I have submitted the first grant proposal for Trailcology!
Larimer County provides small grants for community partnering that are meant to help unite communities while providing some level of outdoor education, experience, access, or improvements. I submitted a proposal for a simple project that will help educate trail users about invasive plants, their effects on the environment, and what can be done to help prevent their spread.
If this project is funded I will help develop about 10 high-quality signs that each contain a picture and information about a different invasive plant. The signs will be installed trail-side in areas where that particular invasive plant is along or near the trail. This project will target high-use areas such as Horsetooth Mountain Park, Lory State Park, Pineridge Natural Area, and Maxwell Natural Area. I will organize a small group of volunteers to hike to previously designated areas where we will install the signs along the trail. At each location we will talk about the invasive plant and the information contained on its sign. I will aim to organize a diverse group of volunteers that consists of hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrians. Through diverse groups such as these I hope to create a deeper sense of community within the trail user groups and create "sustainable trail users" that understand having sustainable trail systems also requires open communication between the users which will reduce conflict.
This is one of a number of proposal ideas that I have prepared for Trailcology. Future proposals will range from small scale trail maintenance, through ecological projects like slash-pile burn scar remediation, and all the way up to the development of new trails to create a more sustainable network.
I have already partnered with the Overland Mountain Bike Club's trails committee and I am working toward relationships with hikers, trail runners, and equestrians to help create a unified voice for the future of our trails.
Stay tuned for future updates about the Larimer County small grant as well as upcoming projects!