Access Fund Announces First Round Grant Recipients for 2011
In the first round of the Climbing Preservation Grant Program for 2011, the Access Fund awarded over $18,000 to support local climbing activism and conservation of the climbing environment. Presented two times annually, the Climbing Preservation Grant program provides financial assistance to the grassroots network and land managers across the United States. During this first round of grants, the Access Fund is supporting seven worthy projects.
Western Colorado Climbers Coalition – Mothers Buttress Driveway, Kiosk, and Parking Lot
A grant was awarded to Western Colorado Climbers Coalition (WCCC) for the construction of a driveway, parking lot, kiosk, and trailhead at the Mothers Buttress in Unaweep Canyon in Colorado. This project follows up WCC’s acquisition of the wall in partnership with a local landowner in 2009. The Colorado Department of Transportation is requiring off-road parking for public access. Once completed, the Mothers Buttress lot will be the second public access point for climbers in Unaweep Canyon.
Climbers of Hueco Tanks Coalition – Helping Hands of Hueco Tanks Clean Up Climbers of Hueco Tanks Coalition was awarded a grant to cover costs of the recent Helping Hands of Hueco Tanks Clean Up, including permitting with the State agency, promotional materials, brushes, and spray bottles to remove chalk. Hueco Tanks is a sensitive climbing area that requires regular support and climber stewardship to maintain climbing access for future generations.
Idyllwild Climber’s Alliance – Adopt a Crag and Climber Festival
A grant was awarded to Idyllwild Climber’s Alliance to go toward an Adopt a Crag and Climber Festival at the historic Tahquitz and Suicide climbing area in Southern California. The organization has successfully partnered with San Bernadino National Forest on an annual Adopt a Crag event, and will use the grant money to expand outreach in the area and attract more climbers and recreational users to volunteer at this event by incorporating a barbecue to thank volunteers.
US Forest Service – Bulo Point Parking and Turnaround
US Forest Service has received a grant, in collaboration with local climbers, to go toward construction of a much-needed parking area and turnaround at the Bulo Point climbing area in Mt. Hood National Forest. In 2008 and 2009, local climbers and the Access Fund convinced the Forest Service to keep the road to this area open when it was slated for decommissioning. Plans were made to construct a turnaround and parking area at the trailhead but cost estimates by the Forest Service were prohibitive. A new design and budget were recently calculated and the Access Fund grant, along with pro bono services from the local climbing community, will allow the Forest Service to move forward.
Rocky Mountain Field Institute – Garden of the Gods Central Recreation Trails Project
A grant was awarded to Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) for extensive trail work at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The project will restore this high-use area by constructing 2,550 feet of new trail, reconstructing 2,100 feet of damaged trail, and rehabilitating 3,500 feet of undesignated social trails. Garden of the Gods is a highly impacted multi-use area that needs extensive stewardship work to meet demands of public access. RMFI has partnered with Access Fund in the past on successful trail work projects at Shelf Road, Crestone Needle, Castleton Tower, and Indian Creek and their standard of work is one of the best examples in the country.
Dishman Hills Natural Area Association – Big Rock Trailhead Parking
Dishman Hills Natural Area Association (DHNAA) was awarded a grant for road improvement and parking construction to access their 80-acre Big Rock parcel outside of Spokane, Washington. DHNAA is under contract to purchase 5-10 acres for a public parking area and turnaround for Big Rock access, which is expected to close in May. Some members of the public have been accessing Big Rock from this point already, causing some issues and requiring immediate action to establish legal access and parking.
Central Oregon Rocks – Community Outreach A grant was awarded to Central Oregon Rocks (COR) to help with community outreach and promotion of their local climbing organization through materials such as banners and brochures. Formed in 2006, COR is taking an active role in addressing access issues and organizing cleanups. COR is looking to expand their support and visibility with the local climbing community, partners, and land managers.