Middle Fork Trail needs votes to benefit from REI funding
Seattle-based REI is inviting its 5.5 million members and the outdoor community to have a direct effect on the trails they love, including the Middle Fork Trail on the Snoqualmie River. Members can vote in the Every Trail Connects program, http://www.rei.com/h/trails, to direct funding to their favorite trails.
REI launched the program Aug. 14, to engage the community and get their input on how to invest $500,000 with 10 nonprofit partners to support 10 selected trails.
Each vote (one per day, per person) means a $5 investment in the selected trail. The investment is part of $5.9 million that REI is granting in 2015 to more than 300 nonprofits working to create access to more than 1,000 outdoor places throughout the United States.
“At REI, we believe that trails are nature’s playground. They connect us to one another and to something larger than ourselves,” said Jerry Stritzke, REI president and CEO. “These natural treasures are often underfunded, so we are asking the outdoor community to join us in celebrating our dedicated nonprofit partners and help us build, improve and enhance these 10 great trails for generations to come.”
For the Middle Fork Trail, the funds will help re-route a section of the trail that has been washed away by repeated flooding, restoring recreational access to the upper reaches of the Middle Fork Valley. The project also includes removing approximately 0.5 miles of washed-out trail segments to promote natural re-vegetation and repairing portions of the damaged wood boardwalks.
The work will be done through a partnership with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and Washington Trails Association.
Additional trails to benefit from the program include three trails in California and one each in Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Texas.
The Backbone Trail (national park) project includes repairs to retaining walls and renovation of the trailhead to improve access;
Coast to Crest Trail project will will connect one of the last remaining gaps on the 70-mile trail and construct two new trailheads;
Coon Creek to Bear River Trail System project will help build 20 miles of new trail just north of Auburn.
Other projects are:
In Colorado, Mount Columbia Summit Trail project will build new, and reconstruct the existing trail to the summit, beginning at 11,700 feet;
In Georgia, Cumberland Island Trail Network (national park) project will clean, clear and re-route the backcountry trail system, improve kayak access, create the first-ever backcountry trails map and install signage at the trailheads;
In Massachusetts, the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway project will build a bridge and parking lot in the Georgetown-Rowley State Forest as well as a boardwalk in Concord and at Walden Pond and will install drainages and a bridge in Borderland State Park in North Easton;
In Minnesota, the Superior Hiking Trail project will construct the final six-mile segment of the trail and build several loops in the city of Duluth to improve access to outdoor recreation;
In New York, The Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain (national park) project will rehabilitate and relocate a portion of the trail on the slopes of Bear Mountain and restore a half mile stretch of trail to the summit;
In Texas, the Violet Crown Trail project will construct the next seven miles of the new 30-mile trail system, connecting urban life to outdoor spaces.