnight, we were confined to our homes and seemingly separated from our friends, family, and normal lives. Trails and access to our public lands quickly became a necessary escape not for only regular trail users but also for many new and excited trail users.
Trails are more important than ever and will continue to be into the future. They are an economic driver for our community, increase our quality of life, and improve our mental and physical health. We will continue to encourage you to get outside and enjoy nature. But we also recognize that it is also more important than ever to care for our trails and plan for the future. With your help, we will continue to prioritize stewardship, a balance between recreation and conservation, and sustainable trail planning and building practices.
The pandemic forced us to delay the start of the Wildlife Trail Ambassador (WTA) and Adopt A Trail (AAT) programs to June. In a normal year these programs have in-person training and volunteers are out on our trails and at our trailheads in April and May. However, you, our volunteers, showed up in full force despite the pandemic! Our 69 AAT teams and 750 volunteers still managed to contribute over 2,500 hours of trail maintenance on the 61 trails adopted.
In partnership with the Town of Minturn and after almost four years of planning, fundraising, and community support, we finally broke ground on the Minturn Bike Park. Thanks to the over $50,000 you contributed, $47,000 from the Town of Minturn, $88,000 from VVMTA reserve funds, and over $500,000 of in-kind contributions, Phase 1 and 2A opened on August 29th. It was breathtaking to see the amount of use by all ages, demographics, backgrounds, and skill levels. In fact, the bike park was averaging over 1,000 rides per day in September.
The VVMTA Trail Crew and Hardscrabble Trails Coalition had a successful and busy year as well. In the Spring, the VVMTA and HTC completed the final 0.75 miles of the new Hillbilly Trail in East Eagle. Additionally, the HTC reached into their pockets and successfully fundraised over $11,000 to hire Momentum Trail Concepts to build the new Will’s Thrill Trail.
To wrap up the trail season in Eagle, the VVMTA and HTC partnered with Eagle County Open Space to help build and open the 3 Sisters Trail. It is the first trail built and opened in the Brush Creek Valley Ranch & Open Space which will lead to other strategic trail connections in 2021 and into the future.
Additionally, the VVMTA partnered with the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District and successfully received a $75,000 grant from the National Forest Foundation to hire McGill Trails to complete the final portion of reroutes on Cougar Ridge. After four years of reroutes on Cougar Ridge, it is finished and the final product is nothing short of incredible.
We also took the lead and advocated hard for Holy Cross Energy and the Town of Avon to mitigate the impact of the new service roads created in the West Avon Preserve. We had many meetings, planned new trail alignments, worked with environmental biologists and the Eagle Valley Land Trust. Funding was confirmed from Holy Cross Energy, Berry Creek Metro District, and Town of Avon to hire Momentum Trail Concepts to build new singletrack trails off of the service roads and preserve a high quality trail experience.
Finally, on top of all of the trail work we continued to educate trail users and advocate for the sustainability of our trails. We launched the VVMTA Trail Conditions page which now has over 800 members sharing information about what trails are muddy, under seasonal closures, have trees down, and more.
We could not have performed any of this work without you and are incredibly grateful for your generous support. Whether you volunteer your time or donate, thank you for all you do for us and our trails.