As another summer season draws to a close, we want to share some of the highlights and accomplishments from 2020. What a year indeed!
Spring saw us execute our merger of STAB into ATA, and with that we launched our brand new logo, website, online store, and plan for building on the foundations of the two original organizations. We launched an advertising campaign through Pinkbike.com to grow exposure to our network, launched our official Instagram account, refreshed our Facebook page, updated our Trail map, and Trailforks listing.
Our trail crew made many improvements to existing trails, built new ones, updated trail names and markings to improve navigation in our main network, and of course dug deep to make more progress on the famed connector trail, including getting the big 36-foot bridges approved and in place. The first completed section is slated for an official opening in the Spring of 2021. This 7-mile stretch will connect the Ascutney State Park to the Ascutney Trails single-track network in Brownsville, VT. We are also working on an agreement with the Town of Weathersfield for a future trail network around the mountain.
The pandemic threw us a loop for the usual events scheduled on the network, but we were still able to host a Bike Demo Day with Mountain Flyer Magazine and a Fall Picnic in the Town Forest while observing social distancing guidelines. Both were a success and we are looking forward to more fun stuff next year! Our Tuesday Night Ride tradition continued and we introduced a Thursday Night Gravel ride into the mix. We also led youth bike rides and hikes on the mountain, and just this week hosted the Southern Vermont High School Mountain Bike Race Series. Wow is it great to see our next generation enjoying the trails! In addition, we're hopeful for the introduction of regular year-round hikes on the mountain in 2021 (if you are interested in helping lead any trips, we'd love to hear from you!).
We've enlisted the help of Powderhorn Trail Company to help us plan and ultimately build a sweet flow trail. Not too many details to share yet, but when fully completed the trail will be higher up the ski slope than any current trail, and we'll be building a climbing trail to bring you up there. It's early days with lots of planning permits to work through, but we're psyched to bring some flow fun to the upper mountain!
We developed and approved a budget with about $45,000 of expenses and only $25,000 of income. While we haven’t met either our spending or income targets this year, our capital fund created by past years’ event revenues enabled many of the accomplishments on our 2020 list of goals.
We are always looking for more volunteers to help us with our endeavors. We have several committees to choose from and are currently looking to enhance our Development/Marketing committee to help develop sponsorship opportunities. If you have sales and/or marketing experience, or would like to volunteer in other areas, please contact us if interested in helping out.
Finally, a huge thank-you to all our volunteers, members, donors, supporters and trail users – you make all of these achievements possible! Thank you!!
Erik Schutz, President
ATA Board of Directors