he Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund (SRRTF) is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 Matching Awards Program (MAP) Grant from the National Forest Foundation (NFF). The grant will pay for new trail construction west of Sedona, a project called the Western Gateway Watershed and Trail Enhancement Project (Project). Specifically this Project will construct non-motorized multi-use trail, adopt user-created trails, reroute system trails and perform restoration actions in an area located just west of the Sedona city limits and north of State Route 89A, known as the Western Gateway.
Chartered by Congress, the NFF works to enhance our nation’s Forests and Grasslands. NFF’s MAP Grants provide funding for projects that enhance forest health and outdoor experiences. “The SRRTF brought together a broad spectrum of partners with this grant opportunity” said Jennifer Burns, SRRTF MAP Grant Project Manager. “In addition to the NFF, our Project partners include REI Co-op, the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition (VVCC), American Conservation Experience (ACE), and the Red Rock Ranger District (RRRD) of the Coconino National Forest” Burns added.
The Project will sponsor 12 volunteer trail workdays, starting this November and continuing through the Spring 2019. “REI is excited to support the trail workdays, provide some giveaways/refreshments, and help build broader community trail involvement” stated Justin Ingles REI Flagstaff Outdoor Programs & Outreach Coordinator.
~$41,000 in matching funds were raised by the VVCC, making the Project total ~$66,000. “When we put the call out for donations, mountain bikers from 18 States and as far away as Alberta, Canada responded” stated VVCC President Marty Glinsky. “Our fundraising success boosted the amount of work that will get done with this MAP Grant” added Glinsky.
The Project will also hire and train youth crews. “Two ACE youth crews will begin construction in January 2019” stated Forrest Saville RRRD OHV and Trails Coordinator. “The RRRD will be directing these two ACE crews that are staffed by 18-25 year olds who are considering land management as a career path” added Saville. “We are thrilled to be part of this Project” stated Jordan Rolfe, Director of ACE Southwest.
“Project construction is scheduled to take up to three years including the trailhead improvements” stated Adam Barnett, RRRD Recreation Program Manager. “Community support is essential to its completion.” added Barnett. Ultimately the Project, supported by the USFS and City of Sedona, will construct over 27 miles of non-motorized trail, accessible from the area previously known as the “cultural park”. According to the SRRTF’s President Kevin Adams, “We are now working on raising funds for the 2019-2020 Project season. Donations can be made online or through the mail to P.O. Box 4475 Sedona, AZ 86340.” A renovated trailhead is planned, but currently unfunded.