As­so­ci­a­tion starts stew­ard pro­gram for trail

The Willow Grove Guide - - OPINION - By Bradley Schlegel

bschlegel@21st-cen­tu­ry­ The Wis­sahickon Val­ley Wa­ter­shed As­so­ci­a­tion is start­ing a trail stew­ard pro­gram with a $9,954 JUDnW IURP 5(,, Dn RuWGRRU RuW­fiWWLnJ com­pany.

The new pro­gram will help main­tain a 12.6mile por­tion of the Green Rib­bon Trail — which con­nects mark­side mlace in Up­per Gwynedd and cair­mount mark in mhiladel­phia — ac­cord­ing to aen­nis Mi­randa, the WVWA’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

He said money will be used for a num­ber of projects, in­clud­ing to fa­cil­i­tate the stew­ard pro­gram.

The as­so­ci­a­tion part­nered with the REI’s Con­shohocken store to earn the award, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Cari Reilly, an ad­mi­nis- tra­tive as­sis­tant with the WVWA.

Ac­cord­ing to Mi­randa, the funds will be used to train a cadre of vol­un­teers to help main­tain the trails and lead peo­ple on guided walks.

He said the new pro­gram will be launched this fall and that the WVWA hopes to cre­ate a trails com­mit­tee made up of vol­un­teers.

“We hope to have the new vol­un­teers in the fiHOG Ey 2014,” 0LUDnGD VDLG.

Trail ste­wards will re­ceive ex­ten­sive train­ing through the Trail Ambassador pro­gram cre­ated by WVWA’s sis­ter or­ga­ni­za­tion, the criends of the Wis­sahickon, ac­cord­ing to the news re­lease.

Ul­ti­mately, the ste­wards will help strengthen the WVWA’s re­la­tion­ship with the com­mu­ni­ties where the trails and pre­serves are lo­cated, ac­cord­ing to Mi­randa.

“This new ini­tia­tive will al­low the as­so­cia- tion to im­prove trail con­di­tions, ex­pand the use of our trails for pas­sive recre­ation and de­velop the ca­pac­ity to re­spond faster to dam­age such as downed trees,” he said in the pre­pared state­ment.

REI, which de­scribes it­self as the na­tion’s largest con­sumer co­op­er­a­tive, do­nates mil­lions of dollars an­nu­ally to sup­port con­ser­va­tion ef­forts na­tion­wide, ac­cord­ing to stew­ard­ship in­for­ma­tion at

It states that the com­pany sends ded­i­cated teams of vol­un­teers— mem­bers, cus­tomers and REI em­ploy­ees — to build trails, clean up beaches, restore lo­cal habi­tats and more.

$ nRnSUR­fiW ODnG WUuVW IRunGHG Ln 1957 WR SUR­tect the qual­ity and beauty of the Wis­sahickon Creek, the WVWA cur­rently pro­tects more than 1,2000 acres of nat­u­ral open space and man­ages more than 21 miles of walk­ing paths.

Mont­gomery Me­dia photo / GE­OFF PAT­TON

The Green Rib­bon Trail crosses the Wis­sahickon Creek in Up­per Gwynedd Town­ship.

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