VVCC Awards Trail Construction Contract
The VVCC has recently awarded a trail construction contract valued at $137,500.00 to the Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) to provide 6-person trail crews (“Crews” each crew consisting of 1 crew leader, 1 assistant crew leader, 4 members) for 22 weeks to expedite completion of Phase 2 of the Blowout Wash Community Trail System Project (Project) under Forest Service (FS) supervision. Two Crews will work simultaneously for 10 weeks each followed by one Crew for two weeks.
The Project is a community-driven trails initiative that was conceptualized in 2008 by the City of Cottonwood to provide recreation opportunities to the residents and visitors of Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Jerome. The Project will encourage positive stewardship of FS lands adjacent to these communities that have historically incurred unmanaged recreation, illegal off highway vehicle use, trash dumping and concentrated recreational shooting.
The Project is the first of several community trails envisioned as part of the Verde Trails and Access Plan (VTAP). The FS approved the VTAP environmental study in September 2018. The VTAP includes approximately 120 miles of non-motorized and 5 miles of motorized trails within the Verde Ranger District (VRD) of the Prescott National Forest (PNF).
The Project (~27 miles) is a stacked loop system to facilitate opportunities close in (easiest) and farther out (more challenging). The Project does not stand alone as it will be connected to the larger Mingus Mountain Trail System and with the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail. Additionally, the Project connects to the Yavapai College campus and several residential areas in Clarkdale and Cottonwood.
Two public trailheads, Blowout Wash and Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus, provide access to this system. The Yavapai College trailhead will include all weather paved parking, restrooms, signage and interpretive trail safety opportunities.
Phase 2 of the Project will construct ~9 miles of loop trails utilizing AZCC Crews, volunteers and FS personnel. Phase 2 construction activities are summarized as follows:
Trail Length Constructed by
Higher Learning ~3 miles Hand by AZCC Crews
Blowout 3 miles Mechanized by FS personnel & AZCC Crews
Blowout Butte ~1 mile Mechanized by FS personnel & AZCC Crews
Lower Trails ~2 miles Hand/Mechanized by FS personnel & volunteers
Phase 2 also includes restoration actions by AZCC Crews to stabilize the ground surface by shortening slope lengths, reducing water flow velocities and trapping sediment through wattle and seeding.The AZCC contract Project funding is made possible by generous grants to the VVCC from the City of Cottonwood, National Forest and Catena Foundations as well as hundreds of individual donations.