Huntsville “ADOPT-A-TRAIL PROGRAM”
To adopt a trail or report trail problems such as downed trees, send an email to email@example.com
The SORBA Huntsville Adopt-A-Trail program was introduced to the Huntsville Community in January 2018. It is largely based on the success of Adopt-A-Trail programs in other areas.
The focus for the start of this program is the Monte Sano area, which includes Monte Sano State Park and the Land Trust trails on Monte Sano Mountain. As this program grows and matures, the goal is to expand the program into other areas of Huntsville, such as Wade Mountain and Chapman Mountain. The goal of this program is to garner support, not only from the mountain biking group, but also from other trail user groups, such as the hiker, trail runner, horseback riding, and civic volunteer groups. SORBA-Huntsville membership is not required to Adopt a Trail.
Our trail system in the Huntsville area is growing bigger and better all the time. While some may say they are just dirt paths, we know that trails need care to ensure they are available for the future. It is much more practical to maintain a trail than to repair it after the damage is done. The vast majority (as in 99%) of the ongoing maintenance of our trail system has been performed by individuals and our trail crews who have volunteered to keep watch over each rock, root, and plant along our trails. Those efforts have allowed us to improve our existing trail system. A great big THANK YOU to all that have been involved. However, our current trail crew volunteers are a small group and unable to maintain all the existing trails, let alone maintain the proposed new trails in the Huntsville area. Many more hands are required.
The Adopt-A-Trail program allows more volunteers to get involved and give something back to nature and community. The program allows people to select a trail they care about and may use frequently, earning a sense of ownership of that section of trail. The program also allows volunteers the ability to work within their own schedule and at their own pace. The goal is to keep our trail system maintained for our enjoyment today and for generations to come. Serious bragging rights for an awesome trail are earned.
Who: This Program is open to Individuals, Couples, Small User Groups, Corporations, Civic Groups, etc.
What: Options are near limitless, depending on the size of the group and your desire to participate, adoption distances could range from ½ mile to multiple miles of trail.
Why: If we don’t maintain our trails, they simply won’t be maintained! It is fun, good exercise, good for Huntsville, and encourages others to participate and use our wonderful trails. WE NEED YOU!
Tools: Tools are available at our Monte Sano State Park (MSSP) Tool Shed and are available for your use.
Expectations: This is a fairly easy task to accomplish (and we’ve got your back!).
Here are the basic expectations.
- Keep the trail corridor clear for hikers and bikers. The corridor is considered to be a rectangle 4’ wide by 8’ tall. This can be accomplished with pruning shears, loppers, weed whackers, and possibly spraying of poison ivy, as needed.
- Perform maintenance of water bars, trail berm repair, removal of mud and leaves from bridges, etc. The heavier activities will likely only be needed about twice a year, while trimming is especially needed thru the spring and summer.
- Hike or ride YOUR section of trail at least once per month. Take note of areas that need attention. While walking or riding the trail, pick up and remove trash, remove small fallen tree branches and limbs on the trail itself. If you bring trimmers or loppers with you, trim back branches and limbs in the trail corridor. For small trail improvements, schedule a time that is convenient for you and your team to go back and address using the tools from the SORBA Huntsville / Huntsville Track club tool shed at Monte Sano State Park (we will provide means for access to the tool shed and a tool checkout sheet). If you find something beyond your capability, report the problem by sending an email explaining the problem and location to email address: HSVTrailCrew@gmail.com. The trail crew will take care of the heavy lifting, such as a large downed tree, or help with a washed out section of trail. Please use the same HSVTrailCrew@gmail.com email address for proposing trail reroutes and adding trail feature, such as bridges. We must coordinate with the land managers to get permission before making changes to the trails such as these.
- Participate in training – We want as many people trained as possible. Our goal is to have everyone who adopts a trail to be trained on basic trail maintenance. There is both an art and a science to trail maintenance and training is the only way for us to all get on the “same page”. We don’t pretend to know everything, but together we know quite a lot. We will be planning training sessions at least once or twice a year. We will let you know proposed training dates/times as they soon as they are scheduled.
Thank you for consideration in participating to keep our trail systems in tip-top condition!
Your SORBA Trail Crew Committee
Got questions? firstname.lastname@example.org