Leaders with Wild Trails announced recipients for their spring 2013 outdoor grants.
The biannual grants are funded mostly from proceeds of the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series, which is a trail running race series with nine events that take place on trails throughout the area.
Wild Trails, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is also funded by private donations.
Rock/Creek co-founder and Wild Trails President Dawson Wheeler said that sponsors, staff members, volunteers and racers all play important roles in the grants.
"We are humbled by the continued financial and hands-on support of our sponsors," he said in a prepared statement. "Top brands from the outdoor industry and strong local companies are working together with Rock/Creek employees and Wild Trails volunteers to create some of the best race experiences available anywhere.
"We could not put this amount of money into trail building and maintenance without their support," he said. "Thousands of racers come from around the country and abroad to run on our trails. Trail running continues to grow as a sport, and our trails are in better shape as a result of these events.”
Click here to read more about the trail series.
Leaders awarded five grants:
—Southeast Youth Corps: $2,000 to fund a two-month work crew, involving eight Chattanooga youths, in the Big Frog Wilderness. This crew will focus on improving watershed, habitat and recreational needs near the Grassy Gap Trail.
—Friends of the Cumberland Trail: $2,000 to certify and equip four volunteer sawyers, including training fees and the purchase of safety equipment. The group will manage this equipment, which will be available for loan to certified volunteers.
—Lula Lake Land Trust: $2,000 to provide for a portable trail rigging cache designed to move large objects during trail construction projects. These tools, which will also be available for loan, will be managed by Lula Lake and require a certified rigging specialist.
—SORBA-Chattanooga: $2,000 in conjunction with the Lula Lake grant noted above to fund a four-day trail rigging workshop. This workshop will enable several local trail advocacy groups to become certified for using trail rigging equipment that can help move large boulders and other objects.
—Southeast Climbers Coalition: $2,000 to fund access improvements and approach trail upgrades for the Castle Rock climbing area in Tennessee.
Rock/Creek leaders created Wild Trails to provide resources, education and events to help expand and protect trails in the greater Chattanooga area.
Twice a year, Wild Trails donates up to $2,000 per grant for up to five trail work projects.
The next grant cycle deadline is June 15. More details are available here.