Bay Area Volunteer Trail Stewardship Honored at American Trails Symposium

Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, REI, and Chipotle Mexican Grill Receive the Partnership Award for the Annual REI - Ridge Trail Service Day

Fort McDowell, Arizona, April 17. Last night at the American Trails International Symposium, the collaboration between the nonprofit Bay Area Ridge Trail Counciland two public-spirited companies was honored with the Partnership Award. Leading outdoor gear and apparel company REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc) with 12 stores in the Bay Area and Chipotle Mexican Grill, with 25 Greater Bay Area locations, have worked closely with the Ridge Trail Council for five years to host an annual volunteer day at numerous sites along the Ridge Trail. Each year, the Service Day has grown to attract more volunteers, include more projects, and build or maintain more miles.

So far, over 2,200 volunteers have taken part, and donated almost 10,000 hours. Trail improvements were completed at 64 different sites in 36 parks or open space preserves traversed by the Ridge Trail, and 21 park agencies or non-profits have participated. American Trails is a national, nonprofit organization that works on behalf of all trail interests.

The REI - Ridge Trail Service Day is emblematic of the partnership model that has been a cornerstone of the Ridge Trail Council’s 25-year effort to create a continuous 550+ mile trail for hikers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians on the ridgelines overlooking San Francisco Bay. The Council partners closely with park agencies and local governments, land trusts, other stakeholders, and volunteers to plan, acquire, build, care for, and promote the Trail. Developing the trail corridor also helps preserve and restore upland habitats and opens them for responsible recreation and healthy exercise. Today over 340 miles of the Ridge Trail are open and permanently protected for all to enjoy.

“We are so pleased that collaboration is being recognized by American Trails,” commented Janet McBride, Executive Director of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. “As a small nonprofit, we could not be successful without our dedicated, hard-working volunteers and our many partners, extending and leveraging our efforts. REI’s partnership has helped us focus on trail stewardship, activating a powerful volunteer corps, and getting the word out through their stores. Food from Chipotle Mexican Grill adds to the celebratory feel of the Service Day and is a big incentive for volunteers.”

The next REI - Ridge Trail Service Day is Saturday, November 2, 2013, and will feature work parties on sections of the Trail all around the Bay. Volunteer opportunities are offered throughout the year, including numerous trail building events this spring and summer, and April 27 at Ridge to Bridge–the Bay Area's most gorgeous Hike and Ride–where volunteers support hikeers and riders raising funds to help complete the Trail. Visit www.ridgetrail.org to learn more.


 Contact: Janet McBride at 415-561-2595 or janetmcbride@ridgetrail.org

The Bay Area Ridge Trail Council’s mission is to create a continuous 550+ mile trail for hikers, mountain bicyclists, and equestrians along the ridgelines overlooking San Francisco Bay. The Council works in close partnership with agencies and local government, parks, land trusts, and other stakeholders and volunteers to plan, acquire, design, build, care for and promote the Ridge Trail. Careful planning and design of the Ridge Trail frequently dovetails with preservation and restoration of key upland habitats. Opening the trail often allows the public to experience and enjoy restored natural areas for the first time. Today, over 340 miles of the Bay Area Ridge Trail are open and permanently protected for all to explore.

About Chipotle
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,400 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

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