Rau: Nonprofits serve Grand County trails well | SkyHiNews.com

Rau: Nonprofits serve Grand County trails well

Diana Lynn Rau
Staff Photo |

Since Headwaters Trails Alliance reformed in the mid-1990s, HTA has initiated so many wonderful trail projects to connect and maintain the Grand County trails and connect towns and recreation areas. They have involved many partners in both the Government and private sectors.

In this scenario, a nonprofit central organization works well in a community, taking leadership to both preserve what we have, create new connections as well as respond to evolving demands as our community grows.

Fraser Valley Partnership for Trails is a totally volunteer organization in East Grand County that has been a source of both educational funds as well as materials to help organizations like HTA fund projects like the South Fork Loop bridge and turnpike being installed this year for National Public Lands Day at the end of September. FVPT has built trails like the Givalo, created signs and funded culverts, fill dirt, tread materials and more for Adopt-a-Trail projects. Adopt-a-Trail was started in the late 1990s by FVPT and is now operated by HTA and the US Forest Service. FVPT in fact wrote the grants that started the Fraser-to-Granby Trail which is so popular today and now FVPT offers grants to other trail organizations. And these are just a few of their accomplishments over the years.

FVPT Duckie Race

FVPT is operated strictly by volunteers from each of the many trail user groups and is always looking for a few good board members and volunteers. If you are interested in working with us, please contact Jeff Russell, president, 970-531-1582, Diana Lynn Rau, VP, 970-887-0547, or Louise Powers, Sec-Treas, 970-726-4209. FVPT is funded entirely by donations.

Our only fundraiser is the Annual Duckie Race (the Original Duckie Race!) held this year Aug. 16 at the first bridge of St. Louis Creek below the Fraser Rodeo grounds on County Road 73 outside Fraser. The ducks are thrown into the water starting at 11 a.m. in heats of 100. With only 1,000 ducks, the odds of winning a local prize are 20-1. Prizes vary from $250 cash to YMCA membership to a season pass at Devil’s Thumb, to mention a few.

Bring the kids, water shoes or boots, and a pole ready to get wet and prod the ducks down the river. Great family fun and everyone is welcome, but you don’t have to be present to win. Call Jeff, Diana or Louise for a duck adoption form or to donate a prize. You can also print your duck adoption form online at http://fvptrails.org/calendar . Buy one duck for $5, a cluck of 3 ducks for $12 or a flock of 12 ducks for $40.

We all know trails bring together people of all ages and athletic abilities, provide gateways to our public lands, and provide safe and economical transportation for our kids as well as commuters and recreational users. Only by working together can we preserve and improve our excellent trail system. Help support this cause by supporting FVPT. Buy your ducks now!

Trail building tip

Good sustainable trail construction can create rolling dips or swails to lead water across trails. Such structures need to follow the curve of the hill the way water would naturally flow. Ditching along the uphill side will lead water down the side of the trail to cross at the rolling dip rather than let the water puddle and cross anywhere making a mess of the whole trail surface.

A run-out is created at the end of the dip to lead the water away. This simple technique takes constant maintenance. Branches and trash can block the drainage. Growing plants and normal erosion from excess spring runoff can fill up ditches as well. A well-maintained rolling dip makes a huge difference on a well built trail.

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