San Diego Mountain Biking Association REI Awards

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The San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) recently received a $10,000 grant to fund three local projects. These locations are Noble Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest, the Cuyamaca State Park and Crestridge Ecological Reserve in El Cajon.

The San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) recently received a $10,000 grant to fund three local projects. These locations are Noble Canyon in the Cleveland National Forest, the Cuyamaca State Park and Crestridge Ecological Reserve in El Cajon.

The SDMBA received this money through the Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). An invitation only award represents a shared mission by the organizations of SDMBA and REI to one, maintain the existing trails, and establishing new sustainable paths for the benefit of equestrians, hikers, bikers, and others who want to see the natural beauty of San Diego.

SDMBA sees this county as home to a rich network of bike trails and parks that provide recreational usage and education for people off all ages. Formed 20 years ago by a small group, it has raised to 800 members that have “real passion” for land and trails, according to Board Member, Robert Craddick.

REI is a $2 billion national retail co-op with more than five million members. Not only does REI provide cutting edge outdoor projects, but also provides classes, trips, and integrated customer needs.

The connection between these two organizations could be described simply as “natural.” Their visions are overlapping and the award came to be because of this connection. The SDMBA had done several events with REI and were invited to apply for the grant, in which they had to outline three specific projects and how they were to allocate the funds.

The international mountain biking site lists the Noble Canyon trail as an “epic ride.” This recently finished project and all resources allocated to it are for maintenance through San Diego’s droughts. The Cuyamaca project is expecting several improvements such as trail building due to high volume of visitors the area receives.

Crestridge in the El Cajon area is a unique project. The area is an ecological reserve used mainly by bird watchers and hikers. It is used more of a “learning laboratory” than actual trail with the Earth Discovery Institute. The SDMBA aims to work with the institute to carve a three-mile trail by connecting some existing paths. They are currently working with land managers to move the project forward.

SDMBA organizes strictly on a volunteer basis. It brings tools and rejuvenates trails based on strict standards. It is hoping to continue to partner with the county to ensure San Diego’s trails and parks receive the care and attention to promote learning and exploration of nature for all residents to enjoy for years to come.

To learn more please visit www.sdmba.com.

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