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COMMON GROUND WITH INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN BICYCLING ASSOCIATION (IMBA)
In 2021, the Foundation’s Board of Directors chose ten organizations that promote conservation, encourage youth and veteran participation in outdoor sports, and work to improve diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. The recipients received over $600,000 in grant funding. Now, we’re doing a deep dive into the organization so our employees and external stakeholders can learn more about the Foundation’s partners, their missions and how they put their grant to use. This month’s Common Ground feature highlights International Mountain Bicycling Association.
International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
Why International Mountain Bicycling Association?
“IMBA is creating a flywheel of advocacy, focusing on inclusion and community,” said Andrea Pankow, Vice President & GM of Bell, Raskullz and Krash. “I do a double take reviewing what fuels the missions and drives the visions of the International Mountain Bicycling Association compared with the Vista Outdoor Foundation: ‘Access, protect, include… create, protect, access.’ It’s a natural fit.”
International Mountain Bicycling Association Mission
IMBAs mission is to create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes.
About International Mountain Bicycling Association
Founded in 1988, IMBA has a network of 35,000 members, more than 200 chapters and clubs, and more than 1,000 corporate and retail supporters. Its vision is that everyone has access to great trails close to home
“Our goal is to impact 250 communities to develop mountain bike trails and diverse mountain bike experiences with an emphasis on equity,” said Patrick Kell, Senior Partnerships Manager at IMBA.
The organization works with local advocates to protect public lands and access close to their hometowns, and with state and federal land managers to protect backcountry landscapes. The work of IMBA appeals to decision makers and elected officials who recognize the power of the recreation economy and the ability of mountain biking to connect people to the land. IMBA partners with the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association, Nature Conservancy, Trust for Public Land and countless local agencies.
Power of the Grant:
Support from the Vista Outdoor Foundation assisted with the organization’s Trails are Common Ground Program which reached 3 million people in 2021; and its Trail Accelerator Grant program which has awarded a total of $443,000 to 32 community trail projects across the country leveraging an additional $7.85 million in support of local trails. The Vista Outdoor Foundation also supported IMBA’s Government Affairs department which is actively engaged in the BOLT Act, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Act, and other policy initiatives, all of which were very successful in 2021 thanks to your support.
"The support IMBA received from the Vista Outdoor Foundation allowed us to complete more trail plans across the country; helped us educate trail users on the need for respect of the land and other users and gave us space to advocate for policies which impact mountain bike access. All of this leads to better, more abundant places to ride for people from every background. 2021 was a very successful year for IMBA and we look forward to continuing our work into the future!” said Patrick.