BENTONVILLE – With Northwestern Arkansas fast becoming the new mecca of multi-use bike trails and increased pressure on funding for maintenance of the vast trail network, the help of LuvTrails was called in to tap into the growing local and visiting trail user community for resources.
Friends of Arkansas Singletrack (FAST), the dynamic, non-profit volunteer trail organization operating in and around Bentonville and Bella Vista, and LuvTrails Inc. today announced the launch of the free LuvTrails mobile app developed specifically for the benefit of non-profit trail groups to solicit more donations from regular trail users.
As the trails near cities increase and the network of urban and out-of-town trails expand due to public demand the pressure mounts not just on funding to build even more trails, but also to maintain it throughout the year.
The Bentonville-based Walton Family Foundation spent more than $75 million on the construction of the awesome mountain bike trails in the region and rightfully deserve all the applause for its investment in the community and public health, but 99% of the trail users, and especially the thousands flocking to the trails from other states, have no clue what it takes to maintain those beautifully designed soft surface trails.
The Foundation’s Senior Program Officer Gary Vernon once challenged FAST: “If you guys keep maintaining the trails, we’ll keep building them.” And that is the crunch; how to get enough funding to keep a growing volunteer workforce going with more equipment, tools, fuel, and a variety of other expenses.
FAST is one of the most active and professional non-profit, volunteer trail organizations in the country and looks after arguably the most exciting urban soft surface trails in the country. Project Manager Charles Williams said: “Our ‘Trail Adoption Program’ – a volunteer trail workforce of 136 members – has grown over the past three years and is very successful. But, as the miles of trails increased, we needed more volunteers and more equipment. Now a ‘once a year’ party as a fundraiser, simply wasn’t going to be enough.
“So, we looked for a means for donations, with the hope that we could find a way to fund equipment, upkeep, fuel, and even some ‘give back’ programs for our hard-working volunteers. Enter LuvTrails. They have been an amazing partner!”
The LuvTrails App was designed for trail groups like FAST. It tracks app users thanks to the mobile device’s geolocation, identifies the closest trail group supported trails, and connects the user with the relevant trail group to make a micro-donation at the trail or immediately after a ride.
Users also have a “TrailCare” option to link a GPS fitness device (via Strava) to the App and pledge a micro-donation per mile ridden on a supported trail. Both options are to afford an opportunity to make an easy, quick donation – like leaving a tip” for the trail volunteers when you have enjoyed the carefully maintained trails wherever you ride.
LuvTrails CEO Arrie Rossouw said: “We are really excited about the FAST decision and looking forward to a great partnership with lots of community participation to help them with their ever-expanding program.
“The App is the perfect solution to those that love the trails they ride but don’t have the time, ability, or appetite for physical trail work. And that goes for 95% of more than 40 million mountain bike riders that never contribute money or time to the trails they ride. There are just no more excuses. Leave that tip because it is the right thing to do!” he said.
The App is already active in Arkansas. More than 60 volunteer trail organizations nationwide have partnered with LuvTrails and accept donations.
To sign up and donate towards FAST download the free LuvTrails App on the App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android).
+ For more information on LuvTrails and the many features of the App.
+ For more information on the work of FAST