ST. GEORGE — Trail enhancements have been made at the Pine Valley Recreation Area thanks to effort of local groups and financial support from the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at the recreation area.
The Pine Valley Recreation Enhancement Project aided the construction of two equestrian bridges on a frequently used trail.
According to a press release issued by the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office, the Pine Valley Recreation Enhancement Project is the result of a collaborative effort from the Southwest Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Utah, American Conservation Experience and the U.S. Forest Service, with guidance from Greater Zion.
The project was awarded a 2018 Utah Outdoor Grant which provided $20,857 in matching funds. Labor and additional funds for the project were provided by members of the contributing organizations.
“This is a great example of what we can achieve when we work together as a community,” Kevin Lewis, director of Greater Zion Convention & Tourism, said in the press release. “Projects like this increase the quality of life for locals, enhance the experience for visitors and generate economic development in the local communities of Greater Zion.”
Located in the Dixie National Forest, the Pine Valley Recreation Area is home to a number of multi-use trails, including many popular equestrian routes. The Southwest Chapter of Back Country Horseman of Utah had long sought to place bridges on trails in the area to provide convenient water crossings for horseback riders and hikers.
Funding for the project proved to be a challenge until recently when they secured outdoor recreation grant funding with the support of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office.
“So many people in our community came together to make this project a reality,” Paul Sloane, president of the Southwest Chapter of Back Country Horseman of Utah, said in the press release. “Kevin and the folks at Greater Zion helped point us in the right direction on funding, and many dedicated volunteers who worked so hard to write the grant application and place the bridges. We hope everyone will come out and enjoy the new experience.”
Community members and visitors are invited to join an official ribbon-cutting to celebrate the new bridges Saturday at 10 a.m. near the Thomas Forsythe Group Campground at the Pine Valley Recreation Area. Light refreshments will be served. No RSVP is necessary to attend, and recreation area fees will be waived. For more information, visit the Greater Zion website.