On March 7th, while snow blanketed much of the Puget Sound, mountain bikers from across Washington walked off the trails and onto the State Capitol campus in Olympia for a full day of meetings with state leaders.
Evergreen members, undeterred by the weather, busily crisscrossed campus in support of recreation funding and GREAT ideas for new trails.
Armed with a strong funding ask as well as creative new project ideas riders from Ellensburg, Leavenworth, Bellingham, Whidbey Island, Arlington, Seattle, Packwood, Olympia and more met with 70 legislators to urge them to fully fund the budget asks of the WWRP, Department of Natural Resources, and State Parks– while also inviting them to hit the trails with Evergreen.
Why is this important?
Legislative Days set the foundation for our trail advocacy work. Evergreen’s member presence on the hill is critical to ensure funding for recreation managers and public lands agencies who we partner with to create healthy recreation opportunities in communities across Washington. This funding is the keystone to giving YOU more places to ride!
This year, we went BIG and discussed with legislators some grand trail visions:
• A cross-state mountain bike trail to connect The Oregon Timber Trail to the Pacific Northwest National Scenic trail? We asked for that.
• A hut-to-hut bike-packing trail in Central Washington? We voiced our strong desire to make this happen.
• Taking state leaders out on the trails. We encouraged them to come out and will be planning rides during recess this summer.
Advocacy is at the core of all we do. To review all advocacy issues we’re currently working on, check out our Fall 2018 Article on how we’re navigating the many issues and considerations in maintaining access, planning for new trails and caring for those old favorites.
It’s not too late – call your Legislators now! Look up your district here and call your senator and representative—it’s more powerful than an email.
You can download our Legislative Day handout below and share it with your legislators to remind them of the importance of investing in mountain biking resources to encourage healthy lifestyles, vibrant communities, and economic development in rural towns.
From the entire Evergreen team, a huge thank you goes out to all members who participated, and to our legislators for meeting with us and considering our (GREAT) ideas.
With Gratitude to all You Trail Enthusiasts,
Evergreen Executive Director