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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Fort Thomas Enters Agreement to Maintain, Develop Mountain Bike Trails

CORA (Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance) signs Memorandum of Understanding to create working partnership for sustainable trail building in Tower Park
A trail in Tower Park. FTM file. 
CORA (Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance), the local chapter of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the City of Fort Thomas to assist in maintaining and developing the trail system at Tower Park, and throughout Fort Thomas.

“We’re really proud to be working with the City of Fort Thomas on this project, and to work alongside NKU and the Tree Commission to preserve access and create a sustainable way for all users to enjoy the trails. It is fitting that this is the first formalized MOU the CORA has signed, seeing as Tower Park was the first legally built mountain bike trail in the Greater Cincinnati region, built in the mid-90s. We hope to revitalize and energize the community around an amazing amenity that can provide unique recreation and significant economic benefit to Fort Thomas.” Butch Farrell, President, Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance

Tower Park is a unique 86 acre park located in Fort Thomas, Kentucky and is home to 5 miles of challenging natural surface trails. Located on the former grounds of the Fort Thomas US Army installation, it is a gem of history and emblematic of the tradition of mountain biking in our community.

"The City has previously collaborated with representatives from CORA and I am very excited that we (CFT) have formalized a relationship with their organization. We recognize their expertise and commitment to proper trail use and maintenance and how that will provide benefit to our facilities and residents. We look forward to working with CORA in meeting our long-term goals for trail use in our community.” Ron Dill, City Administrative Officer, City of Fort Thomas

Fort Thomas has been collaborating with representatives from CORA for several years. CORA has attended planning sessions for the trail system in Tower Park and have been advocates and participants in the design and build of trails in Highland Park. They have also sponsored bike races in Tower Park  and have future plans for hosting more races/events there.

CORA members who live in Northern Kentucky  have informally helped maintain those trails for years, but there has never been a formal recognition or cooperation of the relationship.

"The MOU creates a level of communication and cooperation where we can keep the city aware of challenges and work with them, and other stakeholders, collaboratively on solutions to trail issues and new trail. Plus, we can act in an advisory role regarding projects they may be looking at for the future. As the local experts on sustainable natural surface trail construction, we want to make sure we have a healthy two-way dialog," said Doug McClintock, VP of CORA.

Dill said Fort Thomas has gained a resource with CORA's expertise in trail design, use, and
maintenance. He said this partnership will better routine and emergency trail maintenance.

"They have a volunteer base that has already contributed in this regard. CORA will have a
measurable impact on the cycling community in Fort Thomas," said Dill.

Cincinnati Off-Road Alliance is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to create, preserve, and promote mountain bike access and diverse riding opportunities in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region through education, communication, and unified action.

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