Wy Give? Here’s what you can create by helping SCLT get from The Base to Bear Gulch.
Imagine it’s an early morning. You’re out of the house and out on the trail moving through aspen and pine groves. The brilliant reds of Indian paintbrush give way to sunshine yellow arrowleaf balsamroot and the pastel purples of mountain lupine. As you ascend, chipmunks and squirrels scurry along in search of their morning meal while a chorus of birds greet your presence before a mule deer doe and her fawn disappear into the thicket ahead. You move along sandstone cliffs covered in neon green moss and lichen before coming to an open meadow filled with an artist’s palette of wildflowers – shooting stars, pasqueflower, woodland stars, yarrow, sego lilies, clematis, crocus, larkspur, bluebells, forget-me-nots and more. At the edge of this flower-filled meadow, you can look left and see the sharp relief of the Bighorns’ billion-year-old basalt anticline, look right and see verdant green foothills growing enormous herds of antelope and deer alongside cattle. There’s a gentle breeze blowing that sweet mountain air along with a nesting Sandhill Crane’s call. You look straight head and see a wide-open view of our bustling valley and relish that only a few minutes ago you chose not to hit that snooze button because you knew you live in a place where it is easier than ever before to go from your front door to the outdoors.
Soon, you won’t have to imagine that experience – you’ll be able to explore your beautiful Bighorns backyard as Sheridan Community Land Trust continues to build Red Grade Trails from The Base to Bear Gulch.
By doing so, we’ll be another step closer to completing a series of safe, sustainable trails that will allow people to connect with nature from a place so many people already know and love in Red Grade Trails’ Base Trailhead to a place at the top of the mountain like Bear Gulch that we know even more people will soon love!
That means people will have new opportunities to hike, bike, ride, run, walk, ride on horseback, stretch your pet’s legs, find flowers, watch wildlife, bird, peep plants, have a picnic, read in a quiet spot, find balance with a morning mountain yoga session or simply experience the peace and tranquility that you can only find by getting out and connecting to nature.
And you can help create those opportunities!
Sarah Wallick and Aaron Denberg of Big Horn and a local trail lover who wishes to remain anonymous have issued a $15,000 WyoGives Red Grade Trails Challenge Match which runs until Wednesday, July 14. Your help will get the trails from The Base to Bear Gulch far faster than we ever imagined!
While those funds are a significant start towards completing the systems, another $600,000 will be needed to complete the full system after the Wyoming Business Council funds are used.
They will match every dollar donated to the Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) through WyoGives Day on July 14 up to a total of $15,000, with the donations going toward the development and construction of new trails at Red Grade Trails. If that amount is reached, a total of at least $30,000 will be raised for Red Grade Trails.
SCLT Executive Director Brad Bauer explained these funds will be used to continue construction in 2022. “Because so many people supported Red Grade Trails last year during WyoGives, SCLT was able to secure a $500,000 Community Enhancement Grant from the Wyoming Business Council that is being used to build new trails between Poverty Flats and Bear Gulch this summer. We want to continue that momentum this year so we can continue the build in 2022 so everyone can get from The Base to Bear Gulch faster than anyone ever imagined.”
“I can honestly say, Red Grade Trails is my favorite trail system,” Wallick said. “I used to travel out of the state every month, but now I stay here because we have world-class trails. They’re a gem!”
Sarah says the variation, accessibility and beauty of Red Grade Trails combine to make it a truly special place. “Whether you’re hiking, running, biking or just sitting there, you have an opportunity to experience the forest from so many different viewpoints.” Sarah remarked, pointing out that early mornings when the sun is just beginning to come through the trees are some of her favorite moments on the mountain.
“I sit and look and appreciate what’s around me,” Wallick remarked and concluded, “You know it’s where you’re supposed to be.”
And she’s not alone in that feeling. SCLT estimates that at least 35,000 visits will be made to its network of community trails this year.
“Now, more than ever, the ability to get outside and experience the peace, beauty and wonder of nature is important not just for our physical health – but our mental health as well,” Bauer reasoned.
You can help get from The Base to Bear Gulch by answering the $15,000 WyoGives Red Grade Trail Challenge Match and donate by Wednesday, July 14.
Prefer not to donate online? No problem!
You can mail your gift to:
Sheridan Community Land Trust
PO Box 7185
Sheridan, WY 82801
or drop it off at our office located at 52 S. Main in Sheridan. We’re open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.
Just write WyoGives in your check’s memo line.
Unable to donate? Donated and want to help more? Spread the word on social media
Share your story about why you love Red Grade Trails and SCLT projects. Each of these graphics will fit into your Facebook and Instagram posts. Please don’t forget to tag SCLT and use the hashtag #scltyourtrails.