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The Backwoods Project is a non-profit with a simple goal: build a sweet ass snowboard park in Missoula, Montana that anyone can ride. Backwood’s founder Gregg Janecky sent us this email with the whole story about the project, which, long story short, is out of money, and needs your help to put together more events. Here’s Gregg’s whole plea, which sounds like a mighty good cause to us.
Missoula is an urban population of 68,876 people in a little mountain valley, where little league baseball is regularly canceled for skate demos. Everyone in town learns how to ski or ride and the local ski area Snowbowl has some of the most ridiculously steep in-bounds terrain available with 2,600 vertical off two lifts. There is no public park though. There is a regulation moguls course, an Olympic ski jump, and Olympic aerials jump, and a private rails course for Missoula Freestyle SKI Team, but no public park.
I tried to introduce one last season but the “Mountain Management” has no interest in one unless it is built for free with no cat time. So halfway through last season I made a big move and rented out a defunct ski area close to town, and ran a park on the base area for a weekend. I am back up there this season, and have an eventual goal of opening it up Kingvale style as a Non-Profit all park mountain to support local kids. It is an awesome small all beginner mountain that had night skiing and would be perfect for an all park mountain.
I have already run one weekend this winter, but because of increasing insurance costs and steel prices the non-profit is out of money. It costs me around $2,500 to run the park for a weekend. All labor is volunteer, and the hundreds of hours of prep-work and paperwork I do is volunteer. All of the money goes into insurance, mountain rental, and park building. I am running an online fundraising drive right now, to try and run another weekend this winter. Even little donations of $5 or $10 really help get is going when there are a ton of them. I also will have fundraiser T-shirts in an online store once my website host gets their act together.
It is a really good cause. Missoula is the Northwest shred dream where it is still ten years ago in snowboarding, and everyone just wants to have fun riding and the snowboarders are still the broke kids. The Backwoods Project is about building a park that is designed for riders, by riders, and all the money made goes back into the park not into someones pocket. We charge the lowest price possible, and if we make $3,000 in fund raising before an event people ride for free.