$35,000 for Wellington trails from Transpower

Image (c) 2013 Vortex Photography / Jordan Moss http://www.vortexphoto.co.nz

Image (c) 2013 Vortex Photography / Jordan Moss

In addition to our efforts to raise $$ directly we are very keen to raise awareness of other funding sources that are out there and to see more mountain biking projects take advantage of them. One such example is the Transpower CommunityCare fund, a substantial potential source of funding for community projects that in a recent funding round committed $35,000 to the Wellington Mountain Bike Club in support of further trail development in the Polhill Reserve, Wellington.

That’s a pretty big chunk of change to go towards trails and Transpower should be commended for it.

You can read all the details of how to apply to the CommunityCare fund here but the basic idea is they are looking to fund one off projects in communities ‘affected by’ (i.e. near to / underneath) the National Electricity Grid. The definition of what is included in the Grid and the rest of their funding criteria is available from the CommunityCare website. Funding can range from $5000 to $50,000 so this is a substantial opportunity for community-led projects to tap into.

The funding provided to the Wellington Mountain Bike Club will be used to contribute to the development of a new trail called ‘Clinical’ in addition to helping support the planting of more native plants and the investigation of additional trails in the Polhill Reserve.

The Brooklyn Trail Builders are the team within the wider Club responsible for these trails and have been working away for many years to build both great trails and a great reputation. They started out as a small, independent project who partnered directly with the land manager, Wellington City Council. Over the past few years they have built many kilometers of dual use mountain bike and walking trails in the area with substantial volunteer support, numerous corporate volunteer days, funding from the Wellington Marathon Clinic and a lot of vision and leadership from a core of dedicated trail obsessives. Earlier this year the team formally merged into the Wellington Mountain Bike Club in order to help the project continue to grow and by doing so have gained access to a more robust governance model, legal status, the ability to operate as part of a wider charitable organisation and a more robust and formal relationship with the local council.

The area that the Brooklyn team operates in is close to downtown Wellington, situated between the Aro Street and the end of Windmill Road, Brooklyn.The long term vision for the wider area includes continuing to help improve the biodiversity of the bush while expanding the recreation opportunities by either foot or bike. And already the trails are some of the most popular in the region with both locals and visitors due to their close proximity to the central city and the trail access it provides to Brooklyn, and other trails extending further South and West into Karori.

The new trail “Clinical’ will integrate in with existing trails Transient and Highbury Fling and complete a Grade 3 ‘Grand Loop’ of the Reserve. The approximately 7km complete loop will allow cyclists, runners and walkers to travel in both directions, with multiple access points and numerous opportunities to take in the Reserve’s unique scenery.   Construction on Clinical began in July and is set for completion late 2014. In the meantime, the Trail Builders are underway with other projects including a Grade 4 mountain bike only trail Serendipity, which is nearing completion.

Applications for the next round of CommunityCare grants close on Jan 14th 2014 so get in there now!

Photo: Caban tears it up down Carparts, one of the original trails developed in the area. Photo courtesy of Jordan Moss, Vortex Photography