Second Round Grants Awarded for 2015

The Access Fund is pleased to announce that it has awarded over $18,000 in the second round of the 2015 Climbing Preservation Grants Program. Each year, the Access Fund awards up to $40,000 in grant money to local climbing communities with worthy projects that preserve or enhance climbing access in the United States. The Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grants Program is an example of membership dollars at work in local climbing communities across the country. Access Fund supporters got the opportunity to review qualifying grant projects and rate them, providing valuable input to our grant selection committee as to which projects they want their contributions to support. We are pleased to announce funding for the following worthy projects.

Appalachian Mountain Rescue Team: Rescue Equipment
The Appalachian Mountain Rescue Team was awarded funding to help purchase rescue equipment to become the first full Mountain Rescue Association team in the southeast. The Team will provide in-field emergency response at climbing venues in the southern Appalachians, including Looking Glass Rock, Linville Gorge, and Pilot Mountain. This grant will allow the team to gain accreditation through numerous agencies and become response-ready in 2016.

Colorado Mountain Club: San Luis Valley Climbing Area Stewardship
The Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) was awarded funding to provide the BLM with three weeks of support to improve access to the moderate climbing routes at Penitente and Bishop Rock and establish sustainable trails in the Manassa Dike area, which also help protect nesting peregrine falcon habitat. This grant will help to enhance the climber experience, improve access, and protect the environment of climbing areas in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. CMC is collaborating with the US Bureau of Land Management to address unmet resource needs at these newly identified Recreation Management Areas.

Duluth Climbers Coalition: Quarry Park Land Acquisition
Duluth Climbers Coalition (DCC) was awarded funding to help acquire Casket Quarry, an important regional ice and mixed climbing crag in Minnesota, in partnership with the City of Duluth. Land acquisition is the crucial, first step for transforming Casket Quarry into a new city park that will welcome and promote winter climbing. The City of Duluth has approved and earmarked matching funds and other resources for this project and is now finalizing an acquisition of private land that includes the west side of the cliff. The second phase of the project will be state-of-the-art ice farming infrastructure to enhance and supplement natural ice formation and increase climbing opportunities for novice and intermediate climbers.

Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance: Shelf Road Educational Signage
The Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance was awarded funding to create and install educational and directional signs with the US Bureau of Land Management at the Shelf Road climbing area near Canon City, Colorado. This signage will improve the climber experience by outlining proper climbing etiquette, Leave No Trace principles, and codes of conduct in this sensitive high desert area. The signs will include important camping information as well as climbing-specific information crucial to the sustainability of this area.

South Central Pennsylvania Climbers: Start-up and Governor Stable Boulders Lease
South Central Pennsylvania Climbers (SCPC) was awarded funding to help with expenses related to the start up as a new nonprofit, as well as to support the lease of Governor Stable Boulders in Bainbridge, Pennsylvania for the 2016 season. SCPC formed as a new non-profit organization with a mission to preserve access to climbing areas in the South Central Pennsylvania region. While SCPC will continue to need regular donations and community support, they are working to provide free, public access to Governor Stable without charging an annual fee. With your help opening Governor Stable Boulders, SCPC can then raise awareness and work on access sensitive areas across the region.

Southwest Pennsylvania Climbing Coalition: Start-up
Southwest Pennsylvania Climbing Coalition was awarded funding for expenses related to start up as a local nonprofit with the mission to promote the responsible development of climbing and bouldering in the southwestern Pennsylvania region. Many new climbing areas are being discovered and developed in the region, and there is a growing need for a local climbing organization to secure and preserve access in partnership with public and private land managers and to disseminate information about conservation to the climbing community.

Upper Peninsula Climbers Coalition: AAA Wall Recreational License
The Upper Peninsula Climbers Coalition (UPCC) was awarded funding to help keep the historic AAA Walls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula open. A local timber company closed the area in 2014 due to liability concerns. The solution is a collaborative recreational license agreement for public access. To complete the license and to renew this agreement in future years, UPCC will use this grant money to match costs of drafting the initial contract, liability insurance, signage, and stewardship.