Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Planet Bike supports Trails in Fayetteville


Trails for Kids... Be the Change you want to see in this world!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FAll is Here and the Trails look great!

With only one month of hot weather left till fall and the fall colors along the Elk River Trail and all the events planned from September to January 9, 2011, 6 Cyclocross races and at least a 5k run (Imagination Library 5k run and 1 mile walk October 23 at 8:00 am) Trails for Kids will be the place to be this fall. We have two bridges still left to build and a little less than a mile of trail to finish on the Elk River Trail. The end of this project is near. Soon all that will be left to do is walk and ride these trails… these trails that were built by kids for kids.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trails for Kids Grand Opening/National Trails Day

Grand Opening
Trails for Kids
Don Davidson Park 1802 Wilson Pkwy
May 24 from 12 to 5 pm
Lunch provided by OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE
From 12 to 2
Please RSVP if you plan to attend so we can prepare enough food.
Kevin Freeman: trails4k@yahoo.com, trailsforkids.blogspot.com, or
Ribbon Cutting 12:30
Games, Tours, Door Prizes, every hour
Childress Concrete Company, working with the Tennessee Concrete Association's Tree Partnership with the Tennessee Environmental Council (TEC) will be there giving awayTulip Poplar, Shumard Oak, Virginia Pinewhile they last!

“Trails for Kids” was started February 7,2009 when I went for a walk with my daughter Rachael  and discovered all the land in our parks and city property that was not being used. So with the help of 6 kids, sponsors, and friends, “Trails for Kids” built 3 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails in 2009. “Trails for Kids” hopes to inspire communities to develop and promote recreational trails by utilizing their unused space in city parks and publiclands for hiking and biking trails. "Trails for Kids" will have  built 6.5 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails for the kid in all of us by June 1,2010.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Finally after 6 years!

Trails for Kids should win the Governors Environmental Stewardship Award because this project affects all the children in our community. If you can walk or ride a bicycle then these trails are for you. Too many children get left out of ball sports because they either don’t make the team or their parents can’t afford the cost. Trails are open 365 days a year rain or shine - trails are a staple in our society and kids need consistent physical activity and trails provide that outlet every day of the year. Who advocates trails, “Volunteers do”, so “Trails for Kids” was born February 7, 2009 while walking around Don Davidson Park with my daughter Rachael.

In 2004, I started this quest to build public trails in Fayetteville and Lincoln County, I looked at state property (Flintville Hatchery), and I looked at private and public property around Fayetteville and Lincoln County. My kids and I have always spent a lot of time at Don Davidson Park fishing the small lake there. In 2004 I asked the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Director, Rickey Honey, for permission to build a small mountain bike trail for my kids to ride, “he agreed and the trail was done in a week”. Less than a mile in length this trail was perfect for children; back and forth my son would ride through the woods of Don Davidson Park. Mother Nature quickly took this land back with the spring rains jump starting all sorts of weeds and bushes. My family gave up on this trail, we new this was not a project that we could sustain physically or financially.

From 2005 to 2008, I built two more trails in Fayetteville and Lincoln County- one a short one mile loop behind the Lincoln County High School for the cross country team and another for two land owners so they could host a national mountain bike race,” Dirt Sweat and Gears”. Still at the end of 2008 our community didn’t have a public trail, a place to walk or ride a bicycle 365 day of the year. All this work did give me the confidence to host the first cyclocross race series in Fayetteville and Lincoln County in October and November of 2008. With the knowledge I gained from promoting 6 cyclocross races I now knew what it would take to have a trail or greenway in my community. I now know that trails are the vision of a few but it takes community to make them a sustainable amenity. After all the races were over in the fall of 2008 I took December of 2008 and January 2009 off to recharge my batteries.

February 7, 2009, I asked my daughter Rachael to go for a walk with me at Don Davidson Park, “who knew this was the day that we would finally find our trail…our “Trail for Kids”. Two days later at the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation board meeting I asked the board to give me permission to build a 3 mile trail around the park, they agreed. The next weekend with the help of three volunteers we broke ground on our trail. Work went quickly with all the experience I had gained from past projects. At the end of the first day I asked my volunteers, ages ranging from 12-14, on a fun scale between 1-10 how much fun they had had today. I heard a 2 come from Casey so I grabbed a bicycle from the back of my truck to see if I could increase the fun factor. We all took turns riding what we had built a few hours earlier, I asked Casey the same question again and he replied, “A seven”. I’m sure today if you asked those three kids that helped me on the first workday February 15, 2009, how much fun they had on a scale of 1-10, “a 10 would echo from their mouths”.

March 17, 2009 I had recruited more local kids to help with the trail, Casey Harmon, Cody Keele, Micah Keele, and Rachael and Hunter Freeman gave me the best birthday present I could ask for, “more trail”. We finished a loop we now call Leopard Frog Loop, this trail has an abundance of flower and fauna, leopard frogs, butterflies, finches, woodpeckers, and dragon flies all call this trail home. More work was completed in March and immediately the trails were being used by mountain bike riders and walkers.

At the end of April, mile 2 was completed; mile 3 was by far the hardest, with the weather getting hotter and equipment stating to break down. The community stepped in, Pendergrass Supply and Rental donated materials for the bridges and gave me a good deal on supplies (bar chain oil and files). Locals donated tools (chainsaws, rakes, and clippers) they kept my cost down so I could work a few hours a day on the trail and still work my day job. May brought more kids to the trail which only confirmed what I had thought the whole time, “kids love trails”. Finally June 1, success, the perimeter trail and the Leopard Frog Trail were connected and 3 miles of mountain biking and walking trails were cut, still this project wasn’t close to being finished- signs, bridges, maintenance, and computer work, all needed to be done before this trail could be officially open. Businesses donated paint for the signs; Friends of the Trail donated wood for the Trail head and even more friends (trails users were starting to pick up garbage along the trail). By August the trail was 90% completed, locals were seen daily riding or walking the trail, I would ask them how they found the trail and they would reply, “We saw someone riding a bicycle through the woods”.

September I planned on sharing this trail with as many bicycle racers I could by hosting another cyclocross series at Don Davidson Park. September 25 and 26 over 100 riders raced through the woods in a down poor of rain to christen these trails. October 17, 18, 25, and 26 saw more racers testing their limits on these new trails. Riders asked who built these trails, and I replied, “we did”. Their entry fees and their tires both helped insure these trails would last more than they did the first time. Riders commented on how this park was perfect for a bicycle trail, “I just smiled and agreed” parks and trails who wouldn’t want the two together. After the series was over I went back into promoting the trails with the pictures my wife took from the cyclocross series. Kids as young as 7 and retired teachers in their 60’s raced on these trails, one man from Florida and another from Johnson city drove to Fayetteville to race on these trails. A pictures is worth a 1000 words, how about a 1000 reasons to support Trails for Kids, marketing these trails is half the battle, locals are slowly finding out… blogs, forums, newspaper articles, and of course word of mouth are all key tools when building sustainable trails. The internet has been the most useful tool to target potential trail users; these websites have helped tremendously 1,557 views on one thread and the blog has been a hit as well, updated weekly, slideshows of the current floral and fauna keep trail users coming back.

Trails for Kids has built and maintained with the help of the City of Fayetteville, friends and sponsors, 3 miles of mountain bike trails at Don Davidson Park in 2009.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Trails for Kids


Trails for Kids

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trails for Kids January Trail work day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's not a secret any more!

Recent article from Freak Adventures
THE ALTERNATIVE: Trails for Kids Fayetteville, Tennessee
Location: About 2 miles west of downtown Fayetteville, Tennessee
Claim to Fame: The Elk River Trail, one mile of uninterrupted mountain-biking trail along the Elk River.
Maybe you haven’t heard, but it’s a good time to be a mountain biker in Fayetteville, Tennessee these days. Once a community that turned down Rails to Trails in the late 80's the town's motto, "Where tradition meets tomorrow", sounds like a Hank Junior song , now the town has some how become a cyclist dream, 6 miles of mountain bike trail with plans to add 6 more miles by 2012. The Elk River Valley has become a benchmark of urban revival and one of the most outdoor-friendly communities in the Southeast. It’s now become a haven for canoeing, trail running, birding, backpacking, road cycling, and of course, mountain biking, one of the fastest-growing movements in the region.
“Our initiative is to build 20 miles of mountain-bike trail within the Fayetteville city limits by 2012,” says Kevin Freeman, local chapter president of the Trails for Kids Association(TFKA), a nonprofit dedicated to building and maintaining mountain-bike trails for kids. “Traditionally, Fayetteville has been better known for road biking, with light traffic and great country roads. But there’s been an increasing trend toward off-road biking here because of what we’ve been building for people to ride.”
The crown jewel of Fayetteville's trail system is the Elk River Trail 3 miles in length, with a 1 mile trail along the Elk River, an extensive trail system of new single track just west of town at the Don Davidson/ Softball Sport Complex.” It’s the place that has really put us on the map as a mountain-biking destination,” Freeman says. “On any given weekend, you’re likely to see more out-of-state plates here than local ones.” About 6 miles of super sweet single track, with one mile of river front on the Elk River trail, this section, offers mountain bikers twisty pump track like single track, that most riders never get a chance to ride. For more information on this trail, check out the blog http://trailsforkids.blogspot.com/ or contact Trails for Kids at trails4k@yahoo.com

Friday, February 5, 2010

Trails for Kids February 6 work day

We start at 8 and should finish around noon.

This is what a Pump Track can do for your park and your community!

2009-2012 Trails for Kids Maps

Tennessee Conservationalist Magazine

Tennessee Conservationalist Magazine
January/Febuary 2011... Thanks Bob and Louise!

Huntsville Times Story about Trails for Kids

Huntsville Times Story about Trails for Kids
Click on the Trails for Kids sign Audrey is holding to read the Huntsville Times Story!