SMBA Receives Grant to Improve Pittstown Trails!
Mountain Bike Club Receives Grant to Improve Pittstown Trails!
By: Samantha Langton
The Saratoga Mountain Bike Association (SMBA) is pleased to announce that they have been selected by Parks and Trails New York (Ptny.org) as recipients of a Capacity Building Grant. As one of 11 grant recipients across the State, SMBA will use the funds to pay for the costs associated with Non-Profit (501c3) incorporation, increased advertising of the club and its mission to expand membership, and safety certification training for SMBA volunteers that is required to maintain trails on State Lands. SMBA President Steve Godlewski said “Obtaining 501c3 non-profit status will allow SMBA to take our mission to the next level. We will now have the ability to apply for trail building grants that were previously unavailable to us. Having that type of access to grants will allow us to increase the number of regional trail projects as well as the scale of our work.
Starting in the Spring of 2011, SMBA has worked diligently with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) at Pittstown State Forest in Rensselaer County as trail stewards to restore and maintain the existing trail system in addition to creating a new trail network. The trails are accessible and enjoyed by multiple users including hikers, cyclists, and equestrians. SMBA’s vision for the Pittstown State Forest include increasing the size of the current trail network and improving the infrastructure at the parking areas to encourage visitors and tourism to this underused resource. SMBA also plans to expand efforts to improve other underutilized state lands in order to encourage outdoor recreation across the Capital Region. Chris Cavanaugh, the SMBA Trail Stewart for Pittstown State Forest, said “We’re very excited about the work being done in Pittstown State Forest. The property has huge potential for the mountain bike and outdoor enthusiast community. The terrain, open space and proximity to Grafton Lakes State Park make Pittstown State Forest a prime area for trail development. Receiving the PTNY Grant will help strengthen our club and give us the support we need to achieve our goals in Pittstown.”
Parks and Trails New York is the leading statewide advocate for Parks and Trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving the health and quality of life of all New Yorkers by working with community organizations and municipalities to envision, create, promote and protect the growing network of parks, greenways and trails throughout the state for all to use and enjoy.
SMBA is a group of nearly 400 outdoor enthusiasts that saw its start in 2000 with the preservation and management of over 15 miles of mountain bike trails located just north of Saratoga Springs, NY. In 2011, SMBA became a regional organization and took on the role of official trail steward for of the Pittstown Forest through the State’s Adopt-A-Natural-Resource program. SMBA holds multiple trail work days each year to maintain the trail systems in Saratoga and Pittstown. For more information about SMBA and a listing of trail work days and other events, visit Saratogamtb.org.