Posts Categorized / Volunteering

  • Oct 08, 2018
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News, Projects, Rapid City, Spearfish, Sturgis, Volunteering

Black Hills Area Community Foundation Grant

Black Hills Trails is pleased to announce it has received a $3,000 grant from the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. These funds will support over-snow Trail Grooming for Fat Biking on the Black Hills National Forest and throughout the northern Black Hills.

Track sleds grooming a route overlooking Sturgis and Bear Butte

Mountain Biking in the Black Hills area is as popular as ever, and with the advent of fat biking, this popularity has blossomed into Winter over-snow riding. Over-snow riding has the same need for well constructed and maintained trails as during fair weather months. The most efficient way to create and groom these trails is using machines which groom (compact) the snow similar to a cross-country ski trail. Recent work with the Black Hills National Forest has allowed the use of snow grooming machines on designated trails. This network of trails is widespread enough that several machines are needed to accommodate the demand. In an effort to continue fulfilling Black Hills Trails’ mission of connecting communities, even over-snow, Black Hills Trails will utilize this grant funding, in addition to other sources, to purchase more over-snow grooming machines. These machines will power the volunteer trail grooming effort.

“Focusing effort on a single user-group, such as fat bikers, isn’t normally what Black Hills Trails would try to do. But the opportunity to help create a whole new type of sustainable trail use was too good to pass up. The machines the Quality of Life funding will help purchase will extend trail use for bikes into all four seasons. We are extremely pleased to receive this generous grant to keep building the momentum for trails and trail use — in all four seasons.”

– Samuel Greear, Executive Director, Black Hills Trails

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation (BHACF) awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. Through the Quality of Life Grants process the BHACF supports a wide variety of proposals in: Arts and culture, environment and conservation, education, youth and children, social services, and community and economic development. Requests can support projects, programs, capital projects and general operating support. “We are proud to be able to respond to our communities changing needs and offer support to the nonprofits that make our region a better place every day. The information that the applicants share with us helps our organization grow in understanding the issues and concerns of people in our community,” says Liz Hamburg, Executive Director of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation.



About Black Hills Trails

The mission of Black Hills Trails is to maintain and enhance the trail experience in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming.

The ultimate goal of Black Hills Trails is a future Black Hills where a diverse network of studiously designed, judiciously constructed and expertly maintained trails connect every city, town and point of interest in the region. The organization seeks the proliferation of recreational and backcountry travel opportunities for all non-motorized user groups.

In pursuit of these goals Black Hills Trails provides support to individuals, organizations, and events that promote these ideals and will strive to work with land managers in support of recreational opportunities.

Contact us.


About the Black Hills Area Community Foundation

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation has given more than $13 million in grants and scholarships over its 10-year history. In addition to our donor advised gifts, 100% of our foundation’s grantmaking initiatives stay in the Black Hills region! At its core, the BHACF is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fund holders, the Foundation has been able to address some of the community’s most pressing needs.

The BHACF is a public charity 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit

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  • Oct 07, 2014
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News, Sturgis, Volunteering

Update, Appreciation and Progress


In 2013 the City of Sturgis approved the donation of funds to our organization to purchase trail equipment that would help to develop a new trail on City property-The Lions Club Park Trail.

Formal trail building began last September and was completed in the spring of 2014.

Labor of Love

Well over 600 volunteer hours  went into developing this first mile of trail. Based on Independent Sector Organizations hourly value of a South Dakota volunteer, that is more than $11,000 worth of community commitment!

Additionally, a few community members donated money to help the organization cover its 2014 insurance cost. Dr Tom Herman, Keith Smit, and Mike Strain, Thanks! Black Hills Trails would be unable to continue in this mission without support like yours.

Pictured from left: Dr Tom Herman, Keith Smit, Kevin Forrester (Black Hills Trails) and Mike Strain

Enjoying The Fruits…

Two community events have already been held on the trail: The Sturgis Volksmarch (organized by Sturgis Area Chamber), and Brandon’s Memorial Malibu Run (organized by Taylar Applegate and Delzer family)

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Sturgis Volksmarch

Brandon’s Memorial Malibu Run.

“Save This Date” Photo Session on New Trail

First Trail Build Day

The First Fall trail Build day of 2014 was held September 27th. Fourteen volunteers showed up to help work on the Lions Club park trail. Much needed trail touch ups were taken care of, stumps and rocks removed and climbing turns refined. In addition, 300 feet of new trail was built. Black Hills Trails provided the tools and instruction, Sturgis Coffee Company provided coffee, Angie Ondriezek provided cookies.

Here is a  short video/time lapse of the 9-27 build day.

New Milestone! Developing Trail on Fort Meade Recreation Area

Previously our organization submitted a proposal to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) who manages the Fort Meade Recreation Area adjacent to Sturgis to rebuild one of the existing trails on their property. This trail, currently called “The Grind”, was damaged due to logging operations in 2014. Wednesday, October 8th, the Bureau of Land Management will officially approve our organizations involvement in developing this new trail. This will be done by signing a Volunteer agreement at the BLM headquarters in Belle Fourche.

The Lions Club park trail directly connects to this new “Grind” trail and the trails in conjunction will provide access between the Centennial Trail, the City of Sturgis and the Fort Meade Trail Head.

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  • Sep 30, 2013
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News, Projects, Sturgis, Volunteering, Whitewood

Project Status Update

Part of the mission Black Hills Trails continues to pursue is connecting our local communities to each other and connecting our communities to points of interest with beautiful ribbons of trail. A great deal of progress was made toward that goal last weekend with two successful volunteer trail build days.

A small volunteer crew turned out in Oak Park in Whitewood on Sunday morning and was able to build the final remaining segment of trail forming a loop out of and back into the park. The only projects remaining before the main loop of the trail in Whitewood can be considered complete is to build one final corner and construct a small bridge. Calling this project complete in the very near future will be a major milestone for the residents of this small Black Hills town!

On Saturday morning in Sturgis, 17 volunteers labored over 75 hours combined to finish almost 1000 feet of new trail. This trail will eventually stretch southeast from Lions Club Park and the City Cemetery onto the Fort Meade Recreation area and access existing trails there. The next scheduled volunteer build day for the Lions trail in Sturgis is Saturday, October 12 with an 8:30 AM start time.

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