Why We’re Raising Money for TART


If you’re like me, you probably don’t even realize how much you utilize TART’s hard work on a daily basis. 95% of my runs take place on TART trails, usually down by West End beach to take in the gorgeous view of the bay. When I ride, I take the safe and scenic TART trail over to the VASA to hop on miles and miles of pristine mountain bike trails. Even the VASA trails have been the benefactors of TART funding and volunteers for decades. Stop and think – just how often do you use TART? How would your life change if we didn’t have these incredibly useful pathways? I can say with confidence that my life would be seriously altered – for the worse.

That’s why we’re working with Yen Yoga & Fitness to raise some money for Traverse Area Recreational Trails by taking over their 9am cycling classes on February 8 and 9. These classes will be donation-based, meaning participants can throw in $5, $50, or $500 to take the 90-minute classes on either day. A huge thank you to Yen for being flexible on the take-over. (GET IT? FLEXIBLE?)

Wes is teaching the class on Saturday, while Sara Harding is teaching the Sunday class. Come to one class. Come to both. We’d love to see you and help do some good for TART.

Some might ask why we’re doing this fundraiser. I get it. The trails are there – what could they need more money for? Well, TART has some really exciting projects coming up in 2020 and beyond that will be a huge benefit to our entire community. Here’s just a quick look at what your donations will do in the coming years and for generations to come.

VASA Skills Loop Project

At the VASA Pathway trailhead off Barlett Rd., TART and the Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association have been working on a skills loop to help mountain bikers of all ages learn the fundamentals of riding. Building these berms, jumps, and other skill-building features will give young and old alike the confidence to be faster, safer riders in the woods, and gosh darn it, look really freaking cool. You can find out more about what’s in the works for the Skills Loop by clicking here.

If you’re like, “do we really need a skills loop?” here’s exhibit A for yes. Yes, we do.

Boardman Lake Loop Project

This is one that everyone in town is STOKED about. Finishing the loop around Boardman Lake will connect businesses, two sides of town, and provide miles of scenic pathway for runners, walkers, and riders alike. They’re currently trying to close a $1.1 million funding gap, so if you could all get your AMEX cards out, let’s get this done.

Seriously, this loop is going to be an absolute gem for our community and we really would like to play a role in trying to get this done.

Three Mile Trail Project

Ever ridden your bike over by Three Mile? Of course not. It’s terrifying. But TART has been making huge progress the last few years, and with a bit more love (and money) we’re going to be able to help a whole lot of people travel safely to work and school in the area around Three Mile. If you haven’t read up on TART’s work with Norte and the Michigan Department of Transportation, you really should. It’s a case study of how different organizations can come together to move mountains for the benefit of all.

We’d love to see you February 8 and 9 at Yen for some indoor cycling fun. Can’t make class? Consider donating to TART here. Let’s make sure future generations can exercise, commute, and enjoy the outdoors in Traverse City for decades to come.

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