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Building trail advocacy

Clearinghouse connects agencies with volunteers

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado filled a need when it created the only statewide clearinghouse to connect volunteers with outdoor and environmental opportunities. The program has grown to include 262 local, state, and federal agencies.

Training opportunities as well as volunteer jobs are now listed, both on the website and in the Hands on Colorado catalog. Internships (277 this year) are also listed. For agencies to get their opportunities included, they simply have to fill out a form.

The next step is to make the jobs database accessible from the website, making it easier for volunteers and saving time for VOC. Each year more requests come in from both potential volunteers and agencies, and the program continues to grow!

For more information, contact Clearinghouse Coordinator Leilani Fintus (303) 715-1010 Ext. 17 or lfintus@voc.org or visit the website of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado: www.voc.org


King Cycle Group makes volunteering more fun

According to David S. Arndt of Central Coast (CA) Concerned Mountain Bikers, "the Chris King Company is putting their money, and their support for trail access, at the true grass-roots level." The first of Chris King's Trail Daze, several years ago, was an effort to get the community more involved in the upkeep and conservation of their local recreational resources." As federal operating budgets have been cut back, the U.S. Forest Service has also been looking for ways to get the community more involved.Before Chris King's Trail Daze, such volunteer projects lacked appeal and drew only small numbers of people. Trail Daze is a successful example of organization, leadership, food, and free stuff that has taken volunteer programs to a new level.

Each Trail Daze event starts off with a complete continental breakfast and a bagged lunch providing fuel for the hard day's work. Volunteers are grouped into work parties and instructed on proper trail maintenance standards and techniques before they set out with their tools and hard hats. On the trail, the Mountain Bike Rangers lead the work parties providing trained expertise on the day's project. As the sun sets, the volunteers are drawn back in by the lure of a hearty BBQ dinner and generous prize raffle featuring prizes donated from around the cycling industry and by their local community.

The program currently covers Shasta, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Dave Arndt suggests that "While it would be nice to give Chris King greater recognition, it would also be great to use these efforts as a template for other small- to medium-sized companies to follow.

For more information, contact Kathleen Kelly at King Cycle Group at (800) 523-6008 or info@chrisking.com.


School is focal point for community trail project

Students at Lyseth School in Portland, Maine, have been working all school year on their own trail. The Lyseth School Trail Project is bringing together students, teachers, parents, residents, landowners, professionals, and local businesses and organizations in a collaborative community trail project. Students are playinbg a role (and learning) in every step of the process, from the planning and development stages, to the actual building of the trails, which will link the school to Pine Grove Park.

The project is led by Portland Trails' Outreach Coordinator Laura Newman. It has received generous support from Northern Utilities, the Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation, and the Fields Pond Foundation. Much of the trail route uses a Portland Water District easement.

According to Portland Trails' Executive Director Nan Cumming:

It is wonderful to have so many great people and organizations involved in trail building projects. As the problems of sprawl and careless urban development in southern Maine are becoming even more critical, I am proud to be working for an organization that is committed to taking positive steps toward creating a healthier Portland!

For more information, contact Portland Trails, One India St., Portland ME 04101 (207) 775-2411 or info@trails.org; www.trails.org.


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