$2,500 – Ginzu Groomer
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley fully funded Teton Valley Trails and Pathways Competitive Grant ask to help offset the cost of new grooming equipment, as TVTAP continues to expand their grooming efforts in Teton Valley. Next winter will grace the valley with another new addition to our winter trail system that has served over 20,000 visitors annually for the past three years. The new trail was built in November of 2018 and will be finished in the summer of 2019 in the Southern Valley Trails Project south of Victor. TVTAP currently has equipment to match the number of tracks maintained, however, this expansion will require them to purchase more equipment to meet the growth. The urgency of this grant lies in the fact that a lack of funding may mean they have to stop grooming in one location and move resources to another – neither their preference, nor the communities.
Teton Valley Trails and Pathways works on winter trails to provide an inclusive recreation opportunity for citizens and brings visitors to Teton Valley. They know young children all the way through older adults use the systems they maintain. Commonly in areas that have extensive groomed trail networks, there are mandatory ski passes or day use fees. TVTAP has never done that, instead relying on the community’s generosity to fund operations. As noted previously, TVTAP trails have documented over 20,000 visits annually from locals and visitors alike – courtesy of the trail counters they installed. Lastly, year-round trails and development of Pathways are cited in Teton County Idaho’s Economic Development Plan, Recreation Master Plan, and Comp Plan as important to citizens. Expansion of the network will only further these goals. Currently, no aspects remain unaddressed and no other organizations maintain a non-motorized winter trail system in Teton Valley.
Teton Valley Trails and Pathways will use the grant funds to pay for 33% of a new Ginzu Groomer with a double track setter. Trails and Pathways will pay the remaining with other grants and their own funds. They are trying to accomplish two primary goals with the purchase of this specific piece of equipment. The first is to meet the demand of an expanding winter trails network for non-motorized users. The second goal is specific to purchasing the double track setter. This piece of equipment will help them do their work more efficiently by performing less passes over a winter trail to get the proper set up for that trail. This will save time and money. Additionally, by having the double track setter, they will have a single piece of equipment that will work for the annual Teton Ridge Classic ski race. Currently, their program director must transfer a track setter from other Ginzu’s, wire it up so the operator can use it while driving and then transfer back. Last year this process took over 20 hours to accomplish. Having a double track setter on a new Ginzu Groomer would eliminate this work, saving time and money.
Currently, TVTAP is the only organization that grooms for non-motorized winter trails in Teton Valley.
Impact will be measured with the trail counters, purchased with a previous grant from the Community Foundation. This will allow them to quantify and qualify the use on the maintained trails. It will be interesting to compare total number of visits at the end of next season. TVTAP believes the new trail will increase overall visitors, but they plan to evaluate whether there’s an increase in trail visits or the same number of users spread out over additional terrain.