Like to Hike? Last week to support BYLT Trails in dollar-for-dollar donation match

IMG_1159Local trail lovers have until Halloween to fund the building and maintenance of Bear Yuba Land Trust trails they enjoy and see their dollars matched.

Time was extended when a generous donor agreed to bump the deadline of BYLT’s annual Trails Appeal from Sept. 30 to Oct. 31. This anonymous donor has pledged to match each dollar donated to BYLT’s Trails Fund – up to $40,000. So far, the nonprofit organization has raised $23,000. In this final week of the campaign, the community has the power to grow this amount to as much as $80,000 for local trails in the coming year.

“If you care about walks, runs, rolls, bike and equestrian rides in the woods for people of all abilities, then it’s time to support BYLT’s Trails Appeal. One of the healthiest local assets we have, local trails are worth investing in. When we get outdoors on trails, we connect with ourselves and the therapeutic wonders of nature,” said Outreach Coordinator Laura Petersen.

Money raised this fall will go back into extending the new Yuba Rim Trail on Rice’s Crossing Preserve in Yuba County. Trails Appeal funding will also help break ground on two new trails: Burton Perimeter Trail at the Burton Homestead Preserve and the Clover Valley Trail in Alta Sierra.

Building and maintaining 35 miles of local trails costs money and BYLT relies completely on community donations to fund trail projects every year. On average it costs $15,000 to build one mile of trail.

“When the opportunity arises to build a trail there are many things to consider and more steps are involved then one might think. It is more complicated than just beating down a path and clearing the brush,” said Trail Coordinators Shaun Clarke and Bill Haire.

Litton Trail (2)With years of experience, BYLT’s Trail Team and community volunteers have built more than 20 local trails. Costs include acquiring land and engaging local residents and stakeholders; groundwork and trail reconnaissance; trail layout, permitting, brushing the trail alignment, signage, parking, trail construction, maintenance, tools.

“Basically we do everything from inception to landowner agreements, to construction, to maintenance in perpetuity for all types of non-motorized trail users,” said Marty Coleman-Hunt.

Without a county recreation or parks department, BYLT has helped to create walkable connected neighborhoods and helped prepare the foundation for putting Nevada City and Grass Valley on the map as a “Trail Town.” BYLT is working with other recreation groups to link a trail from Nevada City to Truckee.

Equipped with unique veteran expertise, BYLT’s Trails Team and staff:
• Gain and hold trail easements across private property
• Design, engineer and construct trail; sometimes requiring a licensed contractor
• Install improvements such as retaining walls, culverts, bridges, etc.
• Provide all materials
• Coordinate agency permitting, including CEQA and ADA compliance
• Provide insurance for private property landowners, and for Land Trust volunteers and staff
• Promote trails through maps via an online Trails Portal
• Maintain trails in perpetuity
• Recruit, train and supervise volunteers in proper trail building techniques
• Lead trail advocacy and partnerships with diverse, like-minded organizations
• Write grants and fundraises for trails

Trails benefit the community in a number of ways. Health and wellbeing is improved when people exercise and connect with family, friends and neighbors on public trails. Property values increase and recreation tourism boosts the local economy. Non-motorized transportation corridors provide safe routes to work and school and cleaner air for everyone.

BYLT built and/ or maintained trails include: Alan Thiesen Trail (Alta Sierra), Bailey Trail (Grass Valley), Black Swan Preserve Trail (Smartsville), Brewer Trail (Grass Valley), Cascade Access Trail (Nevada City), Deer Creek Tribute Trail (Nevada City), Environs Trail (Nevada City), Harmony Ridge Trail (Nevada City), Hirschman Trail (Nevada City), Kenny Ranch Trails (Grass Valley), Litton Trail (Grass Valley), Memorial Park – Empire Mine Trail (Grass Valley), Narrow Gauge Trail (Chicago Park), Orene Wetherall Trail (Nevada City), Rattlesnake Ridge Trail (Grass Valley) and Yuba Rim Trail (Dobbins).

BYLT is a private, nonprofit, membership supported group promoting voluntary conservation of natural, historical and agricultural resources in the Bear River and Yuba River watersheds of the Sierra Nevada foothills. In 25 years, BYLT has preserved 10,000 acres.

Through the end of November, community members are invited to take a survey and tell the Land Trust staff and board how they are doing. In addition, BYLT members are asked to share the survey with people they know who may be unfamiliar about the Land Trust.

Donate to the Trail Appeal.

Take the Land Trust survey.

Plan your fall color hike featuring BYLT trails.

Visit the online Trails Portal.