Everybody always likes the fun jobs of building something new; a trail, a bridge, a kiosk. But the fact of the matter is that there are maintenance jobs that have to get done and somebody has to do them. I think most trail users assume that it's City staff, or maybe "the little people" who come out in the middle of the night to take care of this stuff, but in reality it's just volunteers.
Teresa Gallagher reblazed the Turkey Trot Trail recently. The old blazes were faded, and they get bigger as the trees grow. Terry scraped the bark, blacked out the old paint, and then came back and re-painted the white blazes on the trees. This has to be done every couple of years. This year she has reblazed Turkey Trot, Oak Valley, and Nells Loop Trails, along with most of the Blue Dot trail. That's a lot of work so people can find their way in the woods.
Rich Skudlarek recently replaced a couple of broken fence rails along the RecPath on top of the old dams at Silent Waters. We generally lose a couple of rails a year due to trees falling down in a storm. The fence is there so no one accidentally walks off the dam, and needs to be kept up, however it may take a little while for volunteers to fit it into their schedule sometimes. Nice job Rich.
In addition to mending fences, Rich also just finished fixing the Plexiglas in the Turkey Trot Kiosk. Apparently some joker though it would be fun to smash out the glass. We try to keep the trail entrances clear and in good shape. Unfortunately the time spent fixing this vandalism takes time away from other things.
We've had to fix a lot of vandalism this year; fire rings were recently removed on both Nells Loop Trail and the RecPath, the Lane St. Kiosk was repaired, the Harriett Wilber Memorial Bench was removed from the Land Trust Meadow on Lane St. due to vandalism, a lot of trash that was thoughlessly dumped was picked up, and major ATV damage at Birchbank Mtn. is being corrected.
People like to show up for a ribbon cutting, but getting folks out to fix erosion or vandalism is more of a challenge. Anything people can do to assist us with this stuff is greatly appreciated.
Consider coming to a work party this Fall. As Bill says "many hands makes light work."