People often say it’s worth taking the road less travelled, but they don’t often mention who builds it.
In New Zealand, many trails worth taking are built thanks to the long hours put in by volunteers and those who support their efforts financially. However, taking a person or company’s desire to support trail building, and turning it into something concrete (or in this case, dirt) isn’t always the most straight forward process.
This is why Trail Fund NZ was created. We are a not-for-profit organisation, run solely by volunteers, supporting the development and maintenance of publicly available, environmentally sensitive and sustainable mountain bike-accessible trails in New Zealand.
Founded in 2012, has supported projects all around New Zealand, helping mountain bike clubs and community groups be successful with the projects that are close to their heart and their homes.
However, Trail Fund doesn’t limit itself to distributing funding – it also focuses on educating the public regarding sustainable trail building, best practice guidelines and the benefits of these trail projects.
Want to know the details? You can read our constitution here if you’d like to see our formal rules.
And here are a few more details on the three key areas in which Trail Fund NZ works:
- Grants: Volunteer-led trail projects can apply to the Trail Fund for grants to help build new trails or do work on existing trails.
- Fund raising: Individuals and businesses can donate money to the Trail Fund. Part of the donation will go to trail building in a specified region and part will go the national trail building funding pool.
- Corporate sponsorship: The Trail Fund will seek corporate sponsorship at the regional and national levels.
- Government and community funding grants: As a national body with an established governance structure, the Trail Fund will be able to seek funding grants from government and community organisations.
- A national presence: With a national presence, the Trail Fund will be able to raise more money than individual regions could working alone.
- Sustainable trails: The Trail Fund will help to share knowledge and experience about building sustainable trails through conferences, workshops, and ‘on the trail’ sessions.
- Best practice: The Trail Fund will help to develop best practice guidelines for project and volunteer management, social marketing, technical skills, and health and safety.
- Raised awareness: The Trail Fund will help educate individuals, communities, governmental organisations, and businesses about the trail building cause and the benefits of trail projects.
- An identifiable brand: The Trail Fund will be a brand that we can all use to tell our stories and educate other riders and people and organisations outside of our community.
- Increased exposure and attention: With an identifiable brand and a national presence, the Trail Fund will make it more attractive for governmental / community organisations and corporate sponsors to support our projects.