Tuesday, April 20, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 16 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“It’s like a paradise here. It’s got to be one of the prettiest places on earth.”
- Corporal Clayton Blight  
- on his promotion and   
transfer to Manitoba   
$380,000 internationally-accredited project to start this spring
 
Exciting news arrived in the Crowsnest Pass last week, as funding has been approved for a $380,000 mountain biking trail system in the Crowsnest Pass –– a project that is scheduled to get underway in May of this year.
Administered by Community Futures Crowsnest Pass, the project features funding from the Rural Development Initiative and numerous community partners, both in the private and public sectors. In many aspects it will be designed to be a truly community-owned project.
While the project has no official name yet, it is envisioned as a mountain bike tourism cluster. The project, which is expected to take two years to complete, proposes to feature ten looped mountain bike trails in the community, designed to meet international standards set out by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA).
An IMBA official will come to the Pass this summer to help design the trails and ensure they conform to international standards. This will allow accredited mountain biking events to take place in the Crowsnest Pass.
The mountain bike system will also feature a mountain bike skills park, which will again conform to international standards. The skills park is taking the place of the municipality's planned BMX park, and is proposed to be located near the base of the ski hill.
 
Community Futures officially announced that the grant funding had been secured on Thursday, April 15. With the money in place, a facilitator will be hired in May and the work of designing and naming the system will take place.
"This is a very positive initiative for the Crowsnest Pass," says Community Futures in a released statement. "It will bring into the community a substantial amount of mountain bike enthusiasts and tourism dollars, as well as opportunities for business development and expansion."
Carrie Morency, with Community Futures, says that there will be even more opportunities for local residents and businesses to get involved in the project as time goes on and things get off the ground. There will be opportunities for sponsorships big and small, she says, both on the trails and with related items, such as trail maps.
Shane Stewart, also with Community Futures, broke the good news to gathered members of the Chamber of Commerce at their luncheon on April 14. He said that he can see the Pass becoming a part of the international mountain biking circuit in the future. Local groups such as the newly formed United Riders of Crowsnest have been actively promoting mountain biking in the community.
The Rural Development Initiative is a grant program that provides funds to local Community Futures organizations, to fund economic diversification projects in Alberta. The program is targeted at large scale rural projects with strong private sector support and clear, measurable economic outcomes.
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