Other clubs actively maintain our local trails
PATC and MORE each contribute thousands of person-hours per year in helping maintain and improve our local trails. Trail work is in the DNA of these groups. Particulalry so for the mountain bikers, who realize that they are not always welcome on trails (even if legal – this goes back to the very origins of their sport) and may be the “first to go” if trail access is challenged. The VHTRC should strive to instill a similar ethic in its members.
John and Stephanie mentioned that VHTRC has a reputation of not helping out (comments have been made on PATC work parties as runners in “Happy Trails” shirts run by).
Trail runners’ reputations are not helped by races on public trails that can be perceived as a stampede of (sometimes littering) runners to an unwitting weekend hiker (e.g. JFK, North Face, or even our own events).
Encouraging club volunteerism
In addition to John and Stephanie, several others club members actively help PATC with trail maintenance. Moreover, the VHTRC conducts an annual trail work day and maintains eight miles of the Massanutten Trail. But there is no other organized effort by the club.
A mission of the VHTRC should be to encourage trail stewardship in our ranks. There was a discussion of several ways to encourage, reward, or require trail work by club members. No decisions were made. It was decided to first form a trail-work team and address “carrot or stick” measures later.
Form a trail-work team
The Board will reach out to the Club and seek members interested in forming a trail-work team. The team’s objective will be to help coordinate and facilitate trail-work opportunities for VHTRC members and lead the Club’s efforts in maintaining and improving the trails we all use. Once formed, the team itself will decide how it carries this mission out.