Repaved Litton Trail renews accessibility
People from all walks of life now have renewed access to the smooth curves of the half-mile section of the Litton Trail between Sierra College Drive and Hughes Road.
The Bear Yuba Land Trust finished repaving the half-mile stretch below BriarPatch Food Co-op on May 27, and will celebrate the restoration with the community during the Celebration of Trails this Saturday.
At 4 p.m. today the trust will kick off the sixth annual Celebration of Trails at Robinson Plaza on Union Street in Nevada City’s downtown historic district. BYLT Executive Director Erin Tarr said the event facilitates outdoor engagement by teaching people about nearby hiking opportunities while fundraising for the nonprofit.
Celebration of Trails is a free event and participants will receive a T-shirt with registration at the plaza between 4 and 8 p.m. today.
“You get to choose your own adventure,” Tarr said. “We’re getting people out to walk, roll, run or ride horses on different trails.”
Tarr said many locals do not realize the trust’s trail work is not county funded, although Grass Valley and Nevada County supported the $70,000 project.
“We maintain trails based off of public donations,“ Tarr said. ”For the day — it’s about getting people outside, meeting new people and celebrating great trail systems we have out here.“
Tarr said the trail’s neighboring businesses stepped up to donate money to complete the project when a new estimate for it was $15,000 more than anticipated.
Tarr said BriarPatch was an instrumental partner in the trail’s rehabilitation. It donated $2 for each vote in its board member election, raising $2,000 for the project.
Tarr said with the help of Mike E. Bratton, who hosts the Turkey Trot each year, BYLT will install a kiosk nearby that will distribute trail maps.
Assistant City Engineer Bjorn Jones said the city paid for half the project’s original estimate with funds from Measure E, in part because 1,500 feet of the trail is publicly owned.
According to Tarr, Litton Trail is one of two paved trails in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area accessible to those with varied mobility.
Joe Riley is a stay-at-home dad who uses the trail on daily commutes to the grocery store. Riley will check the trail once a month, at least, to inform BYLT about any necessary safety or maintenance needs.
Riley’s wife, Amee Medeiros, is the executive director for the Neighborhood Center for the Arts, located in the Litton Building that overlooks the trail. The nonprofit is dedicated to engaging adults with special needs by creating art.
Tarr said the trail easement that facilitated the Litton Trail was created over 30 years ago when the trust had a different name.
Tarr said the trail sustained significant damage over time.
“Over the years, the wear and tear — there was a lot of uplift in the pavement in some sections and it was getting very bumpy, people were tripping and there were hazards everywhere,” Tarr said.
The point of the paved section of the trail is to offer access. When the nonprofit started to receive complaints, it began fundraising to make repairs.
Tarr said the trust always prioritizes access to the outdoors, but reducing barriers to all walks of life to appreciate nature is especially essential during COVID-19.
Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com
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Given the job loss associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits’ social services were greatly impacted.