When Evergreen Program Manager Mike Westra and Education and Volunteer Manager Mike Sidwell visit a school, it's not usual for them to have tools in tow.
Last week they teamed up with Kirkland-based Environmental and Adventure School--an experiential learning school that focuses on the interdependent relationship between people and the environment--to participate in a service learning program.
Service learning combines classroom instruction with community service--a core component to EAS curriculum--and Evergreen staff was more than happy to provide an opportunity. Under the direction of crew leads, students from 6th-8th grade spent three hours a day at Duthie (for the entire week) learning to be responsible stewards by performing maintenance work, learning about sustainable trails, and having fun outside.
Students had fun while learning. "It's a great opportunity to help students connect with the outdoors and learn at the same time," says Mike S "we look forward to increasing out work with schools in the future."
If you'd like to get more information about how your school can engage in service learning opportunities with Evergreen, contact Mike Sidwell at email@example.com.
The new Tiger descending trail just passed its 12th week of construction and it's a great time for volunteers to get involved! The mini-excavator has completed its work on the first section and now crews are hand-finishing excavated sections-and we want to invite you to join a work party and add another great trail on Tiger!
And the best part about work parties is not only are they a great way to give back-they're also a ton of fun! Spending the day outside is awesome anyway, but when it's with a group of fun, passionate people building a trail for anyone to enjoy-it doesn't even feel like work!
And few things feel better than the pride of knowing you helped build the trail you're riding. You don't need to have experience to come help-there's a job for everyone and all ages and abilities are welcome!
This trail is a perfect one to lend a hand as a volunteer! Not only is it our main focus on Tiger Mountain this winter, but when completed it will be the most technically challenging authorized trail in the Puget Sound area! Come be a part of history; work parties are starting now, so keep an eye on the calendar, and we'll see you on the trail.
October was NOVA grant review month, and a great example of how much more respect and credibility mountain biking is getting in Washington.
NOVA, or the Non-highway Off-road Vehicle Activities program, provides funding to develop and manage off-road recreational opportunities-like motorcycle, equestrian, hiking, and of course, mountain biking.
Evergreen has been working hard to ensure that mountain bikers are well represented in recreation funding, and it has been paying off. This year there were applications for $1.1mil worth of grant projects which would specifically benefit mountain biking in our state. This is a dramatic increase from $490,000 in applications for similar projects in 2012 and $325,000 in 2011.
Evergreen and our chapters are building strong relationships with land managers, and continuing our efforts to show the need for more trails with state agencies in Olympia-and it's paying off. There were numerous comments from land managers tying new trail opportunities to the expanded maintenance work now being done by mountain bikers, and with a projected 12,000 donated volunteers hours for 2014, Evergreen volunteers can take pride in that.
While not all of these projects will be funded this cycle, it is a clear indicator that the needs of mountain bikers are being taken seriously. Evergreen will continue this successful effort, building relationships with land managers and agencies across the state--thank you for your continued support.
The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and Lisa Miller are pleased to announce the formation of a new organization called the Washington Student Cycling League.
Two years ago the Washington Student League, guided by Lisa Miller, was created as a program within Evergreen to provide a holistic mountain bike program for students in grades 7-12.
The partnership allowed Evergreen to further its goal of expanding the sport while the league received support that included financial stability and access to an extensive community of riders.
Both Evergreen and the League have experienced steady growth in the following years. Now, with the continual increase in popularity of mountain biking as a sport, the league has grown large enough that it is ready to run as an independent nonprofit organization. The new Washington Student Cycling League replaces Evergreen's Washington Student League, which will cease operations immediately.
"I'm pleased that we were able to foster this youth cycling program over the last few years and I'm confident that it will thrive on its own now" says Evergreen's Executive Director Glenn Glover. "We look forward to finding creative ways to partner as we both advance mountain biking in Washington."
"I am very proud of the community and the program that we have built under Evergreen. We are changing lives and seeing the impact of our work in our community is astounding," says Miller."Our team of League supporters is excited to continue the mission and vision of empowering youth through cycling."
The new Washington Student Cycling League will begin operations on November 3, 2014 and registration for the Spring League season will open on December 1. The new League will be under the continued leadership of Lisa Miller who will serve as the organization's Executive Director.
For more information on the new Washington Student Cycling League, visit www.washingtonleague.org
Remember your first mountain bike? Those big tubes, 21 gears, and that cast-iron frame? Born of cutting edge, NASA technology (thicker tires and flat handle bars) it allowed you to break away from the road, onto the dirt, and into the sport that you love today.
That bike helped you learn switchbacks, weight transfer, and how poorly your body bounced on packed dirt. It taught the reward of a hard-fought climb, and the thrill of a ripping descent. You learned together-and worked those trails like one body.
But as the years went on, you may have found that disc brakes, rear shocks, and lighter frames took your riding to new levels-ones that you just couldn't reach with your old bike. Maybe it just didn't seem like as much fun as your new bike. So it slowly moved further back in the garage. But you never stopped using what you learned together.
Remember our first website? That flashy 1998 technology that offered you all the Washington State mountain biking info your AOL dial up could handle? Well we learned a lot there too.
Visitors to the Evergreen site may have noticed a big change this past weekend-and now we're pleased to officially announce the new Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance page! After 16 years of duct-taping-and-crazy-gluing the previous site, we're excited to take what we've learned and launch the new go-to-resource for Washington State mountain bikers.
The new site not only looks sweet, but it also brings a ton of new features and loads of behind-the-scenes functionality to help us better serve our community. We've kept much of the old site structure but have added in a blog for articles and releases, updated information pages, integrated it with our Trail Guide, and even included social media feeds so you can follow pictures and activities--plus much more.
It's a very exciting time to be a member of Evergreen, and we're glad you support us as we deliver on our commitment to better riding around the state. As we continue to grow, we always appreciate those who've helped us get there. Maarten van Dantzich, who kept the previous site going as long as it did, as well as Pavel Dolezel, who spent endless hours building the site you see now--were indispensable (as were countless others).
As the old site takes it's place further back in the garage (so far back you cant see it) and as Evergreen moves forward, we'll continue to use what we've learned together to serve Washington mountain biking for years to come.
Your support and volunteer hours are vital for Evergreen. We know how valuable your time is--and we want to show you how much we appreciate you and all you do with the Evergreen Volunteer Appreciation Party!
So come join us on Friday, November 14th for mountain bike movies from Freehub and Anthill Films, beer from Bellevue Brewery, and a raffle packed with shwag from REI and Platypus! Oh, and did we mention pizza? Yes, free pizza.
So come on out with your fellow volunteers, swap stories about mountain biking, and win some great shwag! We won't even ask you to pick up a shovel (again). Promise.
When: Friday, November 14th, 6:30-8:30PM
Where: REI Flagship Store
222 Yale Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
What: An event for all our volunteers (trail workers, event helpers, graphic designers--you name it!) and their guests (all ages welcome!)
We hope you can join us for this special celebration. Even if you've only made it out to a work party (or festival) once--you're invited! And please forward this on to anyone you know who has volunteered with Evergreen this year!
We'll see you there!
What can mountain biker's learn from the Douglas Adams book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? That a towel can be the most massively useful thing you can have.
Trail courtesy is incredibly important for Washington bikers to continue to gain access to more trail. Few people mind sharing the trail with a courteous rider. But yielding to hikers, ascending riders, and horses is only part of it--etiquette also extends to the most visible places--like the trailhead.
We're all eager to jump out of the car and get on some singletrack, but it's important to remember that there are other people around who may not share that sense of urgency.
So when you quickly drop trou to throw on your bike shorts, clear out your sinuses on the asphalt, or relieve yourself in a not-so-private area, it might make other users think twice about wanting to sharing trails with you.
So when you're heading out with your bike remember you're a steward of the trails you ride. And that people are watching. So use the outhouse. Suit up when you leave the office. Or just remember to take a page out of Douglas Adam's book and just bring a towel.
We have an opportunity to continue building great trails with our land partners in Washington--all it takes is strong advocacy, respect, and courtesy.
"Stoke dripping from the trees", "my new favorite trail", and "a work of art from the trailbuilders" are some of the things being said about Off-the-Grid. Off-the-Grid, or OTG, is the newest collaboration between Evergreen and the Department of Natural Resources to take shape on Tiger Mountain.
OTG, which runs from near-summit to just above Fully Rigid, was designed and built in-house as DNR's first MTB specific trail.
Taking into consideration constraints of the landscape, the trailbuilders utilized natural features, challenging terrain, and swift declines to offer up a fast, technically challenging ride--and nailed it.
DNR's construction of the Off-the-Grid Trail with the help of Evergreen volunteers was funded through a grant from the state's Non-highway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program. DNR has also secured grant funding to build two additional trails to complete the next phase of its expansion--including the new technical descending trail.
If you'd like to help increase Tiger Mt.'s trails, keep an eye on the calendar and join us for a work party!
Duthie Hill Park offers mountain bikers a variety of trails and many different riding challenges, but thanks to King County Parks one challenge will soon be a thing of the past--parking.
The popularity of Duthie can mean difficulty finding a space, so earlier this year King County Parks broke ground on a new lot in July and it plans to complete it this coming November.
The new parking lot, located at the corner of Duthie Hill and Issaquah Fall City Road, will provide an additional 74 stalls, a small plaza and gathering area, and trailer space for events. With an off-road connector to the service gate, the lot will further ease congestion and allow park users better access to trails.
Duthie's continued growth in popularity illustrates the beneficial relationship between Evergreen and King County Parks. With more projects on the horizon and the clear benefits of partnerships with county government, mountain bikers across the state have much to look forward to in Washington's future.