Oleson Foundation Helps Two Trail Projects Move Forward

This is what it’s all about! Last week, the Olseon Foundation named awarded to local trail projects grants, and we’re proud to confirm that the new Vasa Skills Building Trail is one of those projects. The Olseson Foundation’s $5,000 grant will help us hit the ground running as we start construction later this month! Take a look at the full press release from TART, one of our partners on this project. Let’s get digging!

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Plans for projects on two trail developments will advance this summer thanks to grant funding from the Oleson Foundation. The Vasa Skills Building Trail, a collaborative project between TART Trails and Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association (NMMBA) to create a 2-mile youth mountain biking trail on the Vasa Pathway, has received $5,000 toward project costs. Additionally, TART Trails received a grant of $5,000 to go toward establishing native plants on the nearly complete Boardman Lake Loop Trail.

The proposed Vasa Skills Building Trail will complement the existing 25-mile Vasa Pathway in Acme Township. Unlike its grown up counterpart, however, this trail will offer youth and novice mountain bikers the opportunity to gradually build their skills and confidence, featuring elements such as berms, table-tops, and jump features on a trail designed to offer something for all levels and abilities. The Oleson Foundation’s funding of this kind of trail fills a gap for the Traverse City area. “The trail can be thought of as a park where parents feel comfortable letting their kids play on bikes, much like a park where they would play field sports,” says NMMBA Board President, Chad Jordan. “The skills trail is designed with kids in mind to develop the fundamentals of trail riding in a safe, well-designed closed loop. We can’t wait to get started.” 

Across town, native blooms and grasses will soon emerge on the forthcoming 5-mile Boardman Lake Loop Trail thanks to support from the Oleson Foundation. “The experience of being on a trail isn’t just about getting from point A to point B,” explains Julie Clark, Executive Director of TART Trails. “It’s also about finding repose in a beautiful place and connecting with nature, especially when you’re in the heart of town. We’re grateful that the Oleson Foundation is helping bring that to this project through supporting installation of native plants and flowers, contributing to the overall health of the trail in the long term.”

The Oleson Foundation has supported good works in Northwestern Lower Michigan since 1962. Board Chair Don Oleson says these particular projects reflect values that the Foundation upholds in the selection process. “We’re proud to provide funds for projects that will directly impact our region. The Vasa Skills Trail is a great example of collaboration between NMMBA and TART Trails and will only enhance a place already beloved by trail enthusiasts while supporting youth in our community. Andinstalling native plants on the Boardman Lake Loop is two-fold: it’s environmental stewardship and an effort to create a scenic space that will bring community members outside to enjoy.”

Construction of the Vasa Skills Building Trail is slated to begin this July and groundbreaking on the extension of the Boardman Lake Loop Trail in the fall. Keep up to date on both projects through TART Trails’ website, www.traversetrails.org


About TART Trails

TART Trails, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization formed in 1998 and located in Traverse City, Michigan. TART works to enrich the Traverse region by providing anetwork of trails, bikeways and pedestrian ways; and encouraging their use.


About Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association

The mission of NMMBA is to promote responsible mountain biking and to work toward the goals of common land access and natural resource protection through interaction with policy makers, mountain bikers and other trail users.