Trail Conference Announces Annual Awards for 2011

October 16, 2011
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference


Trail Conference Announces Annual Awards for 2011



Trail Conference Awards are determined by the Board of Directors, except for Distinguished Service Awards, which are determined by the Volunteer Committee. The following awards were announced at the October 15, 2011 Annual Meeting in Ossining, NY. (Scroll down to see awards announced at other times during the year.) Nominations for awards are welcome.



Given for significant and lasting contributions that protect hiking trails and the land upon which they rest.

JANE DANIELS, Mohegan Lake, NY

Jane Daniels 2011Jane Daniels, of Mohegan Lake, NY, a well known leader in the local, regional, and state trails community for at least three decades, received the highest volunteer award given by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. The Raymond H. Torrey Award, named for a founder of the Trail Conference, was presented to Daniels at its Annual Meeting, held this year October 15 in Ossining.

Daniels has served on the Trail Conference board of directors for more than 20 years, including six as board chair. She is co-author with her husband, Walter, of Walkable Westchester, a best-selling guide to hundreds of miles of trails in Westchester County that has led countless residents and visitors to discover trails in the county.

Daniels represents hikers on the New York State Trails Council and serves on the board of the Hudson Valley Greenway Council. She is supervising the building of a new community trails network in Yorktown, where she lives, working with town officials, mountain bike groups, Trail Conference volunteers and others to create this new community resource. Jane fosters such collaborative trail work between hikers and other user groups throughout the state and the region.

Above all, in all her roles, Jane has been for a generation a Voice for the Volunteers, working tirelessly to recruit, encourage, mentor, and reward the ever-growing cadre of Trail Conference volunteers. The Trail Conference today fields more than 1200 active volunteers who maintain more than 1800 miles of trails in the New York-New Jersey region and produce trail maps and books used by hikers and others.

The award presented to Daniels by the Trail Conference honors her countless contributions to these achievements.


Presented to those outside the Trail Conference, (ex:state, federal, local agency partner officials) who have given long and/or significant assistance to the local hiking community.

WILLIE JANEWAY , NYS DEC Director of Region 3

Willie Janeway“Willie Janeway is the modern embodiment of Major Welch’s drive to fuse volunteers and public agencies for the public good,” Executive Director Ed Goodell said in making the award announcement. “Willie’s expertise is especially valuable in these tough budgetary times where his ’cooperative management‘ approach supports nature-based tourism and economic development at no additional cost to the taxpayers.  In October 2011, Janeway signed an Adopt-A-Natural-Resource agreement with the Trail Conference for the maintenance of over 200 miles of Catskill trails and 26 lean-tos. With his support, Trail Conference volunteers will be taking on more trail responsibilities in the Catskills, helping to maintain these important destinations for visitors and residents. Government needs more volunteer savvy managers like Willie.”   


This award recognizes Trail Conference volunteers who have demonstrated exemplary service to trail maintenance, management, and/or trail land protection.


Jane Daniels presents Hoeferlin Award to Gene Giordano.Gene can’t seem to get enough of trails, and his enthusiasm for trail work is contagious. A trail maintainer since at least 1993, Gene has taken on various volunteer assignments in Ringwood State Park in New Jersey and on the Appalachian Trail (AT), both on the ground and in supervisory positions.

Currently, Gene chairs the New Jersey AT Management Committee for the Trail Conference, a position he has held since 2004. He also is a Trail Supervisor in Ringwood State Park, since 1999; and AT Supervisor for New Jersey since 2010. He also continues as a maintainer at Ringwood State Park.

Gene, who teaches music to children, is very dedicated to working with young people and getting them involved in trail work. For many years he has involved Boy Scouts in projects and, thanks to his ongoing cultivation, Ringwood BS Troop 96 received the Next Generation Award from the Trail Conference in 2005.


Pete Senterman (l) and Gordon HoekstraGERARD HOEKSTRA Jr., late of Jewett, NY (Greene), and Oakland, NJ

Gerard passed away June 15, 2011 and his award was accepted by his son Gordon.

Gerard was a long-time Trail Conference volunteer in both North Jersey and the Catskills. He volunteered as Trails Supervisor at Ramapo Valley County Reservation in North Jersey, was a trail maintainer at Morris County High Mountain from 1992-2003, served stints as Trail Supervisor in the Hunter Mountain and Westkill regions of the Catskills, and as a shelter caretaker in the Catskills from 1992-2010. He earned USFS chainsaw certification, participated in the USDA Rutgers-Trail Conference Invasive Species monitoring program, and was a Trail Conference delegate-at-large. Gerard did an excellent job of keeping the trail network to Trail Conference standards and keeping his maintainers on their toes.



Recognizes those volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to projects.

Doug CleekDOUG CLEEK, Mahwah, NJ

Doug’s professional expertise is in designing and supporting websites, and he donates his considerable design and technical skills to the Trail Conference, helping to provide an attractive, useful source of trail and hike information for the public. The website includes detailed information on hundreds of hikes and parks in the region as well as opportunities for the public to easily support and volunteer for trails and parks.

Doug also manages and contributes to many of our social media projects, such as our Twitter account, and contributes to our Facebook pages (now closing in on 3,000 fans).  Doug’s volunteer efforts for the Trail Conference have helped keep our organization at the forefront in the communications revolution and raised our visibility to the trail-using public.

Doug can often be seen on trails in our region in the company of his son, Justin, wife Linda, and dog, Buddy, or with his son’s Boy Scout troop.



BILL ROEHRIG, Phillipsburg, NJ (Warren Co)Bill Roehrig


Bill has been a valued member of the web team handling many of the highly technical updates, fixes, and other changes to the Trail Conference web pages. Without his work, the important and necessary upgrade accomplished this year from an early version of our website software (Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 for those in the know) would have taken much longer and cost a significant amount of money for consultants. His responses have been astonishingly instantaneous, and he makes so much possible for the Trail Conference as we continue to keep up with the latest in communications technologies.







CRAIG NUNN, Rutherford, NJ

Craig, a Trail Conference Life Member and trails volunteer wearing many hats, performed outstanding service as project manager of our newly published first edition of the Jersey Highlands Trails: Central North Region map set.  This project was a large undertaking that required a lot of field-checking of trails, making connections with trail volunteers, parks partners and other trail-savvy individuals to produce a very high-quality map.  Craig was instrumental in coordinating the GPS data collection, reviewing and revising the maps with staff cartographer Jeremy Apgar, putting together the materials for the map backs, and generally ensuring the maps and associated information were as comprehensive and accurate as possible. He actively field-checks for other TC publications.


Recognizes members of Member Clubs who have demonstrated exemplary service to trail maintenance, management, and/or trail land protection.

John Graham accepts award from Jane Daniels

John Graham, Mount Kisco, NY (Westchester)

For more than two decades, John Graham of Mount Kisco, NY, has given enthusiastic service as volunteer on trails in the East Hudson region, for much of that time as a volunteer with the Appalachian Mountain Club, New York-North Jersey Chapter (AMC). The club, a founding member group of the Trail Conference, has long maintained trails in the region. Trail Conference records mark 1984 as the year John first got involved with a Trail Conference project, helping to build the Appalachian Trail across a new route in Putnam County. “Not only did he have a good eye for laying out a trail, but he also was an excellent teacher,” recalls Jane Daniels, herself a long-time active volunteer in the East Hudson region. John served as the AMC East Hudson Trails Supervisor from 1986 to 1989, continuing as maintainer of the Breakneck Ridge Trail for the AMC from 1989 to 2006. Wearing his Trail Conference hat, John helped design the Wicoppee Trail in Fahnestock State Park and has maintained it since 1995. He helped refurbish trails at Westchester County’s Merestead historic site in spring 2010. Whether sporting the logo of the Trail Conference, AMC, or both, John has given many years of continuous, dedicated service to the trails community, always with a big smile and appearing to be having the time of his life.



Awarded by the Volunteer Committee.

PHIL MCLEWIN, Mahwah, NJ          

Phil McLewinPhil McLewin proves that volunteering for the Trail Conference can be done from just about anywhere. Though Phil often may  be spotted on trails in our region—especially at Ramapo Valley County Reservation—he has contributed hundreds of hours to helping to write and edit the information about parks and hikes in New York and New Jersey that the website delivers to the public at no cost. He does most of his volunteering from the comfort of his home in Mahwah.  But, sensibly spending winter days in southern California, Phil also logs in as a volunteer from his perch near the beach, regularly making needed updates to web information, adding new parks to our collection, and working with writers who submit hike descriptions to be included in our online collection. Phil’s work has contributed greatly to our project of transposing to the web information traditionally distributed through the New York and New Jersey Walk Books.








Other awards made in 2011and announced before or after the Annual Meeting



Annette Feldman’s quiet and persistent dedication to organizing our Hoeferlin Memorial Library—a collection of more than 1000 books on hiking-related subjects housed at the Trail Conference office--has resulted in a cohesive and orderly lending library.  For years the books have been “shelved” in a not so neat manner. Annette has weeded out the overly worn and unrelated books to present members with a proper library that will be enjoyed by many for years to come. She was presented with her award certificate at the March 29 meeting of the board of directors.




Jim RobbinsJim maintained the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail in the area of West/Bald Mountains in Harriman State Park for more than 12 years.  During that time, those who hiked on that trail often commented on the obvious diligence with which the trail was maintained; hikers took particular note of the precision and accuracy of Jim’s trail blazes.  More recently, Jim took over maintenance on the Sapphire Trail with the same dedication. Both assignments were under the aegis of AMC, NY-North Jersey, a Trail Conference member club that coordinates maintenance on these trails.  Jim has also served for many years as the highly effective chair of the AMC NY-NoJ Walks Committee--and faithfully continues to serve in that capacity.



Richard ZinnRichard, who turned 87 in March, has been a Trail Conference volunteer in various capacities for over 12 years. He serves as a Delegate-at-Large and volunteers in the office, often assembling map sets to ready them for sale. It is estimated that Richard has assembled tens of thousands of map sets for the Trail Conference. Richard maintained trails in Harriman-Bear Mountain for more than 10 years, and eagerly volunteered as hike leader for a variety of Trail Conference events. He has been a hike leader for the AMC for 25 years, for ADK, and, until recently, he led the Wednesday Hiking group. Richard is a consummate volunteer and a tremendous asset to the Trail Conference and the hiking community.The Volunteer Committee presented his certificate in February.




Sandy ParrSandy Parr has embodied the Trail Conference tradition of volunteer leadership for too many years to count, including more than two decades as North Jersey Crew Chief. He was given our Hoeferlin Award in 1990, and has never stopped volunteering. All who walk New Jersey trails owe Sandy many thanks for long and loyal service and lasting accomplishments. Whether repairing trail treads or designing and building bridges, Sandy has left a legacy for us to follow up on. Sandy will also be missed for his unfailing attendance and thoughtful contributions at Trail Council meeings. Sandy is retiring and plans to relocate to Vermont. The award was presented at the October meeting of Trails Council.