We had great Annual meeting on Monday, March 28th. A group of 30+ members heard first hand about some of our plans for 2016, but more importantly a discussion session led to lots of great ideas. Hopefully we can move forward with some of the great suggestions and enthusiasm that was present in the room!
This year, the board tried a different approach with the meeting. Keith Wight gave a quick presentation of last year’s accomplishments:
Volunteer Days and Hours:
2015 Volunteer Days 57 days
2015 Volunteer Hours 2390 hours
Groups providing volunteer hours: Community Work Days, Fair Haven Girls on the Run, Youth Mountain Bike Group; RHS Cross Country Team; RHS YES Plan-6 Days; Youth Works-13 days; PHP individuals
The meeting then moved on to an open discussion of 2016 plans.
Upcoming programs in 2016:
- Women’s Mountain Bike Clinic
- Youth Mountain Bike Group
- Intermediate/Advanced Mountain Bike Clinic(new this year)
- Summer Sunset 5K Race
- Droopy Pedal Mountain Bike Race
- Senior Olympics Mountain Bike Race
- 10K Leaf Chase
- Nature Hikes with Tom Estill
- Little Bellas Mountain bike camp for girls
- Full Moon 5K race
- Expand Redfield Trails
- Broken Handlebar Extension
- New Pine Hill Park map
- Potential RRMC trail project
- Maintain and expand membership
- Sponsorship Ideas
- Tyvek maps
- Coasters with logos
The current PHP board has been working on redefining the goals for the organization and President Andy Shinn shared some of their thoughts. The board reached out to those present and to the overall membership for help in steering the group forward. In addition to the usual annual tasks like trail maintenance, the board is hoping to recruit folks to help with some new projects.
The partnership has developed a new logo and designs for coasters, t-shirts and plans to produce tyvek maps for next year. Much of the discussion centered around how we could increase awareness and enthusiasm for the work we do, and how we could translate that enthusiasm into more paid memberships and volunteers to help the board accomplish our goals.
Discussion Topics and Ideas:
- Ask if member? Do you want to be a member? At activities have a table or something to sign people up.
- Set up a membership table at the trail head on busy weekends
- Maps – good idea to make some money – Thanks to private landowners with permission
- Get coasters to local pubs and restaurants
- 59 paid members this year; where do we want to be next year? Membership drive?
- Get list from Cindi of 600+ emails to get them to sign up for Pine Hill Partnership.
- Think about Lower membership cost to increase numbers
- “Trails brought to you by Pine Hill Partnership” signs in park
- Does everyone know that Pine Hill Partnership exists? Most people think it is the City, but do not realize that Pine Hill Partnership actually maintains the park, Carriage and Redfield Trails
- Start promoting activities on Front porch forum – City, Rutland Town…
- Business card or similar item to hand out to visitors with Pine Hill Partnership info (hand out coasters?)
- Web site eventually will become pinehillpartnership.org – phasing out pinehillpark.org
- We need more social media presence – Instagram, Facebook, Front Porch Forum
- Partner with a store similar to EMS to bind together to provide discount to someone who pays a membership; example, Alpine Bike Shop
- Might need membership card ?
- List of local discounts available to members with a card (similar to Perk card)
- Trails are all the same and some users want a variation on trails – more difficult terrain. Make Broken Handlebar Extension be something more than just a roller. Optional routes giving the chance to take a more technical or rocky trail. Something different. Broaden the trail system.
- Raise ridership through the broadening of the trail system
- Mailing list on maintenance? People find out a week after the items happen.
- Post a list of tasks that need to be done; bring you own tools; Pick up and sign out tools somewhere
- Expectations for volunteer efforts, duties, time span – clear expectations will make people more likely to step up
- How things are presented is important – make it fun or at least sound fun; add something like a barbecue or ride or similar. Need someone to organize B-B-Que for a work day.
- Evening work times? Get more people for a shorter time. Need someone to step up and lead these groups.
- Put it out that we need X many people, leader, etc.
- Trail building 101? Teach some leaders how to do trail maintenance and lead a group.
- Short videos of how to clean a drainage ditch (or similar)
- Make the park more inviting – more important things that reporting dogs in park; make it fun and exciting
- Need help for what? Need more members, more people involved, not just trail work, but membership drive, marketing, social director
- Why are the trails closed? Educate as to why the trails are closed because people may not understand this especially given the mild winter.
After the discussion the final piece of business was to elect next year’s board of directors. Our board of directors for 2016 are: Joel Blumenthal, Andy Shinn, Keith Wight, Shelley Lutz, Claus Bartenstein, and Dave Jenne.
If you would like to help the board with any of our upcoming projects, or have some new ideas of your own, let us know about them! Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon.
Big thanks for your support this year in our continued efforts to make these area trails so special.
Keith Wight, Andrew Shinn, Joel Blumenthal, Dave Jenne, Claus Bartenstein, and Shelley Lutz
Board of Directors