TAHOE CITY, Calif. (Nov. 23, 2020) – The nonprofit Tahoe Fund has launched a new effort to create a $3 million endowment to generate enough funding to pay for annual trail work in the Tahoe region. The campaign, started with a $100,000 contribution from trail enthusiasts Chris and Viktoria McNamara, represents a long-term commitment to caring for the trails everyone loves.
“Historically our focus as an organization has been to help expand the Tahoe trail network so we can spread people out and build new trails that not only provide recreational opportunities, but reduce erosion that can affect lake clarity,” said Julie Teel, Tahoe Fund board member. “We will continue to support new trails, but this endowment will help address the need for long-term care of the entire trail network. This is a great example of our mission to use the power of philanthropy to improve the Lake Tahoe environment for all to enjoy.”
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically increased the strain on Tahoe’s trail system as people began spending more time outdoors. Despite “stay-at-home” orders, use of Tahoe’s trails exploded, with one trail counter at DL Bliss State Park recording higher usage in April 2020 than in July 2019. Since then, things have not slowed down.
Although trails provide a healthy way for people to recreate outdoors, increased use puts real stress on both the natural environment and land managers as trails and trailheads fill up. By generating a constant stream of funding to pay for ongoing trail work, Tahoe’s trail network will benefit from regular maintenance designed to ensure the trails are fun and erosion free.
While building the endowment, the Tahoe Fund is also working with its trail partners at the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, Truckee Trails Foundation and public land managers to develop a Trails Master Plan that will outline priority ranking for trail work and allow everyone to think and plan long-term.
To help grow the endowment, an anonymous donor has offered to match every dollar donated up to $100,000. Learn more and contribute to the Tahoe Trails Endowment at www.tahoefund.org.
About Tahoe Fund
The Tahoe Fund was founded in 2010 to work with the private community to support environmental improvement projects that restore lake clarity, enhance outdoor recreation, promote healthier forests, improve transportation and inspire greater stewardship of the region. Through the generous support of private donors, the Tahoe Fund has leveraged more than $3 million in private funds to secure more than $50 million in public funds for more than 40 environmental projects. The projects include new sections of the Lake Tahoe Bikeway, restoration of watersheds, removal of aquatic invasive species, forest health projects, public beach improvements, and stewardship programs. Learn more at www.tahoefund.org.