Nevada County Awards $415,570 in First Spherical of Outside Customer Security Fund Grants – YubaNet

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On July 26, the Nevada County Board of Directors approved the mid-year progress report for its 2022 goals. Highlights of progress for the Board’s newest goal, Recovery, have included recent grants totaling $415,570 in Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund grants to community organizations. Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the grants are responding to the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with projects to increase resilience and promote health and safety at hard-hit outdoor recreation destinations.

“Recreation is so important to our community and we want our locals and visitors to enjoy our beautiful outdoors. We’ve seen some real challenges at our river crossings and other popular travel destinations, and these grants are helping to protect people and places,” said Chair Sue Hoek. “We want to protect our natural resources while inviting them for our community to enjoy,” said Hoek, who along with 5th Circuit Supervisor Hardy Bullock is a member of the board’s ad hoc committee focused on recreation and sponsored the approval process.

Nine projects throughout Nevada County address unmet needs at popular outdoor recreation locations and meet the program’s goals: promoting public safety and health, equitable access to recreational opportunities, promoting economic development through sustainable recreation, and protecting and preserving natural resources.

“I’m so glad we’re bringing these resources quickly to our community and grateful for our partners who are doing this important work,” said Supervisor Bullock. “We look at the economic, social and environmental impacts and address the needs of visitors, our local economy, the environment and our community as a whole.”

Selected projects include outreach to visitors, installation and improvement of toilets and parking lots, hiking trails and natural infrastructure.

Recipients include:

  • Bear Yuba Land Trust -$11,500 for the Trail Keepers program, which engages with the public on safety and wildfire protection at five popular trailheads in Alta Sierra, Grass Valley and Nevada City; and $99,500 for park improvements at the Adam Ryan Preserve Trailhead, allowing for twice the capacity of the existing area.
  • Nevada County cyclists -$13,724 for improving and quantifying trail usage for the Harmony Ridge Trail System in Nevada City.
  • Nevada Irrigation District – $18,000 for a new parking lot near the Gate 2 entrance at Scott’s Flat Reservoir and at the bottom of Scott’s Drop Trail.
  • South Yuba River Civic League (SYRCL) -$16,705 for the continuation of the River Ambassadors program at Highway 49 and Bridgeport with expansion to Purdon and Edwards’ Crossings, which engages with the public in river safety, garbage disposal and responsible recreation; $75,000 to develop and coordinate with community partners for Wild and Scenic River Trail Mile Markers and Safety Signage; and $46,371 for the installation of a double-vaulted toilet in Golden Quartz’s picnic area, five miles upstream from the city of Washington.
  • Truckee Trails Foundation -$25,400 for a visitor safety and environmental hazard prevention program that increases the outreach and safety monitoring of Trail Host ambassadors, and the installation of two portable restrooms at critical high-traffic locations in Donner Summit and East Nevada County year-round; and $109,370 for installing vaulted toilets at Johnson Canyon and at the Hobart Mills Road trailhead of the Commemorative Overland Emigrant Trail.

Projects were selected by a panel of community members and staff through a competitive process that included a two-stage evaluation. Projects will be completed by 2024, with many beginning this summer in both eastern and western Nevada County.

Colleen Dalton, CEO of Visit Truckee-Tahoe, states, “With the ever-growing number of outdoor recreation activities in Nevada County, grant funding for Truckee Sustainable Ambassadors, new public restrooms and portable potties in high-traffic areas is addressing much-needed health and safety needs. In addition, we also educate and give a feeling of 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 make our public lands and natural resources a priority with ARPA funding,” said Melinda Booth, Executive Director of SYRCL. “SYRCL is very proud to organize several projects with our partners that will improve public safety and enhance visitor experiences along the Yuba River.”

“The Truckee Trails Foundation is so grateful for Nevada County’s efforts with the Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund, which aims to meet the needs identified in the Convene, Champion and Catalyze leadership forum,” said Allison Pedley, executive director of the Truckee Trails Foundation . “These efforts truly demonstrate the great value of community collaboration with the resulting benefits to the entire region.”

The Nevada County Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund Grants Program was established and approved by the Board of Supervisors in April 2021 to provide one-time grants of up to $850,000 to respond to the negative economic impact of COVID-19 by increasing the public Promote health and safety in severely affected individuals Outdoor recreational destinations. Additional consideration was given to those supporting economic development, improving equitable access, addressing climate change adaptation and promoting environmental sustainability and resilience.

A second-round call for proposals will open on October 6, 2022, with additional funding awarded to eligible entities that submit collaborative, high-impact and “shovel-ready” projects for implementation in 2023-2024.

For more information and to keep up with recreation news and information, visit www.nevadacountyca.gov/Recreation