Nestled in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the team at Honey Stinger enjoys getting outside and playing on local trails to mountain bike, trail run, backpack, and more. We value our outdoor environments and strive to be responsible trail users. Because of that, we have partnered with the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund (TMEF) through the Steamboat Stinger. Continue reading to learn more about the TMEF, their efforts and how Honey Stinger is giving back to help support and maintain our playground.
Our hometown of Steamboat Springs, CO offers near perfect summer conditions to enjoy the outdoors. There are miles of single track and acres of national forest and wilderness areas to explore right in our backyard. With more and more people using our trails, it’s important that we have a funding source to help maintain them. However, at the same time, federal funding to manage these lands has been drying up as more dollars are allocated to fight forest fires. To address this funding shortfall, Northwest Colorado took a unique approach to manage trail maintenance.
With some out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration, land managers and community partners decided on an endowment fund, the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund (TMEF). The Yampa Valley Community Foundation, which manages the fund, started a campaign in 2016 to raise $1 to $1.5 million over a 10-year period. The principle dollars raised will remain in the fund for perpetuity, generating interest that will be used annually to fund trail maintenance.
“It’s a unique approach to solving the maintenance problem,” says U.S. Forest Service recreation specialist Kent Foster. “Ensuring you have the means to maintain trails is far more difficult than building them. Having the foresight to address those needs in perpetuity is a testament to our community’s commitment to its trails. It will help ensure we have great trails for years to come.”
Four years into the campaign, the community has raised more than $490,000 and has issued multiple grants totaling almost $15,000 for trail maintenance projects. A board comprised of land managers and community representatives decide which proposals get funds.
The following maintenance projects have been funded:
- 2016 Grant: $2,303 grant to the United States Forest Service for work on Fish Creek Falls trail to build a minor retaining wall just past the first bridge.
- 2017 Grant: $4,290.74 grant to the United States Forest Service for work on a trail section on the 1101 (Wyoming Trail) to reduce braided sections of trail and rehab the unused portion of trail. A portion of the grant also completed work on Uranium Mine trail.
- 2018 Grants: Total grants – $7,852
- $3,500 grant to the United States Forest Service for work on a trail section on the 1101 (Wyoming Trail) to reduce braided sections of trail and rehab the unused portion of the trail. (continued project from last year)
- $4,352 grant to the City of Steamboat Springs to replace one damaged bridge on Spring Creek Trail.
Proceeds from Honey Stinger’s 2019 Steamboat Stinger Bike and Running race will go directly to support the TMEF. The ten-year campaign to raise $1 to $1.5 million will wrap up in 2026 and until then, the trails are thankful for the continued love and support.
For more information about the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund or to donate, visit yvcf.org/trails.