EH-RTC April 11, 2016

East Hudson Regional Trails Council
Mon, 04/11/2016 (All day)

Goals for meeting:

  • Learn about the changes on the web 
  • Have an update on Trail Standards and the Trail Approval process

Networking and Noshing - 5:45

Welcome – Jane Daniels – 6:15


    Approval of minutes of February meeting     

Technology Committee - Update on changes on Website - Mary Dooman 6:20

Reports from TC HQ 7:05 - Hank Osborn

    Taconic Americorps projects

Reports from the Region – 7:15

    Workshops see Trail U listings

    Blazing problems in Hudson Highlands

    Upcoming work trips

Vetting policies/practices – Trail standards update – Walt Daniels 7:30

Trail updates and approvals – 7:45

Sylvan Glen and Woodlands (new trails approvals) – Jane Daniels

Teatown Lake Reservation trail changes - Leigh Draper

Round Robin Information Share – 8:10

Adjourn – 8:30


Marilyn Blaho, Rose Bonanno, Geof Connor, Chris Connolly, Jane Daniels, Walt Daniels, Salley Decker, Mary Dooman, Leigh Draper, Jim Haggett, Gary Haugland, John Leign, Hank Osborn, Ron Rosen, Andrew Seirup, Connie Stern, Fred Stern, and Bob Ward

Status of Minutes: 

Welcome and introductions

Attendees introduced themselves and the area they are supervising


Approval of minutes of February meeting  approve in next meeting.   


Technology - Mary Dooman, Tech Committee chair presented an update on changes on the Website.  “Project Fresh Air” –see below for power point

Search process She summarized the search process which began in December. An RFP was posted, interviews began in February, There were nine proposals with six finalists and decision was made to hire  WannaPixel. The recommendation was approved by the Board and a contract negotiated. Part of the project was a needs assessment: mobile app, trails data etc, hikes, store, All  technology and web design needed to be brought into modern era. In particular there will be dashboards that can be updated


Project Many interest groups in the conference will be involved to insure a working and useful product for the whole organization.  e.g finance, volunteers, membership, staff, etc. The Committee are looking for many to be involved i.e. to get feedback as the work progresses. It is a five month timeline so that it can be launched in September. The project will involve 8-12 workers.  WannaPixl team leaders are in CO and CT.

Challenges: The amount of Info on the present site is encyclopedic and a tremendous amount needs to be curated

Assessment of site users: Many site users are below 45, so we will need to rethink how we present information. This age group does not take out memberships and do not commit but may commit to a specific trail donation. There are too few members compared to trail use. We need to create opportunity to support and get involved. 99% of searches are made by non-member/volunteers. How do we capture the yellow balloon?

Mary presented a hike as it would be on site….

Discussion followed and questions were addressed


T-shirts and Update on VSA- John Leigh had tee shirts to be picked up and given to maintainers by the supervisor.  Reminder that agreements are needed for volunteers working in State Parks. Jane Daniels checked to see if we all had received the postcards from the Conference recognizing volunteers. In turn you need to recognize your volunteers.


Report from Trail Conference Headquarters – Hank Osborn said the AmeriCorps will now be called the NYNJTC Conservation Corps. There are two groups west of Hudson (One at Bear Mountain and one Invasive group), one east of Hudson and one at Taconic as well as a new one in NJ (4 members who will be hosting volunteer on weekends)


Policy Committee – Leigh Draper reported that the group is in the planning stages and looking to organize templates and sending out info for feedback.


Reports from the Region

Workshops in EH-RTC Jane Daniels indicated supervisors and chairs were being encouraged to conduct workshops so that Hank Osborn can attend to other phases of his role. The following workshops were held

Intro to Corridor Monitoring - April 9 @ RPH Cabin - Ron Rosen who reported that eight people signed up but one showed up.  Another workshop will be offered May 14 as they need to recruit more people.  Any Ideas?

Intro to Trail Maintenance

April 30 @ Alley Pond Park - Rose Bonanno, Fred and Connie Stern

April 30 @ Mills Norrie - Hank Osborn and Georgette Weir

May 14 @ Westmoreland Sanctuary - Geof Connor and Mary Dodds

May 21 @ Fahnestock State Park - John Magerlein and Tom Buckley

Intro to Map and Compass - May 18 @ Tent and Trails - Hank Osborn

Vetting policies/practices

Blazing problems in Hudson Highlands - Fred Stern met with the park manager and it would appear that more blazing is wanted. Unconventional blazing is being done by locals, old blazes not being removed etc.  How can this be handled? Chris Connolly suggested a training in correct blazing by local supervisor

Trail standards update – Walt Daniels

Reported on regional issues

            Assignment of work areas  e.g. who takes care of trailhead

            Trail standards

            Trail approval process – he would leave trail approval process to local chairs.  Maintenance is a local issue


East Hudson -  Andrew Seirup reported that 35 people responded to his email calling for volunteers.  He will now send out an email to these people whenever he has a project.


Trail updates and approvals –

  1. Sylvan Glen and Woodlands (new trails approvals) – Jane Daniels said that in

Woodlands Legacy Field Park mountain bikers created a 0.3 mile trail. Since it connects to the existing blue blazed Parkway Trail, the Park superintendent has approved blazing it blue. The Parkway Trail is now 1.0 mile.  In sylvan Glen Park Preserve, the Sylvan Brook Trail is now the Snake Hill Trail because it is not along Sylvan Brook any more. The Quarry Loop trail is a short loop through an interesting quarry. Because of pipeline construction, the High Quarry Trail has been moved off the pipeline and into the woods. It was 1.1 miles and is now 1.3 miles.

  1. Teatown Lake Reservation - Leigh Draper reported that revisions are being made to improve both hiking and educational opportunities. She gave an overview of changes and noted that all changes made that required new blazing. All of this will require a new map, which she would like the Trail Conference to make.


Round-Robin Information Share

  • June meeting can be a picnic with maintainers
  • Two reports of graffiti problems Leigh Draper said there was damage at Wildflower Island at Teatown. Andrew Sierup reported that metal signage in the South Taconics is being ripped away or stolen.
  • Jane Daniels distributed a new supervisor to do list and a new trail chair one. She also hand trail maintenance books available. She suggested that you add the supervisor name and number and use it as a recording device.
  • Hank Osborn asked that you email him any tools for a wish list since a donor has come forward

Motion to adjourn – Jane Daniels seconded by Marilyn Blaho

Adjourned – 8:30