IMBA has just released their quarterly update. As a Visionary Partner, we are proud to support the work IMBA is doing to bring more people into mountain biking and developing vast trail networks. Here’s an update from Executive Director Dave Wiens outlining their advocacy work, Trail Labs projects, and their emphasis on community projects.
“Trails, mountain biking, and IMBA are strong and well-positioned to continue growing. Expanding trails for mountain biking and other users has always been our focus and expertise. We’re seeing growing evidence that communities consider trails a solution for happier, healthier kids and for all citizens, as well as a solution for a more prosperous community with a high quality-of-life. With trails as the solution, we’re working hard to help provide trails in all regions.
Developing trails is complex: physically, politically, financially, the challenges go on. Trails simply can’t come to fruition without astute partnership building, smart planning, and creative financing. While IMBA alone can’t build every mile of new trail, we devote our wealth of knowledge and experience to support, influence, and accelerate trail projects. We also work to influence substantial investment in trails and trail infrastructure.
IMBA has a bold new vision for more trails close to home. We are working to impact 250 communities by 2025 to provide diverse mountain bike trail experiences, nearer to population centers, with an emphasis on providing equity in access. We’re very excited about the possibilities and benefits for all, including the bicycle industry.
This past year we hosted phenomenal Trail Labs, increased funding to award more Trail Accelerator Grants, and advanced legislation that will have a lasting impact on trails and public lands.
To date, 77 communities representing 35 states and seven foreign countries have attended IMBA Trail Labs to learn how to effectively develop mountain biking trails. Additionally, nearly $400,000 with community match has been allocated for trail planning in 15 communities, through IMBA’s Trail Accelerator grant program. Having a professional trail plan is a key catalyst for propelling trail projects across the finish line.
In 2019, IMBA was instrumental in helping shape and pass the largest recreation and conservation lands package in a decade. This included tens of thousands of acres of new and expanded bike-friendly recreation and trail network designations, permanently reauthorizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and further establishing IMBA’s congressional relationships and influence in Congress.” -Dave Wiens, Executive Director