This week, Utah’s Office of Outdoor Recreation and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced almost a million dollars in grants for outdoor recreation infrastructure throughout the state. At Outdoor Alliance, we’re especially psyched about this news because our Outdoor Alliance Utah network, who worked closely with Utah lawmakers to create the fund, is the recipient of two of the outdoor recreation infrastructure grants. The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance will receive two grants for climbing infrastructure to improve Joe's Valley and the Grit Mill in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Julia Geisler, the Executive Director of the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, said, “Last year I went to Washington DC with Outdoor Alliance to learn about how to educate lawmakers. When Utah's House Bill 52 came up in the state several months later, we had the opportunity to fund up to $5 million for the State of Utah's Outdoor Office of Recreation's budget for recreational infrastructure. It is encouraging to see that we were heard, HB52 was passed, and as a direct result we have been able to put those funds to use on the ground at the largest climbing trail access project in the nation in lower Little Cottonwood Canyon. This project will set the precedent for more sustainable recreation infrastructure projects in the future that protect the places we love to climb. We will continue to ask our Representatives for a more sustainable funding source as HB52 was a one time fund and there are many more projects on the horizon.”
Through our Outdoor Alliance Utah network, over 2,000 outdoor enthusiasts from Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and Mountain Trails Foundation wrote to their legislators asking them to designate the $1 million fund. The resulting grants are evidence that when we speak up, policymakers listen.
You can read more about the program and its funding here.