CULLOWHEE, NC (BRAIN) Feb 17, 11:19 MT—Construction will begin this spring to develop a 350-acre public trail network on Western Carolina University land here.
A $5,000 Specialized Dealer Grant through Asheville retailer Motion Makers helped leverage funding for the $130,000 project. Almost $80,000 has been raised for the project so far.
“The seed money provided by Specialized and Motion Makers, while just a small percentage of the projected $130,000 total cost, was important to have that commitment early in the game. It allowed us to show a coordinated effort with momentum when we started applying for more substantial grants.” said Josh Whitmore, associate director of outdoor programs at WCU, and coordinator of the project.
Motion Makers is the only bike shop in the county. "We happen to have a great relationship with Specialized – so when we heard about this project, it was a pretty easy decision,” said Motion Makers' Kent Cranford.
“It’s really important to support efforts like this – the cycling community comes to us for support, and because of the Dealer Grant Program, we’re able to turn around and provide them with actual funding just by helping with the paperwork and getting our hands a little dirty helping out. It’s amazing!”
In order to draw attention to the project and motivate volunteers, WCU will also host a crew of IMBA trail experts on March 22-25. The crew will lead trail-building training on March 24th, in addition to meeting with local land managers, planners and community leaders during their stay.