You are here

IMBA launches trail education and grant program with Walton Family Foundation

Published February 27, 2018

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the Walton Family Foundation are partnering to present new Trail Labs educational programming and matching Trail Accelerator grants to bring more trails to communities across the U.S.

With support from Visit Bentonville and the Walton Family Foundation, IMBA will host three Trail Labs in Bentonville, Arkansas, where attendees can learn what it takes to create a model trail community. Classroom-style workshops and field-based tours in key Oz Trails locations will highlight best practices in one of Northwest Arkansas’ IMBA Ride Centers.

Alongside Trail Labs, IMBA’s new Trail Accelerator grant fund will support communities with visions for model trails, IMBA stated in a release. The grant will be matched dollar for dollar by the Walton Family Foundation, and is poised to become IMBA’s largest trail fund in history.

“We know mountain biking changes lives, but often a trail project needs an initial boost to get started. We’re excited to highlight the model trail communities of Bentonville and Northwest Arkansas and the lessons learned there,” said Dave Wiens, IMBA’s executive director. “This partnership will deliver communities the tools they need to create their own model trail vision. Together we can accelerate so many trail projects, bringing us closer to our vision of everyone having a place to ride a mountain bike.”

The Trail Accelerator grant fund will be a competitive grant offering for communities in need of more trails to get started with building better places to ride. Awardees will receive professional trail planning and consultation services and funding to launch their trail development efforts. IMBA will work with funders to seed the nationwide grant fund. Matching grant money from the Walton Family Foundation will used for projects, up to $250,000.

“Northwest Arkansas is witnessing the transformative power of trail building—from developing active neighborhoods to increasing tourism and strengthening the local economy,” said Tom Walton, Walton Family Foundation Home Region Committee chair. “Our cities can serve as trail labs of what’s possible for communities in the American Heartland."

The first Trail Lab will be held June 20-22, 2018. Following the three hosted in Bentonville, future Trail Labs will branch out to other communities across the country in 2019, IMBA stated.

Topics associated with this article: Advocacy/Non-profits

Join the Conversation