Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

September 2022


$30,000 in Grants Support Conservation, Protect Climbing Access

Access Fund, with support from Backcountry, recently announced $30,000 in climbing conservation grants, which will help bring 10 local climbing organization (LCO) projects across the country to life. The projects address specific and immediate needs of different climbing locales and their communities.

"Every day, countless climbers walk across bridges, belay from stances, poop in pit toilets, and park in lots funded by Access Fund climbing conservation grants," said Access Fund National Affiliate Director Jenna Winkler. "We're proud to support projects across the country that protect and conserve the land, ensure sustainable access, and build a community of climbing advocates."

Since 1991, Access Fund has awarded more than $1.4 million in Climbing Conservation Grants to support land conservation and protect climbing access. This year's grantees include:

Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC)
CCC recently purchased its fifth climber-owned property, the Maibauer Boulders. This purchase conserved 32 acres of hardwood forest and more than 100 boulder problems near Love Valley, North Carolina. To support sustainable access to this area, Access Fund is awarding a grant to improve the existing trails and build a new parking lot.

Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC)
Northern Alabama, especially the greater Huntsville and Gadsden areas, has seen a spike in the popularity of climbing. To get out in front of the potential for increased climber impact, SCC is leading the community to steward these areas with the Northern Alabama Stewardship Initiative. The project takes a twofold approach to conserving the land and protecting climbing access in northern Alabama—stewardship on existing SCC property, and new climbing access potential to spread out climber impact. Grant funding will go toward supplies and tools for trail days, staff time and updated signage.

Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA)
This mapping and usage project digs into climber usage in the Pine Creek and Buttermilks climbing areas in the Sierra Nevada foothills in California. It will also help ESIA prepare and plan for future trailwork to reroute, improve and remove existing trails. The grant money supports the Bishop climbing rangers' time spent on this project.

Friends of Cedar Mesa (FCM)
Indian Creek at Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is an international climbing destination. Many visitors—including climbers—don't know about the area's wealth of cultural resources, including rock art, artifacts and ancestral sites. FCM's Visit with Respect campaign educates climbers and other visitors about responsible recreation in and around sacred cultural sites. Grant funding will support design, printing, and installation of seven educational signs in key spots in and around Indian Creek.

Western Massachusetts Climbers' Coalition (WMCC)
Farley Ledges boasts 400 routes and boulder problems that attract climbers from throughout the region. It is the most popular crag that WMCC stewards. The crag's popularity calls for expansion and improvement of parking. Improvements include regrading, new signage, and adding an accessible parking space and guardrail. Additionally, WMCC will buy and install materials to prevent erosion on the upper slope and railroad ties and rebar for a guardrail. Volunteers will install these additions as well as a second kiosk and parking signage.

Great Plains Climbing Coalition (GPCC)
GPCC is the newest LCO in South Dakota. The organization formed to address the increase in climbers and improve climbing opportunities. Two climbing gyms and the general increased interest in climbing have driven more traffic to local crags. Instead of waiting to see how this might impact natural resources, climbers formed GPCC. The group will help maintain local climbing areas and continue to improve climbing access. The grant covers trailwork supplies and initial nonprofit formation costs: IRS filing, website development, and insurance.

Helena Climbers' Coalition (HCC)
Winter Wall in Hellgate Canyon is a popular winter climbing destination near Helena, Mont.—and this project reflects that. It will tackle a spider web of social trails, dilapidated belay pads and an eroding hillside. HCC will use its grant to rehabilitate and reinforce the climbing area. The crew will construct durable stairs and retaining walls that concentrate climber impact where new infrastructure can handle it.

New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC)
Wag bag programs are a proven way to reduce human waste at popular crags. Grant funding will support NRAC's work to install and maintain wag bag distribution stations along the main climbing access trails at Summersville Lake and Sandstonia. Both areas are among the most popular in the region, yet neither provide any way to dispose of human waste. Wag Bag stations will provide users an easy solution to pack out their waste. They ease human impacts on an area and improve the experience for everyone who visits.

Northwest California Climber's Coalition (NWCCC)
Nonprofit incorporation isn't cheap and it can be a barrier for new LCOs. NWCCC's grant will help cover the expense of incorporating as a California nonprofit. Official recognition will increase NWCCC's credibility among climbers and for climbing in northwest California. Funding will also support the purchase of camouflage bolts. NWCCC hopes these bolts will reduce visual impact and improve relations with local land managers.

Ouray Climbers Alliance (OCA)
Rotary Park is a popular crag in Ouray, Colo., that hosts sport climbs from 5.3 to 5.12+. OCA's grant will allow the group to install a shelter and educational kiosk in the park. The kiosk will provide education on low-impact best practices, safe climbing, local geology and wildlife. It will also celebrate the Ute and Pueblo people, the first inhabitants of the Ouray Valley. The shelter will protect visitors from the elements and provide a station to practice sport climbing techniques like cleaning and anchor building. Both the kiosk and shelter are designed to be wheelchair accessible.


Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Dollywood Takes on Cigarette Waste - September 2022

Report Names Walking for Fitness, Yoga as Favorite Fitness Activities - September 2022

Communities Earn Grants to Improve Health Outcomes - August 2022

2022 RAISE Grants Underscore Importance of Trails & Walking Infrastructure - August 2022

SHAPE: High School Students Find Value in Health & Physical Education - August 2022

Association of Aquatic Professionals Contributes to CMAHC Indoor Air Quality Study - August 2022

New ACE Continuing Education Helps Fitness Pros Expand Their Reach to All Seeking an Active Lifestyle - August 2022

New Research Demonstrates Power of Sport for People With Disabilities - July 2022

Cities Receive Support to Improve Equitable Park Access - July 2022

Celebrate Parks & Recreation All Month Long! - July 2022

U.S. Fitness Participation Reaches New Highs - July 2022

15 Cities Join Peer Network Seeking to Increase Children's Access to Nature - June 2022

CPSC: Fatal Child Drownings Remain High - June 2022

ACSM-AMSSM: Athlete Screening Should Adapt to the COVID-19 Pandemic - June 2022

Study: Green Schoolyards Bring Major Benefits, Cost Savings - June 2022

Aquatics Industry Addresses Questions About Drought - May 2022

Trust for Public Land Releases ParkScore Index, Says Outdoor Space Key to Climate Resilience & Equity - May 2022

Outdoor Foundation's Thrive Outside Initiative Expands to Four New Communities - May 2022

Pickleball Celebrated All April Long - May 2022

Study: Sport Improves Concentration & Quality of Life - April 2022

$2 Million in Grants Available for Preventing Drownings & Drain Entrapments - April 2022

NRPA Survey: U.S. Adults Say Environmental Education Is Crucial - April 2022

Study Sheds Light on Work-Life Balance in the Sports Industry - April 2022

USA Swimming Expands Community Impact Grants - March 2022

Aspen Institute Report Shows How High Schools Can Develop More Students Through Sports - March 2022

Folks in Alabama, New York Walk Their Dogs the Most - March 2022

New Program Supports Equity-Focused Outdoor Projects - March 2022

YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs Launch Project to Support Youth Mental Health - February 2022

Americans' Inactivity Rate Declining, Says SFIA Report - February 2022

New Senate Bill Would Bolster Recreation in Rural Communities - February 2022

Fitness Facilities Continue to Struggle With COVID Closures - February 2022

KABOOM! Launches Initiative Toward Ending Playspace Inequity - January 2022

PHTA Funds Swim Lessons for Nearly 6,300 Children in 2021 - January 2022

NRPA Celebrates Parks' Role in Americans' Wellness Goals - January 2022

ACSM Lists Top Fitness Trends for 2022 - January 2022

SFIA Report Reveals Impact of Pandemic on Organized Team Sports - January 2022

Schoolyard Playground Program Earns ASLA Olmsted Medal - December 2021

Report Shows Park & Rec Out-of-School Time Programming Is Vital - December 2021

Rails-to-Trails Grant Invest in Equitable Trail Access - December 2021

Aquatic Groups to Co-Locate Conferences to Expand Reach - November 2021

New SFIA Report Tracks Changes in Fitness Industry - November 2021

ACA, White House Recognize New Hampshire Program That Benefits Camps & Families - November 2021

New NRPA Guide Aims to Facilitate Conversations Around Diversity, Equity & Inclusion - November 2021

Grants Available for Youth & Adult Swim Lesson Providers - October 2021

NAYS Partnership Will Provide Sporting Goods Where Needed - October 2021

RWJF Recognizes Community-Based Sports Organizations - October 2021

Soccer Mini Pitch Honoring Former MLS Player Ray Gaddis Unveiled in Indianapolis - October 2021

CDC Reports Major Increase in Obesity Over Past Decade - September 2021

Despite Pandemic, Sports & Fitness Participation Grew, Says SFIA - September 2021

Partnerships Between Parks & Schools Provide More Equitable Access - September 2021

$500,000 in Grants Awarded for Water-Inspired Play Spaces - September 2021