Two organizations partner to offer trail building seminar in Grass Valley
Special to The Union
Know & Go
Free two-day training seminar
“Better Living Through Trails” presentation at 5 p.m. April 3 at North Star House in Grass Valley.
Trail building school hosted by IMBA from 9 a.m. to noon (lunch included) at North Star House.
Trail work at Upper Miner’s Trail off of Highway 20 from 1-5 p.m. Participants must attend trail building school and wear pants, closed-toe shoes, a hat, gloves, and bring water.
The Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) is teaming up with the International Mountain Bicycle Association to bring a free two-day training seminar hosted by the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew.
The event, which is open to anyone interested in trail building, will take place April 3 and 4.
The event will begin at the North Star House with a “Better Living Through Trails” presentation. The lecture will focus on “the positive relationships between communities and their trail systems.”
It will also cover a multitude of topics, like the health and economic benefits trails provide, as well as the fundamentals of constructing community and destination trails.
BYLT sees the presentation as way for the trail-loving community to get a better idea of what it takes to create and maintain these paths.
“It’s important to know that … trails have ramifications. Not only is it an asset as far as tourism, but it’s important for physical exercise and the mental and emotional component as well. Trails are just a great way to get out and interact with nature,” BYLT Trails Coordinator Shaun Clarke said. “People out there using the trail are obviously valuing it and respecting it to some extent. If they know how a proper trail is built, they can help us out. They can be our eyes and ears with things like maintenance. To know what goes into it will help people understand what it takes.”
On April 4, IMBA will host a trail building school at the North Star House, which will cover trail building theory, essential elements of sustainable trails, how to design and construct trails and how to re-route and reclaim trails.
Participants of the school will then be eligible to assist the association in afternoon trail work at Upper Mine’s Trail off Highway 20.
Although the two-day seminar has a mountain bike slant, Clarke said that the event is geared toward hikers and equestrian use as well.
“(BYLT) is big in preserving land, so if we can get people out on the trails we think they will support what the land trust is doing and support open space projects and conservation projects. We just hope to let people know who the land trust is, what we do, and the specifics of getting a trail built and looking at all the pieces that are involved in doing that,” he said.
Since 1991, BYLT has worked to conserve more than 5,000 acres of land, creating 22 miles of community trails and nearly 250 acres of publicly accessible open space in the process. Although they play an important role in creating and maintaining many of the local trails, Clarke hopes to raise awareness about the good that the organization does.
“We are the largest trail provider in the county. Sometimes people don’t even realize that there is a land trust in the county or what they do,” Clarke said. “We’re a private nonprofit, so we rely on volunteers to help us get things done. We want to help educate our volunteers and the community at large about trail construction, how to participate and why trails are so great and important to the community.”
In order to educate the community, BYLT is taking the initiative by bringing in International Mountain Bicycle Association.
One of the largest mountain bike networks in the world, the association boasts more than 35,000 members and 180 chapters. Their Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program is award-winning, and includes two professional teams of trail experts that lead International Mountain Bicycle Association trail building schools, meet with local government officials and land managers, and work with groups like BYLT to help improve mountain biking trails.
The program, which began in 1997, has overseen more than 1,000 trail projects.
Spencer Kellar is a freelance writer in Nevada City.
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