Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Can you help? Volunteers needed for new MTB trail

The Ripon College Red Hawks cycling team will be hosting two trail work days Saturday, April 30 and Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers are sought to assist in the creation of two miles of singletrack mountain bike trails in the College's Ceresco Prairie Conservancy.

All volunteers will be entered into a prize raffle featuring a new 2011 Trek 6000 mountain bike.

Last August, Ripon College was the recipient of a $25,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant to construct the mountain bike trails in Ripon. The grant is being used to rent necessary equipment and retain the International Mountain Bicycling Association's Trail Solutions team to assist in the trail design and construction.

IMBA's Jill Van Winkle was on campus in November to identify and mark the trail corridor. Stephen Mullins, a trail specialist with IMBA, will be on campus beginning Monday, April 25. Mullins will be the chief architect of the trail building project which is expected to take three weeks to complete.

The more volunteers we can involve in the project, the sooner the project will be complete and the sooner people can begin to enjoy this new resource. Wisconsin's unpredictable spring weather could potentially cause delays to the project, and the three-week time line is tight even under the best of conditions. Therefore, we are counting on the greater Ripon community and mountain bikers from around the region to step up and assist in the creation of this new recreational opportunity. This isn't intended to be Ripon College's mountain bike trail. This is intended to be a resource for everyone to enjoy.

In an effort to increase participation and reward volunteers for their service, we are organizing a prize raffle. Each volunteer will receive an entry into the raffle for each hour of service they contribute. Bob Kirkland, chair of Ripon College's Board of Trustees, has donated a new 2011 Trek 6000 mountain bike as the grand prize. Saris Racks has donated a Bones 3 car rack and CycleOps Power has donated a Magneto trainer. GU Energy and DeFeet have also donated prizes for the raffle. Winners will be drawn during a grand trail opening celebration slated to take place later this summer.

In addition to the two Saturday work days, volunteer opportunities will be available throughout the project. For more information, contact Ric Damm at 920-748-8322 or dammr@ripon.edu.

Trail Solutions is IMBA's professional fee-based trail consulting program. Trail services range from trail planning, design and construction to trail management, education and volunteer teamwork. IMBA excels at careful and diligent planning and collaboration to create trail systems that provide high-quality experiences for diverse visitors, minimize environmental impact and user conflict and require less maintenance over time.�

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