After our huge success last season with 25 riders and amazing support from the school district, EtownMtb approached Susquehanna Area Mountain Bike Association (SAMBA) to walk the district property to discuss feasibility for a small section of singletrack on school grounds. After walking the property, SAMBA gave us the thumbs up and provided guidance on how to approach the district. If the trail was approved, SAMBA committed to serving in an advisory role for the trail, advising on trail layout, trail building techniques and providing tools.
We then met with school administration with the idea of creating about a half-mile of singletrack on district property to expand practice options for the team. We were advised by the district business manager to write up a proposal so it could be submitted to the school board for review (Read their proposal HERE). While we were drafting the proposal, the administration met with their legal advisors and were given the ok. We also met with the head of facilities for the district and explained the process of building trails. Once there was an understanding that we were not building jumps, not encouraging “trick riding”, and would not impact grass cutting, the concept was approved.
We took our proposal to the school board with support from district administration. Questions were asked about liability and cost for the district. The district business manager did a great job answering the liability questions and the facilities director explained how the trail would not create an additional costs for the district. The school board unanimously approved that plan and asked us to work with the administration on the details.
We then looped SAMBA back into the conversation and built the trail over three Saturdays. We had huge support from over 20 riders and their parents on trail work days. Several riders worked along with their entire families (mom/dad/siblings), trimming, raking, and digging. It was a great opportunity for the kids to understand the work that goes into building the trails they love to ride.
Our loop is a mile long, includes single track, some field riding and some gravel. It has flow, switchbacks, and even a bridge. The project is a great example of what can be done with support from the PICL team, the community, and the local IMBA chapter!
Jason Thomas – Elizabethtown MTB Head Coach