EH-RTC October 19, 2015

East Hudson Regional Trails Council
Mon, 10/19/2015 (All day)

Goals for meeting:

  • Learn what the Pubs Committee is doing and about the EH RTC web page
  • Have an update on Standards and Trail Approval committees
  • Learn about the NJ AT Committee's continuous reporting system 


Networking and Noshing - 5:45

Welcome – Jane Daniels and Dave Margulis – 6:15



Reports from TC HQ 6:20

Publications – Jeremy Apgar

Web page EH-RTC's web page – Walt Daniels

Reports from the Regions – 7:00

Vetting policies/practices – Trail standards update – John Magerlein

Suggested Trail Change Approval Procedure – Fred Stern and Walt Daniels

Trail updates and approvals – 7:45

Taxter Ridge Park Preserve adoption – no supervisor, but Jane will be the temporary one

Muscoot Farm 

Lasdon Park 

Sylvan Glen:  new trail – Jane Daniels

Norrie Point State Park as a partner – Georgette Weir is supervisor 

Teatown Lake Reservation trail changes - Mary Dodd

Kitchawan: Big Brook bridge relocation – Walt Daniels


Round Robin Information Share – 8:10

The NJ AT’s Continuous reporting of trail maintenance and problems – Ron Rosen

Next meeting and meeting frequency discussion – Dave Margulis

Adjournment – 8:30


Marilyn Blaho, Rose Bonanno, Chris Connolly, Jane Daniels, Walt Daniels, Salley Decker, Leigh Draper, Claudia Farb, Gary Haugland, John Margelein, Karen Margelein, David Margulis, Hank Osborn, Ron Rosen, Andrew Seirup, Connie Stern, Fred Stern, Raina Stoutenburg, Bob Ward, and Georgette Weir

Status of Minutes: 

Welcome- Jane Daniels and David Margulis

Introductions and announcements

Voting process-It was proposed by Jane Daniels that any NYNJTC member in attendance who is an active volunteer have a vote. The goal is to be inclusive. So moved by Ron Rosen, Bob Ward seconded. Approved unanimously. Chris Connolly and John Magerlein indicated that there will be a basic bylaws proposal for the RTCs by the Board and then each RTC can add to it.

At the last meeting, we did not approve Leigh Draper as our representative to the Policy Council. A motion was made and approved unanimously. It was indicated that we had to approve that Jane Daniels and Dave Margulis were co-chairs. Approved


EHRTC Webpage Demonstration - Walt Daniels

Walt gave a demonstration of what on the Eh-RTC webpage. Anyone can go to the webpage, but some information will only be available to EHRTC group members and /or registered users. Walt reminded people to register for the group so that you can access information online and so keep up to date and streamline the agenda at meetings. Please note if you are not on the registered email list, let Walt know and he will add you to it.

Policy council overview – John Magerlein

The old Trails Council disbanded so that policy and procedures could be done at the organization level and the on-the-ground issues handled regionally. See the power point, which has a Flow chart of how policies and procedure were posted. John gave us a sample of a policy and how it works.


Trail changes and approval procedure - Fred Stern and Walt Daniels

Fred asked the question: Do most projects need to be approved by a group? Perhaps just an administrative approval might work. If a proposed project was problematic, it would be discussed at the next level up. Thus if a trail was maintained by two different supervisors, approvals would be at the regional level.


Walt demonstrated the proposed form for the trail approval process. It asks that the person proposing a trail or major change include a map and mileage. The TC will help find someone to GPS it so there is a simple map.

 In the case of new parks, if the park is not on the web, information about the park also needs to be sent to Hank, or Walt. A park has to be approved for maintenance in addition to approvals for any trail projects. The TC are hoping to include all parks in the database.

The concept being proposed is that approvals be done at the lowest organizational level but not by a person involved in the project. Thus LTC (local trail committee) needs to approve changes. It became apparent that one size does not fit all and varies from park to park. Walt will work out how that information be presented.

Recommendation is that all RTCs have input in designing the form. Chris Connolly pointed out that there needs to be a universal language for this form. Walt Daniels agreed to make the form available for review.


Parks needing approvals:

 Jane Daniels, as Westchester Trails Chair, asked that EH-RTC approve the TC adoption of Lasdon Park, Muscoot Farm, and Taxter Ridge and to maintain their trails. Maps and trail summaries were in the power point. Leigh Draper offered to supervise at Taxter Ridge. Jane indicated that in 2 weeks the Westchester Trail Tramps (Westtts) will be doing work at Taxter Ridge. Walt Daniels moved, Ron Rosen seconded. All three parks were approved.


Mills Norrie State Park - (North of Hyde Park) Andrew Seirup (EH Trail chair) requested on behalf of Georgette Weir, supervisor, that the TC adopt the park and the River Trail. He pointed out the map that was presented does not match what is on the ground because it was done to show the trails that were to be built and/or improved. The park manager would like us to build a fence along the River Trail, but we don’t do fences. There is work required so that the trails will match the map.

Gary Haugland asked why accept park and trail together? Two separate motions were made. Motion to adopt Mills Norrie State Park as an area we will work on approved. Motion made to adopt White River Trail in the Mills Norrie. Approved with one abstention.


Chris Connolly reminded everyone that the TC does not work on social trails and that volunteers should be reminded of this.


New trails in Sylvan Glen Park Preserve- Jane Daniels in her role as Yorktown supervisor asked that the blue and red trails be extended and a new trail be created. The project started when the maintainer of the blue trail asked that the blue trail be rerouted off the pipeline due to pending installation of a larger pipe. Thus the section of the blue trail along on the pipeline be closed. These trails are on the north side of the pipeline. David Margulis moved, and Bob Ward seconded the motion. Approved.


Twin Lakes Trail at Teatown Lake Reservation - Leigh Draper and Mary Dodds

Teatown had undertaken a series of changes to their trail system so that there would be more space for scientific studies and wildlife access. Leigh pointed out that most hikers to Teatown don’t use a map and that hikers will find it easier to remember a trail that goes in a loop. Thus the Back 40 Trail (orange) and Shadow Lake Trail (white) were combined to become the Twin Lakes Trail. Leigh mentioned that there is a reroute planned to eliminate a view of a water tower and avoid cliffs. The Twin Lakes trail is 2.3 miles. No action required - information only


NJ AT Management Committee’s on going tracking of trail maintenance - Ron Rosen

The NJ-ATMC Possible model for a trail committee resource – Ron distributed sample e-mails and spread sheet of how that data was entered. All maintainers send in a report on what they did or a problem that exists. Anyone can go out to solve the problem, enlisting others as necessary. He pointed out that the system’s advantages that it is fast, efficient, and builds group camaraderie. The down side you need a volunteer to compile the spread sheet and be aware that there are extra emails. Discussion: there are many possibilities but consideration must be given to that the Trail Conference trying to change the way all data would be inputted. So at the moment hold and see what happens.


Gary Haugland suggested that we set aside time every year to share what is happening in each community.


Meeting dates and how often to meet – David Margulis

Hank Osborn (EHR Supervisor) applauded our efforts to meet as a way to learn.  Although we love trails, we may not love meetings, but meetings help us do the work. Bob Ward proposed a meeting every two months. He would like a schedule set in advance. While everyone liked that idea, it was inconclusive as to how and when to have meetings. Rather than spend time at this meeting, a survey will be made. December 14 was set as the next meeting with possible conference call for the following one.


Meeting adjourned 8:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted by Rose Bonanno