Today, Wild Trails announces the recipients of their Spring 2013 outdoor grants. Grants are awarded for short, measurable and tangible projects focused on the use, expansion or protection of trails in the Chattanooga area.
These biannual grants are funded primarily by proceeds from the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series, a trail running race series with nine runs taking place in all seasons and on trails throughout the Chattanooga area. Wild Trails, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is also funded by private donations.
5 grants were awarded for Spring 2013:
- SOUTHEAST YOUTH CORPS – $2,000 to fund a two-month work crew, involving eight Chattanooga youths, in the Big Frog Wilderness. This crew will focus on improving watershed, habitat and recreational needs near the Grassy Gap trail.
- FRIENDS OF THE CUMBERLAND TRAIL – $2,000 to certify and equip four volunteer sawyers, including training fees and the purchase of safety equipment. The Friends group will manage this equipment, which will be available for loan to certified volunteers.
- LULA LAKE LAND TRUST – $2,000 to provide for a portable trail-rigging cache designed to move large objects during trail construction projects. These tools, which will also be available for loan, will be managed by Lula Lake and require a certified rigging specialist.
- SORBA-CHATTANOOGA – $2,000 in conjunction with the Lula Lake grant noted above, to fund a four-day trail rigging workshop. This workshop will enable several local trail-advocacy groups to become certified for using trail rigging equipment that can help move large boulders and other objects.
- SOUTHEAST CLIMBERS COALITION – $2,000 grant to fund access improvements and approach trail upgrades for the Castle Rock climbing area in Tennessee.
Rock/Creek co-founder a Dawson Wheeler points out the vital role of sponsors, staff, volunteers and racers: “We are humbled by the continued financial and hands-on support of our sponsors. Top brands from the outdoor industry and strong local companies are working together with Rock/Creek employees and volunteers to create some of the best race experiences available anywhere. We could not put this amount of money into trail building and maintenance without their support. Thousands of racers come from around the country and abroad to run on our trails. Trail running continues to grow as a sport, and our trails are in better shape as a result of these events.”
Salomon is the title sponsor for the series. The other financial sponsors are Suunto, Toyota of Cleveland and Capital Toyota, SmartWool, Get Out Chattanooga, Collier Construction, Marmot, The North Face, High Point Climbing and Outdoor Research. In-kind sponsors include Whole Foods Chattanooga and Trail Runner Magazine.
Rock/Creek, an independent specialty outdoor retailer, has been in business for 25 years. Founded by Dawson Wheeler and Marvin Webb in 1987, the retailer has four locations in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, with a fifth store opening at The Block in the Fall.