The newsletter of AMERICAN TRAILS -- SPRING 1997

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Funding ideas from across America

Get creative! That's the advice that successful trails activists invariably give. Finding funds for trails and conservation projects is the ultimate creative challenge. Here are some suggestions on trail funding from across the nation:

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The three-mile Russell Blvd. Bikeway in Davis, California, linking the city with the University of California campus, was funded partly with fines levied against oil companies for overcharging customers.

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Rail trails may end up with some saleable materials to finance construction and maintenance. The Old Creamery Trail between Vinton and Dysart, Iowa, is offering railroad ties for landscaping for a "reasonable donation" to the trail fund. Fort Morgan, Colorado is considering a deal to allow a contractor to remove the railroad ballast in exchange for finish grading of the future trail.

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A "giant pot of kielbasa" was the star when mountain bike activists in Belfast, Pennsylvania, held a fundraising concert to launch their new organization, the Jacobsburg Trail Volunteer Association. Excellent weather, fun events, great tunes, and good food brought a smashing success, according to organizer Colette Flory.

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Two new local tax programs in Colorado are benefitting trails: in Eagle County, which includes Vail and other ski areas, voters passed a transportation tax that earmarks 10% for trails, about $300,000 a year. In Colorado Springs, 20% of a new open space sales tax is designated for trail acquisition and development. The new program is funded by a 0.1 percent sales tax which amounts to a single penny on a $10 purchase, but will add up to an estimated $5-6 million per year. For information contact Lee Milner, 1427 Sausalito Dr., Colorado Springs CO 80907; 719/471-0365

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Friends of Central Iowa Biking Bike Garage Sale broke previous records with 43 bikes sold in 8 hours to net about $550 for advocacy and bikeway development in the community.

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The Colorado Trail Foundation feeds hundreds of volunteers each summer on trail construction and maintenance projects. Much of the food is donated from generous companies like Krusteaz (pancake mix), Original Nut House (peanuts and trail mix), and Mrs. Sutler's Snacks (trail mix). For information, contact Pat Nagorka, Colorado Trail Food Committee Chair, 303/841-2777.

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The Off-Highway Vehicle Volunteer Program of San Bernardino National Forest is adding a new element to their Adopt-a-Trail program. In addition to the volunteer clubs and organizations they plan to add a cash sponsor to each adopted trail. This will help dealers and other businesses show their commitment to caring for trails as well as provide funds for the tools and other expenses of the volunteers. For information contact Kristine Komar, 909/884-6634 Ext. 3121.

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Trek Bicycles made a $100,000 challenge to help pay for "Another Billion for Bikes"-- a national lobbying campaign for bicycle project funding through ISTEA reauthorization. Bell Sports, Scott Sport Group, GT, Cannondale, Giant, and Bianchi matched Trek's challenge. For information on the campaign call 888/464-7832 or e-mail to GoISTEA@aol.com.

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The Florida Trail Riders in the Withlacoochee State Forest took up the challenge of building a fence to separate their OHV trail from a forest access road. Suncoast Trail Blazers pledged a mile of fence and ten other clubs contributed funds and volunteer labor to complete the project, which was part of the match required for a National Recreational Trails Fund grant.

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A Montgomery County Conservation Corps crew is assisting with efforts to clean up and restore the C&O Canal Trail after floods in recent years. The Corps is involving other conservation corps groups from elsewhere in Maryland and Washington, D. C.