Trails are the way most of us connect with a park’s landscape, wildlife, and stunning views. With the current cutbacks to both National and State Park funding, many are having to close or give up on planned maintenance projects. Bay Area park Point Reyes National Seashore has decided to take matters in their own hands and offer the Trails Challenge to Bay Area residents or even visitors in order to raise money for the park’s trails and wildlife.
With over 150 miles of public trails, the Point Reyes National Seashore covers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the Bay Area. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Point Reyes National Seashore Association (PRNSA) has established the Point Reyes Trails Trust to restore and enhance the park’s trail network, with an initial five-year plan for raising $2 million. The 2012 Trails Challenge is the inaugural event to begin raising funds for the new Trails Trust.
The PRNSA kicked off their new program and fundraiser on National Trails Day yesterday. You can register free of charge for the Trails Challenge, choosing to explore the park through one of five challenge tracks. Tracks include hiking all 150 miles of trail or thoroughly exploring the five major habitats of the park.
Those of you who complete one of the five challenges will be given a pin featuring the logo of the PRNSA. With a minimum $50 pledge, you can earn a Trails Challenge T-shirt and other premium prizes. You have from now until November 2nd to successfully complete your chosen challenge.
REI, the National Parks Conservation Association, and a handful of other organizations, have pledged a $50,000 fund to match gifts raised through the Trails Challenge. Every dollar raised up to $50,000 will be matched, doubling the positive impact on the trails at Point Reyes.
I can see this becoming a great fundraising opportunity for many parks across the country. Would you participate in a Trails Challenge with your local park or even a National Park?