In its nearly 20 years, Muscle Powered — Citizens for a Walkable and Bikeable Carson City — has been instrumental in building trails, advocating for safety and access, and cleaning up public spaces.
Those were some of the achievements Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell cited in his nomination of the organization for the 2017 Governor’s Points of Light Awards, the highest honor bestowed on volunteers, volunteer managers, and volunteer organizations in Nevada.
“As opposed to taking on a specific social problem, Muscle Powered’s activities are directed at enhancing the quality of life through a broad spectrum of activities designed to lessen the social problems in our community,” Crowell wrote in the nomination. “Carson City has many attributes that make it a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family or indeed retire. It has been demonstrated that outdoor and green open spaces, including trees and parks, lead to healthier and happier communities with lower crime rates.
“Muscle Powered has been and is instrumental in developing and maintaining those attributes in Carson City.”
Muscle Powered is among 19 finalists from across the state that will be honored Thursday at the annual luncheon at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, where the winners for each category will be announced.
“People often find a lot of personal fulfillment from working with a nonprofit, but it’s extremely humbling when something like this comes along,” said Randy Gaa, secretary of Muscle Powered. “To say it’s an honor to have the mayor of Carson City nominate Muscle Powered for the most prestigious volunteer award in the state is simply not adequate. It’s really beyond words.”
Among the accomplishments Crowell listed in his nomination letter included the work Muscle Powered put in to have Carson City become a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community. In 2016, through 150 volunteers and 240 hours, about 1 ton of trash was removed from throughout the city.
Crowell also detailed the organization’s trail work, pointing to the Ash to Kings Canyon Trail in particular, which was awarded the Coalition for Recreational Trails Annual Achievement Award.
The trail made possible Epic Rides’ Carson City Off-Road, which was designated the 2016 Domestic Mountain Bike Race of the Year by InterBike. Its trail coordinator, Jeff Potter, was awarded Trail Builder of Year by American Trails.
“Muscle Powered is critical in enhancement and maintenance of our 11.5 square miles of city owned and managed open space ranging from the shores of Lake Tahoe to the high desert, together with 30 parks and a world class hiking and biking trail system,” Crowell said. “That takes a sustained effort. Muscle Powered has proven itself time and time again as the volunteer organization that can be counted upon to provide the guidance and resources to facilitate that sustained effort.”