Wild Trails and Rock/Creek today announce that the 2010 Rock/Creek StumpJump raised $27,000 for work on trails in Chattanooga. Wild Trails will now accept proposals for 2011 grants.
Proceeds donated from StumpJump and other races in the 2010 Rock/Creek Trail Series have allowed Wild Trails to give year-end gifts to the Cumberland Trail Conference, the Friends of the Cumberland Trail, and the Mountain Education Foundation, and will fund much of the 2011 Wild Trails grant cycle. Wild Trails is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to promote the use, expansion and protection of trails in greater Chattanooga.
In February 2011, the organization will award its first round of 5 grants, up to $2,000 each, to organizations chosen from the pool of applicants. Rock/Creek, a locally-owned, independent specialty outdoor retailer, has partnered with Wild Trails in an effort to promote the sport of trail running, to showcase the beautiful trail systems in our great city, and to raise funds to support local trail initiatives.
Dawson Wheeler, co-owner of Rock/Creek and one of the founding board members of Wild Trails, hopes to see the grant cycle grow into something modeled after the Conservation Alliance, where club members will vote on projects that are important to them. As Wheeler explains, “the last year has been a period of growth and re-organization for Wild Trails. In the coming year, we’ll be aggressively recruiting new volunteers and membership, in order to grow our support for trail building and expansion in Chattanooga. We also intend to announce key strategic partnerships with local corporations to help improve overall health and wellness in our region.”
Jonathan Mobley, Executive Director of Wild Trails and Race Director of the Rock/Creek Trail Series, shares his thoughts on the program: “One of the most rewarding parts of organizing the Rock/Creek Trail Series is to know that you have had a hand in providing an experience for people that they will not soon forget. Seeing people enjoy the outdoors and enjoy their health because they have committed themselves to protecting both of them is a real gift. Even better, when we are able to give financial resources to these local organizations, I know we are ensuring the same enjoyment for others for years to come.”
Bobby Fulcher, Park Manager of Cumberland Trail State Park, explains the significance of the work done by these organizations: “Wild Trails is fostering an ethic of responsibility and commitment that will keep public lands open, beautiful, and protected. We’re sincerely grateful for the support Wild Trails is granting to the Friends of the Cumberland Trail. The Cumberland Trail project is significant in many respects — its enormous scale, the quality of the resources it connects and protects, and the quality of its partnerships with volunteers and supporting organizations. We aspire to provide outdoor recreation resources of the highest quality, and to serve as an educational institution and as a trustworthy steward of wonderful natural, cultural, and historical treasures. The Friends of the Cumberland Trail is a new organization, already providing critical support toward these goals, and is certainly enabled through this assistance from Wild Trails.”
Tony Hook, Cumberland Trail Conference Manager, explains the significance of this latest gift to the completion of the planned 300-plus-mile trail: “Once completed, the Cumberland Trail will stretch from Signal Point near Chattanooga north to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. This trail will provide numerous recreational opportunities and for the preservation of the historical, cultural, and natural resources of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. Because of the donation from Wild Trails, the Cumberland Trail project will move another step closer to completion.”
Race sponsors include: Patagonia, Salomon, The North Face, Marmot, SmartWool, Outdoor Research, Deuter Packs, Vasque, Hammer Nutrition, Toyota of Cleveland and Capital Toyota, Columbia, La Sportiva, Skullcandy, Greenlife Grocery, Nikwax Waterproofing, Southern Spring Water, Smith Optics, CamelBak, Chaco, KEEN, Merrell, Archer Physical Therapy, RiverRocks Chattanooga, Blue Smoke Coffee, Trail Runner Magazine, and North Shore Yoga.
Members of the public are invited to join Wild Trails as annual members and join in this important work on trails for all users. Membership sign-up is online and facilitated through Network for Good: https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1003341&uniqueID=634170325278592495
Trail building organizations are encouraged to apply for grants at wildtrails.org. Proposals are due December 15, 2010. Grants will be announced and awarded in February 2011. For more information, visit http://www.wildtrails.org/funding.html
About Wild Trails
Wild Trails is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the use, expansion and protection of trails in greater Chattanooga. The organization grew out of The Wilderness Trail Running Association, aka “The Boonies.” This group of trail runners began to expand and now includes all non-motorized trail user groups. All proceeds from the Rock/Creek Trail Series are donated to the organization. In 2010, the Triple Crown of Bouldering also joined Wild Trails. With a new identity and an expanded mission and vision for the future, Wild Trails has committed to bring people together who share a passion for the outdoors and recognize the responsibility we have to protect trails for ours and future generations.
Rock/Creek is an independent specialty outdoor retailer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee with over 20 years of brick and mortar experience. With a dedicated staff of outdoor enthusiasts and gear experts, Rock Creek offers only the very best outdoor apparel and equipment from top brands like Marmot, Patagonia, The North Face, Chaco Sandals to ensure that customers are comfortable and safe in the outdoors.