Shifting Gears Program
Our first Mountain Bike outing was at Black Diamond Open Space—a beautiful King County Park that has become a premiere mountain biking destination thanks to the advocacy and trail work done by Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. Y.E.T.I. was so excited to bring the kids in our program to learn how to ride the trails from the very faces and workers responsible for developing such an incredible resource in their community!
Evergreen did an incredible job instructing the Y.E.T.I. students on mountain biking basics, group travel, and safety. While the kids all knew how to ride a bike on the road, this was the first time that any of them had gone mountain biking! We were thrilled that they were getting such skilled instruction from the true experts on mountain biking in Washington.
Over the course of the program, we could see the students gaining confidence and skills on the bike as they challenged themselves with more and more technical trails. The kids were having a blast and it definitely didn’t hurt that it was one of our sunniest days in weeks! Every student signed up for the next ride in our progression, eagerly looking forward to more time on the trail.
At the end of the ride, we were left with nothing but gratitude for such an amazing Mountain Biking organization. This outdoor experience creates the kind of authentic connection to place and space that Y.E.T.I. strives for in all our programs. We want our youth to enjoy the vast opportunities for recreation around them and, at the same time, understand the effort and passion that goes into public lands and the responsibility that comes with caring for them. We believe this type of collaboration is how we build a bigger and broader coalition of stewards in the generations to come.
Y.E.T.I. has made community collaboration a foundational aspect of our programming. When Y.E.T.I. can come together and work side by side with other organizations, we can truly create a web of support and services that reaches throughout our community. This is exactly the type of thinking behind our collaboration with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to offer our “Shifting Gears” mountain bike series.
Evergreen’s advocacy in the outdoors for mountain bikers is unparalleled around the country, which makes them a perfect fit for Y.E.T.I. as we get more young people outside. From the Evergreen Website:
“Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the nation’s largest statewide mountain bike association, representing thousands of riders through eight regional chapters. Evergreen is committed to sustainable recreation, trail maintenance, advocacy, education, volunteerism and trail building. We are an important partner with public land managers, contributing over 29,000 hours of trail work per year.”
This fall, Y.E.T.I. and Evergreen rounded up a number of funding sources to offer a series of introductory mountain bike courses. Together, we’ve been able to bring expert mountain biking knowledge and instruction to the youth of South King County with a brand-new bike fleet! Here are the organizations and hard workers that made funding for this program come together:
King County – Youth and Amateur Sports Grant Program
The YASG program is funded and sustained through a 1-percent car-rental tax authorized by the State in 1993. King County Council restructured the program (formerly Youth Sports Facilities Grants) in 2017 to provide Council-directed grants, as well as competitive grants, to non-profit organizations, local governments, Tribes, and school districts. Funding is available for sports and recreation programs and capital projects. Adminstered and supported by King County Parks!
Washington State No Child Left Inside Grant
The Washington State Legislature created the No Child Left Inside grant program to provide under-served youth with quality opportunities to experience the natural world.
Grants are available for outdoor environmental, ecological, agricultural, or other natural resource-based education and recreation programs serving youth. Funding focuses on serving youth with the greatest needs and helping them improve their overall academic performance, self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, personal health, and understanding of nature.
King County Play Equity Coalition
King County Play Equity Coalition is a network of organizations dedicated to challenging and changing systems to shift power and center physical activity as a key part of health and youth development.
Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle
Gregg’s generously helped us out with knowledge, expertise, and discounts while we put our bike fleet together. They were essential in making sure our students hit the trails with proper quality bikes and equipment.
Local bike techs have donated their time and energy to get the biking fleet up and rolling. Y.E.T.I. and Evergreen Volunteers have supported every aspect of the program– from equipment maintenance to instruction and delivery. We also received support from a private donor interested in supporting education for biking safety. This key donation helped us bridge the funding gap to get this program launched.
Supporters Like You!
Without the financial support, volunteer hours, and passion of our Y.E.T.I. family and network, none of this would be possible.