Congratulations to the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District which was notified that they have been granted a $280,000 grant to begin the plan for the proposed development of the intermountain pathway project. This project, as planned, will provide walking paths, bicycle and plenty of room for pedestrians throughout the mountain communities. The grant funds will pay for all the studies that must be done in order to prepare for the project but it will not pay for the construction itself.
The grant was prepared by local consultant and grant writer Sue Walker who was hired by the district to compose and submit the grant. The overall initiative is a continuation of planning and implementation efforts that began 16 years ago under the leadership of the San Bernardino National Forest.
“Together we can move mountains,” exclaimed Director and Committee chairman High Bialecki. “We are especially pleased to have received the endorsement of San Bernardino County Supervisors Janice Rutherford and James Ramos as well as the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG).” Bialecki added that he was grateful to support from the Rim of the World Unified School District, the California Conservation Corps, the Lake Arrowhead, Running Springs and Crestline chambers of commerce for their endorsements as well as the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust and senior citizens and other service organizations which supported this grant endeavor.
One of the primary reasons this grant was offered to agencies is that it will get people out of their cars so they can explore and get exercise in the forest rather than driving from place to place, especially if the places they are visiting are easy to get to through by using a trail system. Another reason the grant was awarded was that it will help reduce gas house emissions because people will not be driving from place to place if they use the trail for exercise and to enjoy the natural surroundings. Once constructed the trail will promote regional connections between the Rim of the World communities and the Big Bear Lake areas.
The grant will cover the cost of providing safe walkways and bikeways for children during the school season as well as other times because the park district facilities are extensively used by the entire community whether school is in session or not.
When completed the new pathway project will provide alternatives that reduce the number of moving vehicles and it will allow people to get out and enjoy nature’s beauty in a more peaceful setting than is often offered if you’re walking near a highway or other heavily trafficked thoroughfare.
“Our goal is to extend the City of Big Bear’s Lake “Get There Big Bear” plan that was funded by Caltrans as well as serving the Santa Ana Regional Watershed,” stated the recreation district’s board of directors president, carol Tesley.
The rural nature of the two-lane state highways will include the Rim of the World Scenic Byway. These routes are defined by hills, curves and lack of pedestrian pathways and bicycle lanes. Current use also contributes to traffic congestion, air pollution and excessive use of energy.(How’s the current price of gas affecting your wallet?) The use of the routes that are currently available, Hwy. 18 and Hwy. 330, carry a steady stream of forest, lake and snow enthusiasts to our mountain resorts,” stated Karen Reams,the district’s general manager. She added, “We believe that this plan will provide the added incentive to tourism and recreation by addressing environmental issues a well as revitalizing our commercial centers via attractions and connections across the San Bernardino Mountains. We look forward to collaborating with Caltrans in the use of these ATP funds.”