Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Want to help? This is the where requests for volunteers are posted, including trail work days, mountain kids events, and more

Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Postby ClydesdaleBiker111 » July 30th, 2010, 5:09 pm

I was at Lakeshore Park today and in my humble opinion it could use some weed trimming throughout the trail. Mostly in the areas closer to the tracks and some areas towards the end. My legs and arms were getting a beating with the long weeds. I would love to help and trim along the path here, but wanted to clarify with MMBA and I guess more so Metro South how to do that. Can I just show up one day with trimmers and cut away at what I think needs it?? Someone please let me know. Thanks!!
Giant - Boulder SE 2009
User avatar
ClydesdaleBiker111
 
Posts: 23
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 5:37 pm
Location: Allen Park, MI

Re: Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Postby Loren » July 30th, 2010, 7:40 pm

Yeah, trimming is a continual battle this time of year, especially with the rain that we've had lately. In general, feel free to use loppers or hand pruning shears to prune offending foliage anytime. Try to prune entire branches at the stem rather than leaving sharp 'Punji' sticks that could impale the unwary. Toss any branches cut into the woods, away from the trail. Aggressively trim aggressive plants, like raspberries and grapevines, and less aggressively trim slow growth such as maples and oaks. If you're confident in your ability to identify invasive species (see http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/education/factsheets.cfm), feel free to get rid of them completely.

It's a delicate balancing act to prune singletrack, making it rideable and approachable while still maintaining the singletrack 'character'. In general, trim branches but never entire trees. Trim to allow the passage of a bike and rider, but don't trim to improve lines, straighten curves, or otherwise change the line of a trail. At Lakeshore, we frequently transplant trees closer to the trail to help define lines, discourage bandit lines around choke points, and for aesthetic reasons. Usually these transplants are obvious - leave them be, even if you feel they are too close to the trail. We put them there for a reason.

I've found that the most satisfying technique for me is to ride a fast lap, and follow that up with a slow trimming lap carrying hand pruning shears in my pocket, stopping whenever I see something that needs attention. You can get nearly everything with hand shears, and it's so much easier than riding with loppers.
Loren
 
Posts: 2760
Joined: April 12th, 2005, 9:11 pm
Location: Novi, MI

Re: Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Postby ClydesdaleBiker111 » July 30th, 2010, 7:59 pm

Thank you for the info. I love Lakeshore Park. It is the perfect balance for me. Nicely done trail. Just out of curiosity, I read somewhere that if you volunteer at trails you get free entry in to the parks for doing so? Is that true or do you have to have so many hours under your belt to qualify for the free entry. I will help trim either way, but I was just curious. Please let me know. Thank you!
Giant - Boulder SE 2009
User avatar
ClydesdaleBiker111
 
Posts: 23
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 5:37 pm
Location: Allen Park, MI

Re: Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Postby Loren » July 30th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Yes, that's true. After 16 hours of volunteer time at Lakeshore, the City says 'thanks!' with a free pass to the park. We usually have Spring traildays that are well attended that help satisfy this time.

In addition, after 10 hours of volunteer time at any MMBA trail, you earn a coveted Ed Berta FAFL - 'First Across The Finish Line' - award, and receive a small token of appreciation at the MMBA expo in Spring.

All this is dependent on reporting your work hours to the trail's TC - (walleyed, for Lakeshore). Even if you don't care about the pass, FAFL hours, or anything else, accurately reporting and tracking the time that people contribute to a trail is one of the most important things we can do to help build and maintain great relationships with land managers.

Reporting and tracking time is also important in a larger perspective. It is very difficult to put a dollar value on volunteer time. Volunteers provide many intangible benefits that can't be easily quantified. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics computes an average value for volunteer time for each state, each year. The value of a volunteer hour last year in Michigan was $20.13. Other charitable organizations (see threads on Equestrian issues) frequently use the value of volunteer time in communications to show the amount of community support an organization provides. A three hour hike with trimmers on the North Country Trail is three hours of trailwork, or $60. (The NCTA annual report values their volunteer work at $1.214 million for the year.) MMBA is just a babe in the woods, so to speak, in our ability to leverage the value of all our work for political benefit.

I really wish we had a state-wide number that reflected reality. The only number I've seen says about 2,000 hours were recorded statewide last year. We did more than that at Lakeshore alone. That means that the volunteer time that we invested at Lakeshore last year had a value to the community of over $40,000, not counting the tangible investments that we paid for, like the new bridge, new signs, and so forth. Imagine what it would be statewide. A great many people don't report their hours. We did the work, we simply didn't keep track of it or tell anyone about it. While we enjoy the physical benefit of that work (nicer trails), we don't enjoy the political the benefit of that work. And as we've seen in recent legislation, the political benefit might have far more lasting importance than the trailwork itself.

So, please report your time, even if it's just an hour, every time you do trailwork.
Loren
 
Posts: 2760
Joined: April 12th, 2005, 9:11 pm
Location: Novi, MI

Re: Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Postby froggyrider » July 31st, 2010, 12:02 pm

Thanks, guys, for your offering to help and explaining the process.
User avatar
froggyrider
 
Posts: 3336
Joined: June 13th, 2003, 8:54 pm
Location: I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Dorothy Parker

Re: Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Postby ClydesdaleBiker111 » August 1st, 2010, 11:39 am

Cool. I will certainly keep track of my hours then. Thank you!
Giant - Boulder SE 2009
User avatar
ClydesdaleBiker111
 
Posts: 23
Joined: July 12th, 2010, 5:37 pm
Location: Allen Park, MI

Re: Volunteering at Lakeshore Park

Postby Di_bear » August 1st, 2010, 2:50 pm

Loren, I think you need to write a BRB article for volunteer trail workers. You just gave a lot of great info. :-)
Di 2.0: Image
MCMBA Vice Chairperson
MCMBA Public Relations Coordinator
Team Tree Farm

"He's like kryptonite to aluminum." - dirt
"There is a fine line between fearless and *beep* stupid." - Jerry68's wife
User avatar
Di_bear
 
Posts: 8418
Joined: September 4th, 2006, 10:09 am
Location: Wixom


Return to Volunteers Needed

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest