The Catena Foundation today announced that the Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition was awarded a grant in the amount of $102,000. $100,000 of the grant will be used to expedite completion of Phase 2 of the Blowout Wash Project by funding AZ Conservation Corps crews to work on the following project actions:
- More remote hand-build sections that are not feasible for volunteers, and
- Restoration actions including ground surface stabilization of the hill climb south of the Yavapai College Campus by shortening slope lengths, reducing water flow and trapping sediment through wattle and seeding.
Work is expected to begin on this project phase in Fall 2020.
The Blowout Project is a community-driven trails initiative that was conceptualized in 2008 by the City of Cottonwood to provide recreation opportunities to the residents and visitors of Cottonwood, Clarkdale and Jerome in the Verde Ranger District of the Prescott National Forest. The Project will encourage positive stewardship of Forest Service (FS) lands adjacent to these communities that have historically incurred unmanaged recreation, illegal off highway vehicle use, trash dumping and concentrated recreational shooting.
The Blowout Wash Project is the first of several community trails envisioned as part of the Verde Trails and Access Plan (VTAP). The FS approved the VTAP environmental study in September 2018. The VTAP includes approximately 120 miles of non-motorized and 5 miles of motorized trails within the Verde Ranger District (VRD) of the Prescott National Forest (PNF).
The Project (~27 miles) is a stacked loop system to facilitate opportunities close in (easiest) and farther out (more challenging). The Project does not stand alone as it will be connected to the larger Mingus Mountain Trail System and with the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail. Additionally, the Project connects to the Yavapai College campus and several residential areas in Clarkdale and Cottonwood.
Two public trailheads, Blowout Wash and Yavapai College Verde Valley Campus, provide access to this system. The Yavapai College trailhead, will include all weather paved parking, restrooms, signage and interpretive trail safety opportunities.
$2,000 of this grant will be used for VVCC indirect costs associated with the project.
Many thanks to Kevin Adams for his diligent work in making this happen...