The VVCC recently provided a $33,333.33 grant to the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund (SRRTF) to hire and train youth crews for construction, beginning in January 2019, of the Western Gateway Trail System. The Western Gateway is a planned 27 mile multi-use non-motorized trail system, accessible from an area known as the "Cultural Park" just west of the Sedona city limits and north of State Highway 89A.
Earlier this year, the VVCC partnered with the SRRTF on a Matching Award Program (MAP) competitive grant opportunity offered by the National Forest Foundation (NFF). The NFF was chartered by Congress to enhance our nation's forests and grasslands. The SRRTF was the lead partner responsible for writing and submission of the grant request by the June 2018 deadline while the VVCC was responsible for raising the required $25,000 grant match. The SRRTF was recently notified that its NFF Grant application was successful.
The SRRTF's grant application originally envisioned hiring one crew consisting of four youths participating in a program run by the American Conservation Experience (ACE) located in Flagstaff for twelve weeks. VVCC members and mountain bikers from 18 States and as far away as Alberta Canada overwhelming responded to the VVCC's various Western Gateway fundraising efforts. VVCC and SRRTF's fundraising was so successful, the SRRTF notified the NFF after award that the scope of work would increase by a third through the hiring of two, four person ACE crews for eight weeks each. The ACE crews are scheduled to begin work in early January 2019 and finish in early March 2019.
The Red Rock Ranger District (RRRD) will be scheduling twelve Western Gateway volunteer trail work days sponsored by the SRRTF and REI Flagstaff between November 2018 and February 2019. REI will provide giveaways, refreshments and help increase volunteer turnout by announcing these workdays on the REI website and monthly email newsletter. The VVCC will be promoting these as well as all RRRD workdays this upcoming trail work season.