Monday, March 25, 2013

Thanking our Volunteers

Did you know that the Schuylkill River Heritage Area operates and maintains 28 miles of the Schuylkill River Trail in Berks and Schuylkill County? Because we are a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on volunteers who perform much of the maintenance that gets done along that part of the trail. In fact, we really couldn't keep the trail pruned, clean and obstruction free without them.

Last week, we thanked our volunteers with a dinner at our Pottstown headquarters. Thirty-five volunteers attended. They not only had the opportunity to eat a delicious meal and mingle with one another, they also heard trail updates and learned about some new trail-related initiatives.

Anesa Owen addresses the volunteers
Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Kurt Zwikl spoke about property acquisition and crime and security issues along the trail. Trails Project Manager Bob Folwell provided updates on 2013 trail projects and activities. Volunteer Coordinators Greg Marshall and Jason Stoudt, who organize workdays along different sections of the trail, announced upcoming work schedules.

Dinner attendees also got to meet our newest staff member, Vista Volunteer Anesa Owen. Anesa introduced herself and spoke about her duties as Trail Sustainability Coordinator. She also discussed the addition of Trail Ambassador Coordinator Dave Kline. While Kline was unable to attend the dinner, he will play an important role in coordinating those volunteers who are designated Trail Ambassadors.

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area has a total of 202 volunteers and 42 trail ambassadors. Volunteers are responsible for maintenance and upkeep. They may assist with litter cleanups, help remove downed trees, prune overgrowth, or other activities related to trail upkeep. Trail Ambassadors are volunteers who ride or walk the trail regularly and assist other trail users. They hand out maps and offer information about projects, trail distances and destinations near the trail. To find out more, visit our Volunteer web page.