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New Trails Alliance director up to the challenge

by Stephanie Miller
Sky-Hi Daily News
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Lucinda Elicker has her work cut out for her.

As the new executive director for the Headwaters Trails Alliance (HTA), she’s slowly picking up the pieces for the nonprofit organization that hasn’t had a director in more than a year. Her long-term goals are clear: Completing the Fraser to Granby trail, and providing high quality trails that link towns and recreational areas within Grand County.

Short-term, however, she needs to figure out the nuts and bolts of HTA. As she sat at the kitchen table of her Fraser home, she frowned slightly at the HTA brochure in her hands.

“These are really outdated. They’re from 1997,” Elicker said. She is working toward a grant that will pay for new brochures, one of her many goals.

“Right now I’m figuring out the whole system. And there’s quite a system,” she added.

With little training, Elicker must learn how to write grants to fund the nonprofit’s list of projects, and understand what it takes to create trails in a county where the lands are owned by various entities.

But Elicker is up to the challenge. Her passion for a well-maintained trail system and her personal love for the outdoors come from 12 years of experience. Personal experience.

“I’ve used a lot of trails in Grand County. We used to go into the backcountry all the time,” Elicker said, and smiled at her 2-year-old son, Robbie, who was trying to squirm into her lap. “Now we do a lot of car camping.”

She’s also a “huge organizer,” she said, something HTA will benefit from. Without an executive director in the office, file cabinets became “stuffed” and things were put on the back burner, like the HTA’s Web site, which hasn’t been updated since 2002.

Elicker is working with a scholarship through DU to get the site updated for free.

As a former employee of the Winter Park/Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce, Elicker understands the importance of creating awareness. She looks forward to working with her board, who she feels is made up of “strong community members,” and with their help, she hopes to pursue more grants and donations, and continue to spread the word about HTA.

Elicker believes preserving the trails is a top priority for Grand County, and more people need to realize their importance.

“With all of this development coming through, we really need to get these trails established.”

While many developments embrace trails, some aren’t so keen to have the public riding and hiking through their property. By getting the trails established first, HTA can avoid problems with private trail ownerships in the future. She will continue to work closely with other organizations ” the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails, to name a few ” which are all working towards the same goal: to provide more high quality, connecting trails in Grand County.

Volunteers are always needed, Elicker added. She encouraged anyone who wants to help, make a donation or just find out more information to call the HTA office at (970) 887-1174, or e-mail them at hta@headwaterstrails.com. HTA’s Web site is http://www.headwaterstrails.com.

By creating awareness, she hopes her message will come through. She watches as her two sons, Robbie and Peter, run into her bedroom and bounce onto the bed.

“I like trying to preserve trails in Grand County so our future can ride these trails,” she said.


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