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Trail Me About It

Recreational trails are a big part of life throughout the foothills. Beyond the obvious health benefits they provide, recreational trails help to preserve open space and the natural environment, provide paths to the history of our area and give access to views not commonly seen in the daily commute from home to work. I’ve always been pleased to have had a small role in the establishment of the Dragoon Gulch Trail in Sonora, which has been enjoyed by thousands of users including my wife and I, our sons and now, my young grandchildren.

That’s why I’m excited about a new field-of-interest fund that has been established at the Sonora Area Foundation – the “Trail Me About It” fund. With a seed grant by the Foundation through the donor advised Front Porch Fund, Trail Me About It will serve to enhance or rehabilitate non-motorized trails located in Tuolumne County.

Initially, the fund will be used to award “mini-grants” for small projects. According to Tyler Summersett, Senior Planner – Trails Coordinator for the Tuolumne County Transportation Council (TCTC), these types of grants will be useful for small projects that sometimes do not fit the criteria for existing funding sources.

Details about the fund and an online grant application can be found on the website An advisory committee will review applications and recommend to the Foundation grants to be awarded from the fund. And remember, to receive a grant award from the Foundation, the applicant must be affiliated with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or a school, church or government unit.

A key to long-term success of the fund will be additional gifts made to the fund by our residents or visitors who benefit from the trails. The seed grant will only take us so far in awarding mini-grants for trail projects. Tyler and his network of trail supporters encourage donations to the fund and have provided a link on the website for donations to be made directly to the fund held at the Sonora Area Foundation.

Thanks to our friends at Front Porch for making this fund possible. Now, let’s see those grant applications for projects that will help enhance our trails and gifts to the fund that will help those applications continue to be funded.

In the meantime, I know where I’ll be – we’ll see you on the trail!