Party aims to raise funds for all-volunteer trail construction non-profit
Salida, CO – Hikers, dog walkers, runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians are invited to support local trails by coming to Salida Mountain Trails Membership Kick-Off and Celebration at the Front Room of the Boathouse Cantina on Saturday, May 3, from 5 to 8 pm.
The event offers food, music, raffle prizes and a silent auction to raise money for the all-volunteer non-profit organization. Top prize in the silent auction is a custom bike frame from Nord Cycles. The local No Name Band, a danceable rock band made up of local avid bicyclists, will provide music.
Attendees may join at one of the following levels:
Chili Pepper – $25 (individual); Li’l Rattler $50 (family level); Little Rainbow $100; Columbine $200; Backbone $300; Prospector $400 and Unkle Nazty $500.
All members will receive a membership card entitling them to discounts at Salida’s bike shops and outdoor store: Absolute Bikes, Salida Bike Company and Subculture Cyclery are all offering 5 percent off; Salida Mountain Sports is offering 10 percent off for two purchases.
In addition to these great discounts, each of these generous retailers will match the dollar amount of the discount with a donation to SMT. For example, if a shopper spends spends $100 at a bike shop, presenting the SMT member card earns a $5 discount ($10 off at SMS) which nets Salida Mountain Trails a $5 (or $10) donation from the participating retailer.
Since 2004, Salida Mountain Trails has added 26 miles of new singletrack trails around Salida. Some of the SMT built trails, especially those in the Arkansas Hills, are among the most heavily used in the area: Backbone, Frontside, Burnpile and Lil’ Rattler. For a complete list of 2013 achievements and 2014 goals, visit the SMT website at salidamountaintrails.org/summary2014/.
Mike Sugaski, a trail work coordinator for SMT, explains, “Trails don’t just happen. Even when public lands abound, as they do around Salida, the planning for a fun, multi-use trail system takes years. We started planning for the trails that exist today as much as 10 years ago with the BLM’s Travel Management Plan.” Crunching numbers, SMT stats reveal local trail construction alone, not including all the planning and relationship-building time, costs approximately $3 to $6 per linear foot.
“Revenue from members and business donations is essential to match other grants and to leverage the efforts of volunteers, Sugaski said. “We have an amazing group of volunteers here; we can get 30 or 40 people out on our monthly Shindigs – year-round – helping to build and maintain trails. What they have accomplished is amazing. With donations, we can leverage that volunteer time by paying our local trail construction companies to help us build more miles.”
According to a 2013 study, more than 25,000 visits have been recorded on the S Mountain and Methodist Mountain trail systems. “An outstanding trail system is an amenity for local residents and visitors; as a business owner and an avid rider, I’m thrilled to see the expansion and growth of Salida Mountain Trails. I hope everyone sees the value trails bring to our community and becomes a member,” says Shawn Gillis of Absolute Bikes.
SMT Membership Party host Boathouse Cantina, and its sister business, River’s Edge, are already huge supporters of SMT with a 1 percent volunteer donation program started earlier this year. That program has already netted SMT more than $1200 so far this year.
Salida Mountain Trails is an all-volunteer non-profitis committed to building and maintaining sustainable, non-motorized, multi-user trails on public lands adjoining the city of Salida. For more information about SMT and its calendar of volunteer opportunities and events, visit SalidaMountainTrails.org.