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On July 26th, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors accepted the mid-year progress report for their 2022 objectives. Progress highlights for the Board’s newest objective, Recreation, included recent awards totaling $415,570 in Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund grants to community organizations. The grants, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), respond to the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with projects to increase resiliency and promote health and safety at highly impacted outdoor recreation destinations.
“Recreation is so important to our community, and we want our locals and visitors to be able to enjoy our beautiful outdoors. We have seen some real challenges at our river crossings and other popular destinations, and these grants help keep people and places safe,” said Chair Sue Hoek. “We want to protect our natural resources while making it inviting for our community to enjoy,” said Hoek, who, along with 5th District Supervisor Hardy Bullock, is a member of the Board’s ad hoc committee focused on recreation and that sponsored the grant process.
Nine projects across Nevada County address unmet needs at popular outdoor recreation sites and meet the goals of the program: to promote public safety and public health, equitable access to recreation opportunities, promote economic development through sustainable recreation, and protect and preserve natural resources.
“I’m so glad we are getting these resources into our community quickly, and grateful for our partners doing this important work”, said Supervisor Bullock. “We are looking at the economic, social and environmental impacts, and addressing the needs of visitors, our local economy, the environment and our community as a whole.”
Selected projects include visitor outreach as well as the installation and improvement of restrooms and parking, trails, and natural infrastructure.
- Bear Yuba Land Trust – $11,500 for the Trail Keepers program that engages with the public about safety and wildfire prevention at five popular trailheads in Alta Sierra, Grass Valley, and Nevada City; and, $99,500 for parking improvements to the Adam Ryan Preserve Trailhead, allowing for twice the capacity of the existing area.
- Bicyclists of Nevada County – $13,724 for improving and quantifying trail use for the Harmony Ridge Trail System in Nevada City.
- Nevada Irrigation District – $18,000 for a new parking site near Gate 2 entrance at Scott’s Flat Reservoir and the end of Scott’s Drop Trail.
- South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL) – $16,705 for the continuation of the River Ambassadors program at Highway 49 and Bridgeport with expansion to Purdon and Edwards’ Crossings that engages with the public on river safety, waste pickup, and responsible recreation; $75,000 for development and coordination with community partners for Wild and Scenic River Trail Mile Markers and Safety signage; and, $46,371 for the installation of a double vault toilet at the Golden Quartz picnic area five miles upstream from the Town of Washington.
- Truckee Trails Foundation – $25,400 for a visitor safety and environmental hazard prevention program that increases trail host ambassador outreach and safety monitoring, plus installation of two portable restrooms at critical high-volume locations in Donner Summit and east Nevada County year-round; and, $109,370 for installation of vault toilets at Johnson Canyon and Commemorative Overland Emigrant Trail trailhead at Hobart Mills Road.
Projects were selected by a panel including community members and staff through a competitive process that involved a two-step evaluation. Projects will be completed by 2024, with many that have already commenced this summer in both east and west Nevada County.
Colleen Dalton, CEO of Visit Truckee-Tahoe explains, “With ever-increasing users of outdoor recreation in Nevada County, grant funds for Sustainable Truckee Ambassadors, new public toilets and porta potties in high-use areas meets urgently needed health and safety needs. In addition, we are also educating and providing a sense of feeling welcome – especially for new users. Visit Truckee-Tahoe is working closely with Nevada County as our partner on a vision for sustainable outdoor recreation.”
“It is inspiring to see the County making our public lands and natural resources a priority with the ARPA funds,” said Melinda Booth, Executive Director of SYRCL. “SYRCL is very proud to be organizing several projects with our partners that will enhance public safety and improve visitors’ experiences along the Yuba River.”
“Truckee Trails Foundation is so grateful for Nevada County’s efforts with the Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund aimed at addressing needs identified in the Convene, Champion and Catalyze leadership forum,” said Allison Pedley, Executive Director of Truckee Trails Foundation. “These efforts truly demonstrate the strong value of community collaboration with resulting benefit to the entire region.”
Nevada County’s Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund Grant Program was established and approved by the Board of Supervisors in April 2021 to provide up to $850,000 in one-time grants to respond to the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 through promoting public health and safety at highly impacted outdoor recreation destinations. Additional consideration was given to those that support economic development, enhance equitable access, address climate change adaptation, and promote environmental sustainability and resilience.
A second-round call for proposals will open on October 6, 2022, with additional funds to be awarded to eligible entities that submit collaborative, highly leveraged, and “shovel-ready” projects for implementation in 2023-2024.
For more information and to stay up to date on Recreation News and Information, visit www.nevadacountyca.gov/Recreation