Middle schoolers design logo for new trails group in Moffat County
The founders of a new Moffat County community organization, MoCo Trails, thought it would be fitting for the community to create the group’s logo, and even better to include the youth in doing it.
MoCo trails is focused on promoting sustainable outdoor recreation through building and maintaining non-motorized multi-use trails and trailheads in Moffat County.
In January, MoCo Trails started working with a Craig Middle School class to hold a contest where students took design notes from MoCo Trails to create a logo for the community organization.
The logo contest happened organically when CMS teacher Cristina Vanzo was working with her engineering class to design a logo for a local day care.
Vanzo’s dad is a founding member of MoCo Trails, and the group thought it would be a great idea to include youth in the creation of a logo for the organization.
The students had to follow the specific design notes from MoCo Trails, and they got to choose whether to create their design in Canva or Adobe.
Three logos were chosen as finalists. The runners-up were eighth-grader Jack Swenson and seventh-grader Mason Atkin, and the overall winner was seventh-grader Kaison Martinez.
The best part of the contest for Swenson was “the fun of making the logo.”
“For mine, I used Adobe, and I went for the rounded mountains and added a mountain biker,” Atkin said.
This was not Atkin’s first time working on a design project in the community. He also does marketing for the robotics team, and those skills showed in the logo contest.
Martinez said this was his first time designing a logo, so he just followed the client’s request to come up with how the mountains and letters should look.
“I combined a couple different designs to get the shape of the mountains, and changed the colors around,” Martinez said.
The winning logo is online and can be found on MoCo Trails Facebook page. It will also be included on any printed materials and T-shirts for races, runs and bike rides the organization is involved with in the future.
MoCo Trails was founded in 2017 and is in the process of obtaining its nonprofit status. The inspiration for the group came when Derek Cleverly’s son, Clark, was in town staying with him.
“Clark is a mountain biker, trail runner and hiker, and he told me he thought we needed to develop more trails here,” Cleverly said.
Derek started looking at trail maps, first Cedar Mountain and then Loudy Simpson Park, to try to identify some potential projects.
From there, the group started to grow naturally with input from other community members and friends who are also into mountain biking, hiking and trail running.
Along with Derek Cleverly, the MoCo Trails group consists of Cristina Vanzo, engineering teacher at Craig Middle School; Brandy and Nathan Grivy, the owners of The 14er Outdoor & Running Emporium; Mark Buchanan and Steve Martinson.
“All non-motorized trails — that’s what we stand for,” Buchanan said.
There are many organizations that look after motorized trails in Moffat County, Buchanan explained, and there are tons of places to ride motorized vehicles.
There also are a lot of sections of trails that are shared between motorized and non-motorized, and when the non-motorized only sections branch off, they are often not maintained and sometimes completely overgrown with weeds and brush.
“We’re not against motorized vehicles at all. Someone has to take care of the other trails.” Buchanan said. “And it’s not just the trails and trailheads, but how to make it sustainable.”
MoCo Trails has had trail maintenance days in the past and the group said the majority of those who showed up to help volunteer on maintenance days were from Routt County Riders.
Some potential projects, like the Yampa River Trail, will take regional efforts for trail building and maintenance. There are many local trails the group wants to focus on building and maintaining as well.
MoCo Trails hopes to get more Moffat County community members involved with its mission and to have upcoming events to raise awareness about the work and give community members a chance to get involved.
The group will be hosting a 30k race during the Whittle the Wood Rendezvous in June. The race will utilize trails from Loudy Simpson, to the sandrocks, up Colorado Highway 13 and over near Cedar Mountain.
“We’re optimistic for a good turnout,” Cleverly said.
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