Hello trail folk! It’s a busy time on the trails, so we’ll be coming to you weekly through spring with the latest and greatest HRATS news. Please share this newsletter with friends.
To kick things off, here’s a brief summary of HRATS 2021 annual report. (Translation: How we spend your much appreciated donations to fulfill our mission. You can find our complete annual report on the website next week.)
Future of Family Man: After years of negotiation, the county has agreed to allow a significant trail expansion after it completes a commercial thin in winter 2022-23. We have CAD renderings, funds, and volunteers ready to rebuild in spring of 2023. This plan has been years in the making, and we’re thrilled about it. Find our complete plans for the Future of Family Man here.
Bad Motor Scooter Redux: BMS was reworked in 2021 to increase the ability range of those that can enjoy it. BMS is an Expert/Black Diamond trail that is one of the few ways to descend from the Extended Play area. The rework was a big effort that involved the county, the hard-working trail adopter, and volunteers with about $7,000 in HRATS funds. Early feedback has been positive.
Nestor: This trail system near Northwestern Lake was built on DNR land in the 1980s and has been neglected. HRATS’ long-term plan is to expand the trail system there and revitalize the full 26-mile loop. We are currently working with the DNR to make this project happen. HRATS built the connector that keeps riders off the road in 2020 and has about $10,000 set aside to give this project a kickstart when allowed.
Work Parties: We managed several work parties in 2021 with clear safety protocols during the pandemic. Trail adopters and volunteers worked on Whoopdee, BMS, and Nestor. A special Shero Dig Work party aimed at equipping our local women riders with trail maintaining skills.
Community Outreach: We created a new board position to increase outreach to underrepresented riders and trail users. We were thrilled to welcome Michelle Morelos as our Community Outreach/Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator. HRATS has been working on several key projects this year:
· HRATS contributed $3,000 towards five mountain bike outings for underserved youth with mountain bike coach Bekah Rottenberg through CultureSeed. These outings were a collaboration between Rottenberg’s Brave Endeavors and local partners like Greg Galliano of Hood River Mountain Bike Adventures and Eric Neely of SRAM. These programs introduced young people to mountain biking in a safe and encouraging environment. We look forward to fostering this partnership with CultureSeed. (Learn more about CultureSeed or donate here.)
· HRATS partnered with Wy’East Middle School in Odell to start a trail system on school grounds. HRATS donated $3,750 to buy a bike shed for donated mountain bikes and will organize future work parties for this ongoing trail project.
· HRATS is excited to start working with Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District to connect with trail users in the Latinx community. HRATS hopes to promote a diverse and welcoming environment for everyone interested in mountain biking and the outdoors through improved trail access.
Donations: HRATS receives 80% of our funds from individual donations, with the remaining 20% coming from a mix of corporate donors, IMBA chapter shares, and fundraising. Many thanks to all of you for your generous donations.
Coming up: Don’t miss our Earth Day fun: April 22 concert with Vitamin D at the Bingen Theater at 7 p.m. and April 23 cleanup at Family Man starting at 9:30 a.m. with a gathering to follow. Check out our Instagram and Facebook feeds for more details!