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Strategic Investment Fund Update #2

Project Update – RVMBA Lizard Trail Work & National Forest Foundation Thousand Springs SnoPark


Our Strategic Investment Fund was launched in 2022 to provide timely support for high-value destination development or marketing projects that positively impact Southern Oregon. For the 2022 cycle, we focused on visitor-facing outdoor recreation work, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and event support for new or impactful culinary and cultural experiences.

Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association – Lizard Trail

Thanks to the Strategic Investment Fund, the Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association (RVMBA) was able to obtain funds for the project, which was fully approved and ready to go.

Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association maintaining trails

Thanks to the Strategic Investment Fund, the Rogue Valley Mountain Bike Association (RVMBA) was able to obtain funds for the project, which was fully approved and ready to go.

RVMBA hired a contracted trail builder who used heavy machinery to smooth out and rebuild features on the trail, with the work being supervised by the organization. The project had been approved by the US Forest Service and the City of Ashland, making it a collaborative effort.

Lizard Trail in the Ashland Watershed

The Lizard Trail is known for being one of the most popular and accessible trails in the Ashland watershed trail system. Following the upgrades, the trail has reopened with a machine refresh, making it even more enjoyable and accessible for riders. The trail still maintains the same difficulty level but now offers new features, which provide more options for progression. All features have a roll-able option, giving riders the freedom to choose their level of challenge.

The trail builder not only updated and improved the trail features but also improved drainage and slowed erosion, which benefits the environment and makes maintenance efforts more manageable. The project’s completion is great news for trail enthusiasts and further promotes Southern Oregon as a world-class outdoor recreation destination.

Thousand Springs Sno-Park Development

With the support from the Travel Southern Oregon Strategic Investment, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) has been able to partner with the Rogue Snowmobilers and the Rogue River-Siskiyou (RRS) National Forest to move forward the expansion of the Thousand Springs Sno-Park. The grant provided six days of capacity to the Umpqua Restoration Program Coordinator for grant writing and partnership development

Accomplishments from this project include:

  • NFF, Rogue Snowmobilers, and the RRS National Forest built a strong partnership for the Thousand Springs project, including defined roles and an agreement between the NFF and the RRS National Forest.
  • NFF submitted a $250,503 grant request to the Recreation Trails Program (RTP) for the first phase of parking area expansion (1/3 acre). (Grant review process currently underway with decisions by end of May.)
  • NFF cultivated a relationship with Yamaha Outdoor Access Fund; Yamaha is interested in providing $35,000 to support the project if the RTP grant is awarded.
  • NFF is collaborating with the RRS to identify additional partnership opportunities to move other recreation projects forward.
Thousand Springs Sno Park on HWY 62

This funding was essential to writing and submitting a quality RTP grant proposal, which is key in moving the project toward implementation.

Learn More

Stay tuned for more updates on our Strategic Investment Fund projects and other exciting initiatives happening in Southern Oregon.