Dillon Osleger, SAGE Trail Alliance executive director, left, and Dean Noble, Elings Park executive director, at Elings Park.

Dillon Osleger, SAGE Trail Alliance executive director, left, and Dean Noble, Elings Park executive director, at Elings Park.

(Courtesy photo)

Elings Park’s nine miles of public trails will be improved, expanded and sustained over the next 20 years, with the financial support of the Trek Foundation. Work begins this month by the local Sage Trail Alliance, which has provided volunteer trail stewardship for decades.

The donation also provides for the creation of a trail map covering the entire park, which will be available to the public for free and featured on two new information kiosks.

“We have experienced an explosion of trail use due to the Covid quarantine and the growth in the popularity of mountain biking,” said Dean Noble, Elings Park’s executive director. “This generous funding will take our trails from good to outstanding, and also benefits the park’s many walkers and hikers who share the trails with cyclists.”

Elings Park is one of four initial projects funded by the Trek Foundation, which was established in July 2021 by Trek Bicycle, designer and manufacturer of bicycles and related products. The project met funding criteria meant to ensure a meaningful, long-lasting contribution to the community, its riders, and the planet.

“Our world needs more people on bikes and people need great places to ride those bikes,” said Bob Burns, Trek Bicycle vice president of advocacy. “This investment in Elings Park will help get more people on their bikes and outside in the awesome ecosystems of the Central Coast.”     

In addition to maintaining existing trails, SAGE will develop new trails and provide ecologic restoration of key areas. 

“For over 20 years, SAGE has worked with Elings to provide free trail access in town, now we look to the next 20,” said Dillon Osleger, SAGE executive director. “We are ecstatic to begin a new phase with our longtime partner the Trek Foundation to improve the experience and landscape for all users, and to help make Elings Park the epicenter of outdoor activity in Santa Barbara.”

The Trek Foundation was established in 2021 to help protect land, develop trail systems for public use, and grant more riders access to great places to ride. The trail systems the foundation helps to fund will remain open, protected, and free for all to use. The Trek Foundation also helps protect the surrounding land from development. Visit https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/trek-foundation.

The Elings Park Foundation was created to support the largest privately funded, public park in the U.S. It is more than twice the size of Disneyland. Elings Park is made possible by community donations and receives no regular government funding. Visit www.ElingsPark.org.

Since 1988, SAGE Trail Alliance has participated in major public lands actions along the Central Coast. Its mission is to create and maintain sustainable trails, advocate for equitable access to outdoor recreation, and protect natural environments. SAGE stewards some 250 miles of trail, has played a part in political bills, and has invested $500,000 in the region’s public lands. Visit www.sagetrail.org.