Category Archives: Pine Hill Partnership

Exciting Plans for 2016 Outlined

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 yeIMG_2625ar, 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

2015-php-completed
Projects completed in Pine Hill Park in 2015 highlighted in blue.

 

Redfield trails opened and blazed in 2015 highlighted in red.

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

2016 Goals:

  • Expand Redfield Trails
  • Broken Handlebar Extension
  • New Pine Hill Park map
  • Potential RRMC trail project
  • Webpage
  • 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! Email us at pinehillpark@gmail.com

If you shop online and use Amazon please consider using www.smile.amazon.com. Amazon will make quarterly contributions to Pine Hill Partnership if you enter us as the non-profit.

Big thanks for your support this year in our continued efforts to make these area trails so special.

Sincerely,

Keith Wight, Andrew Shinn, Joel Blumenthal, Dave Jenne, Claus Bartenstein, and Shelley Lutz

Board of Directors

2017 Annual dinner

Dear Pine Hill Partnership Members,

We had great 2016 year on the trails. Please join us at our annual meeting to enjoy light dinner fare, a short recap of 2016 and an introduction for 2017.

The meeting will start at 6pm, Monday, April 10th, at the Godnick Center at 1 Deer St. Rutland, VT.

We will have some excellent food including vegetarian fare to be consumed before the presentation. The meeting will begin with a short, required, business meeting. There will be a quick review of the 2016 accomplishments in the park and surrounding trails. Afterwards, we plan to have an extended question and answer period and hope you will contribute ideas and suggestions that can be incorporated into the future Pine Hill Park trail projects, the Pine Hill Partnership organization itself, and surrounding trail networks.

As our organization grows, we are looking for a more diversified group to serve on a couple of committees. In particular, we have a fundraising project for 2017 and would like to make a concerted effort to increase our paid membership rolls. We are hoping some folks can join us on this project.

We are also looking for additional board members. The board generally meets six to eight times a year and we are looking for people with a range of interests. Some people might have a passion for trail work while others might have a focus on growing Pine Hill Partnership membership or on strategic planning. If you are interested in being a board member, please send us a letter or email, of no more than 200 words by March 20th, 2017. Please include your qualifications and reasons why you would like to become actively involved in the Partnership and the park so that we may share it with the membership before the annual meeting.

If you shop online and use Amazon please consider using www.smile.amazon.com. Amazon will make quarterly contributions to Pine Hill Partnership if you enter us as the non-profit.

Hope to see you there and big thanks for your support this year in our continued efforts to make these area trails so special.

Sincerely,

Keith Wight, Andrew Shinn, Joel Blumenthal, Dave Jenne, Claus Bartenstein and Shelley Lutz

Board of Directors

Opportunity for Rutland County Trails

RUTLAND: STRIDES & RIDES | By KIMBERLY GRIFFIN

Have you ever wondered how parks and other outdoor “natural” recreational venues are created? Often, as I walk among the trees and over the rocks on our region’s trails, I try to imagine the shovels and rakes, chainsaws and axes that many a hand must have wielded in order to create a path for my boots to traverse. And if I am really in a state of imagination, I try to trace the work even further back in time to the meetings and the sketches and the friendly — and sometimes not so friendly — arguments over land ownership and rights-of-way and fundraising and promotion that surely must have occurred long before a shovel ever touched the earth.

For many long-time Rutland City residents, the transformation of the area that is now Pine Hill Park is the one illustration of such work. Surely the same can be said for the Pittsford trails, the D & H trail, Northwood Park, and the many other recreational networks in our community.

As part of the work RAPAC is doing with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission under the Vermont Department of Health’s Healthy Community Design Grant, I was recently part of a meeting just like I imagined. Folks from the Pine Hill Partnership board, regional commissioners from Mendon and Hubbardton, and local citizens all came together on June 15 to pour over a map of the region; assessing existing trail networks, deciphering what plots of land are public or private, and coming up with dream trail connections to join towns or peaks, or just continue a trail past its current termination.

I was in awe of the knowledge each of these individuals carried about the woods and the back roads and the mountains in our region. As a group, there was seemingly no rock, no old bridge, no bend in the river that wasn’t familiar. And so, as we began to look dreamily at the potential for expanding and connecting the regional trail system, it felt as though the sky was the limit.

One such dream that is quickly becoming a reality, is the proposed Jim Jeffords State Forest. Linking Coolidge State Forest and Aitken State Forest in Mendon and Shrewsbury; the 100,000+ acre land conservation project will not only provide our region with over ten miles of hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowmobile trails, it will also offer conserved habitat for Vermont wildlife such as moose, deer, turkey, bear, trout, songbirds and more, providing a resource to hunters, anglers and birdwatchers as well.

Acquisition of this land is currently being managed by the Trust for Public Land, along with a group of volunteers. A significant portion of private land has already been donated, and some funding to support more land procurement has been secured through private donation and public grants. The project team is currently working on a campaign to raise the remaining funds for the forest. For more information on the Jeffords State Forest, contact Kate Wanner at the Trust for Public Land: kate.wanner@tpl.org.

While the Jeffords State Forest is one example of the beginnings of a new park/maintained intentional recreation space, it isn’t the only. June 15th’s meeting yielded quite a few new dreams; listing Class 4 roadways as potential mountain biking paths, revisiting old rail beds, and even highlighting Otter Creek as a water trail for canoeing and kayaking were all just bits of thought to be sorted, mapped and explored in the (hopefully near) future.

We are so fortunate to live in a state where opportunities for outdoor, exploratory recreation are virtually everywhere. I look forward to the continuance and further development of such opportunity for myself and generations to come.

Kimberly Griffin is the Director of the Rutland Area Physical Activity Coalition (RAPAC) whose mission is to promote and increase bicycle and pedestrian activity in Rutland County.
E-MAIL: kimberly.rapac@gmail.com

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2015 Annual Meeting Report

2015 Annual dinner

Impressive amount of volunteers last year.

  • 3560 Volunteer Hours
  • 4708 VYCC plus Volunteer Hours
  • 68 Work days from the end of April to the end of October
  • 840 Number of volunteers in the park in 2014
  • Thank you very much to everyone who has helped in the park.

 

Projects Completed in 2014:

• Widened pedestrian bridges with Rutland Rotary South
• Rerouted Annex
• Trillium rerouted
• Santa’s Little Helper Mud holes repaired
• Lower Giorgetti by old softball field improved RHS XC team
• Two kiosks for Carriage Trail
• Repaired fabric showing on Underdog powerline
• Installed 7 French Drains on Birches near Voldemort
• First Turn on Exit Strategy had more dirt added to it
• Small reroute on PA4J/Lonely Rock has a less abrupt turn now
• VYCC 3 weeks on Carriage Trail
• VYCC 3 weeks in the fall on Carriage Trail and in the park for a total of 6 weeks
• Ribbon cutting for Carriage Trail
• Repaired powerline on Strong Angel
• Repaired powerline on Jersey Turnpike
• French Drain installed at base of powerline on Jersey Turnpike   near Arthur’s Chair
• French Drain installed on Lonely Rock

 

Future Projects for 2015 and beyond:

• Sore Elbow Segment 2
• Sore Elbow Segment 3
• Furlough needs TLC to prevent water running straight down it
• Shimmer needs TLC on corner to prevent trail erosion
• ‘S’ turn on PA4J near Stegosaurus needs some TLC
• Ramp VYCC started to build off PA4J to enter Strong Angel from West side needs attention
• Reroute for Santa’s near the Droopy Muffin intersection
• Boardwalk at main entrance needs to be leveled
A suggestion was made to widen the boardwalk
A suggestion of taking part of the white pine down that   hangs over the boardwalk that the pileated woodpecker is working over
• Broken Handlebar Extension-anyone will to step up and help with this trail?
• Trail by Carving Bench to prevent people from walking over gardens
• Front entrance-smooth upper tier out so can be mowed
• Fabric on Overlook near the top of Root Ride

Introduced the redesigned Pine Hill Park webpage www.pinehillpark.org   Check it out.

We need a champion to drive the Broken Handlebar Trail Extension project

We would like to extend our gratitude to Tim Vile and Ben Reller who have helped us out in many way over the years.

Our board of directors for 2015 are: Joel Blumenthal, Andy Shinn, Keith Wight, Shelley Lutz, Claus Bartenstein, Dave Jenne and Bruce Saxman.

Please use TrailHub.org to find out condition of trails.

Annual Meeting set for March 30

We are hoping you can attend the Pine Hill Partnership annual meeting on Monday, March 30th at 6pm at the Godnick Ctr. We will have some great food (both vegetarian, non-vegetarian and dessert), a short business meeting along with a short slide show.

We will have a short slide show to show our accomplishments for 2014 and plans for 2015.  If you are unsure of your membership dues please contact Shelley at shelley.lutz@gmail.com or 775 4867 before 8pm for your current dues status.

Please RSVP to Shelley by Wednesday, March 25th if you can attend.

2014 Annual Meeting Report

 2014 Annual dinner

The Pine Hill Partnership had their annual meeting last week(March 2014) and welcomed four new board members—Keith Wight, Ben Reller, Andy Shinn and Joel Blumenthal. The officers for this year are Tim Vile as president, Keith Wight as vice president and Shelley Lutz as secretary/treasurer.

Thank you to outgoing president Michael Smith for his years of service to the park.

The Partnership are the stewards of the park and the Carriage Trail that runs from Pine Hill to Proctor. The city is very appreciative of their support for the park.

We really appreciate your support over the years.

Hope to see some of you at the spring work days.

Be on the Lookout for Wayward Tools!

Summer 2013

VYCC finished up this past weekend. Wait till you see some of the incredible work they did all while camping out with the mosquitoes for 3 weeks. With luck we’ll have the Carriage Trail blazed by mid-September so it will be easier for folks to follow. If you get adventurous now the trail is passable but there are trees down on the Proctor side and it does get confusing over there with all the logging roads.

Youth Works finished up this past week also and did an absolutely fantastic job again in the park. They had over 2500 hours on Exit Strategy. The last two weeks we had them on PA4J(just past the Stegosaurus intersection), Upper Jersey, Upper Droopy, Svelte Tiger and Lower Droopy trying to dry out mud puddles which have been persistent this year. We are missing a hazel hoe on either on PA4J, Upper Jersey or Upper Droopy. A Pulaski is missing on upper part of Svelte Tiger or the lower part of Droopy(between Svelte and Upper Ledges). If you find one of these tools let us know.

We have a community work night this Thursday at 5pm we hope to finish off Exit Strategy if we get enough man power to move surepak and dirt into the last two corners. We’re really, really close. This trail will be a blast to ride!

Please keep an eye out for our missing tools, they would like a good home for winter.

Thank you very much for your support of Pine Hill Partnership, Inc.