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Projects selected to maintain Steamboat Springs area trails

Proceeds from the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund were used to make improvements to the Fish Creek Falls Trail in 2017.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund created to maintain local trails has dished out its latest round of grants, and it has some creative plans for raising more money in the future.

The endowment is managed by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

“Our goal is to do a 10-year fundraising plan,” Community Foundation Executive Director Mark Andersen said. “The initial goal was to raise between $1 million and $1.5 million and we are well on our way. Over the next few years I think we’ll be able to hit it.”

The Community Foundation has been fundraising for three years and has raised $435,000.

The interest accrued from the endowment is being used to issue grants, and a board of land managers decides how to issue the money.

This year, two grants totaling $7,852 were awarded.

A $3,500 grant was awarded to the U.S. Forest Service for work on the Wyoming Trail near Summit Lake in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. Before becoming a wilderness area, the portion of the trail was a Jeep road.

The work will reduce the braided trail to one path and rehabilitate unused portions.

Funding for this project had a lot of support because other funds could be leveraged for the trail, which has segments that are designated as part of the Continental Divide Scenic Trail.

The other grant for $4,352 was issued to the city of Steamboat Springs to replace the eighth bridge on the popular Spring Creek Trail.

The bridge has a dangerous crack, and instead of continuous temporary fixes, the city thinks replacing it is the best option.

To help raise more money for the endowment fund, the Community Foundation has some creative plans.

Community Foundation Marketing Manager Helen Beall said they are encouraging people to donate to the fund during the Yampa Valley Gives donation drive.

This spring, 10 donation stations will be installed along popular trails such as the Yampa River Core Trail and Spring Creek.

The donation stations are refurbished parking meters that accept credit cards.

“This is the idea of a local resident that got this going,” Beall said.

The Community Foundation will also be selling holiday gift cards to raise money for the fund, and Beall said they are always recruiting ambassadors who want to raise funds.

People interested in helping can visit the endowment fund website at yvcf.org/trails.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland.


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