The following is a reposting of an article I wrote quite some time back when I first started this blog and then deleted it … losing all my postings other than a few text files I saved which can be found HERE.
If you are fortunate enough to have bicycle trails near you that you can ride on I hope you appreciate it and realize that it takes a lot of money and effort to build and maintain them. Money is always in the forefront and even moreso in recent years with the bad economy being forced upon us by our national governmental leaders and international bankers. Without money available the building of new trails and upkeep of current existing trails is hurting.
Many places a key part of the upkeep is accomplished thru volunteers. Most trail systems have some sort of organized volunteers to serve in various capacities. Here in Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live we have the “Greenway Ranger” program as well as the adopt a section of thr trail program. I am one of about 81 current greenway rangers for our trails. The number has gone down as there was about 10 or so more last year. We have over 90 miles of trails now so that equates to a need of over 180 greenway rangers. We are only about 100 shy. See what I mean about the need being there? Here is my official I.D. card with a little of my photo editing fun (I added the part about badges) and the official city seal removed as I don’t want to get in trouble here.
Here is a picture of some of us at a ranger meeting.
On our trail system each of us is responsible for a half mile section of the trail. A few have one mile sections. Our job is to help the management of the trails by informing them of anything that needs attention. We pick up litter keeping the trails in good shape. We are expected to clean up litter up to 10 foot off of each side of the trail. Broken glass is one of the biggest problems out there on the trails. We live in a day and age where there are people who seem to get their kicks out of breaking glass on the trails, streets and sidewalks where they know bicyclists ride over it. I clean up most of it myself which I come across, but occasionally I call it in instead. We help other trails users providing them with helpful information about the trails and provide assistance if they are experiencing mechanical problems and need help. Some of us pick up tree branches off of the trails and even trim various types of vegetation growing along the trails. There are a few of us who ride the entire trail system and cover much of it on a daily basis. We help with the entirety of the trails not just our assigned section which is a very big help to the management folks. I was already doing most of this before I officially joined the volunteer program. HERE is a webpage concerning volunteer opportunities with out local trail system in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There is a good chance similar volunteer opportunities and needs exist near you if you live near trails.
In addition to the Greenway Ranger volunteers our local trail system also have an Adopt a Greenway program where a group of volunteers are assigned a 2 mile section of trail to help care for. They go out a minimum of two times a year to do a more thorough cleanup of their section of trail. By more thorough I mean they go further off of the trail into the nearby areas off to the sides.
I am sure most people who use the trails don’t have a clue what all goes on to keep the trails in condition to use. I am telling you this because there is a great need for volunteers and it is something many more need to get involved in. In doing so you help make it possible for everyone to use the trails. You may not get a lot of expression of gratitude from others as like I said, I don’t think most trail users have a clue what all is involved to keep the trails open and in good condition for their use. I got a chuckle out of a bicyclist passing by on the trail earlier today when myself and my two friends I ride with stopped to trim back some bushes which were growing out over the trail. When he saw us there he apparently thought something was wrong and asked this as he rode by. I thought it was pretty obvious what we were doing, but that is exactly what I am talking about … others not having a clue.
I bet if you were to listen carefully you would hear your local trail system hollering out … “HELP!!!! I need help!” And if you listen close enough you might even hear your name being called. Please consider volunteering. With enough of us doing our part we can all …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
“MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK”