2006 Bikes Belong Grant Information

Bikes Belong Grant information.  Several appendixes not included here.  Contact the HMBA for more info.

August 28, 2006

Ms. Elizabeth Train
Grants and Research Director
Bikes Belong Coalition
1920 13th St., Suite A
Boulder, CO 80302

Dear Ms. Train:

On behalf of the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, Inc (HMBA), please find attached to this letter the completed grant application package for the Bikes Belong 2006 grant cycle.

Organizational and Project Background

The Hoosier Mountain Bike Association, Inc. (HMBA) is a statewide organization with the mission to promote responsible mountain biking and work towards the goals of common land access and natural resource protection in Indiana through interaction with policy makers, the cycling industry, race promoters, mountain bikers and other trail users. Founded in 2000, the HMBA is classified as a public charitable organization to foster national or international amateur sports competition under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This status affords donors maximum tax deductions for income and estate tax purposes. Currently, the HMBA is the only state-wide mountain bike advocacy group in the state of Indiana and has experienced significant growth in both public awareness and membership roles over the past 6 years.

In 2004, after continued lobbying and pressuring of land managers around the state, the HMBA was granted access to trail building opportunities within Brown County State Park (BCSP). This marked the first time a mountain bike organization has ever been granted land access within an Indiana State park. This relationship between the HMBA and BCSP is being monitored by Indiana land managers, and legislators. Additionally, the Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels (an avid mountain biker), recently launched “GetFit Indiana”, which encourages Hoosiers to get out and get in shape. In a meeting with the Governor late last year he informed us he is watching the progress at BCSP personally in hopes of using the successes there to promote cycling through the state. We now know that the state is watching closely and we understand the importance of this project. We must succeed.

Beginning in 2004, HMBA volunteers constructed several miles of mountain bike trails within BCSP and opened to the public in early 2005. Increased awareness of the park by mountain bikers, hikers, and trail runners has exceeded all projections and BCSP is rapidly becoming “the” place to ride in Indiana.

To capitalize on this momentum, in mid-2005 the HMBA applied for, and was successfully granted, a $187,500 (including HMBA provided funds) grant from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The RTP is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Federal transportation funds benefit recreation by making funds available to the States to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. To our knowledge, this is the largest RTP grant ever awarded to a mountain bike organization.

The goal of the RTP funds is to increase the trail network at Brown County State Park (BCSP) by another 10 to 15 miles, including novice, intermediate and advanced trails. Additionally, the trails within the park will connect to the Salt Creek Trail, a proposed multi-use trail stretching from BCSP to Nashville, IN. Trails will be built with a combination of hired professional labor using mechanized trail-building equipment and continued volunteer efforts by HMBA members.

This project will enhance the existing mountain bike trails in Brown County State Park and create a recreational trail system for all types of mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts within easy access of the Nashville, IN. The trails will showcase the natural beauty of the park and will be built to international trail standards for low impact and sustainable trails to ensure preservation of the natural resources.

Purpose of Bikes Belong Funds

The structure of the RTP grant is to provide matching funds equal to 80% of total cost. Thus, in order to receive the full $150,000 RTP grant the HMBA must provide $37,500 in cash and donations. Currently the HMBA has secured a $10,000 grant from Bicycle Garage, a bicycle shop with locations in Indianapolis and Bloomington, IN. Additionally, we have secured donations of $9,000 from HMBA membership. The purpose for the $10,000 grant from Bikes Belong will be included in the required matching funds to access the full $150,000. Thus, for every $1 granted by Bikes Belong, the HMBA receives another $15.

Once complete, the BCSP trail network will be a destination for mountain bikers from all around the Midwest. Increase in tourism for the city of Nashville, IN is expected and dovetails well into Brown County’s long-term strategic plan for increased tourism.

The HMBA is at a crucial stage. Success at BCSP should provide greater opportunities in other areas of the state and other state parks. We must succeed and with the generous help from Bikes Belong we move one large step closer to success.