Sixteen volunteers will be selected to participate in the Trail Masters Program – a free, four-day, trail building and trail maintenance certification course – to be held September 24-27, 2012, at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The course, which will be led by Trail Design Specialists Owner Mike Riter, will teach volunteers the latest sustainable trail building and maintenance techniques through classroom and on-trail instruction and demonstrations.
These trained volunteers will be certified to serve as volunteer leaders for The Thread, leading volunteer workdays over the three years and committing to 40 hours of volunteer service per year. To be considered for the program, applicants must be at least 18 years of age or older. This certification course is being funded by a Women’s Impact Fund grant that will also provide funding for other trail building and outreach initiatives.
“Our Trail Masters Program is a significant and important opportunity for us train some of our most dedicated volunteers in leadership roles so that they can help us build and maintain segments of the Carolina Thread Trail,” said Ann Browning, project director for the Carolina Thread Trail. “We can’t thank the Women’s Impact Fund enough for its generous support and funding for this program that will help us continue to provide trails to our communities.”
Launched last year, the Trail Masters Program has already certified 15 volunteers as Trail Masters. A grant from the Women’s Impact Fund will enable The Thread to add 32 additional Trail Masters over the next two years, bringing the expected total to 48 by the end of 2013. Increasing Trail Masters will allow The Thread to double the amount of volunteer hours specifically dedicated to trail building and move towards monthly volunteer workdays (hosting approximately 50 volunteers per workday). Current certified Trail Masters have already registered more than 400 volunteer hours since September of 2011.
More information about Trail Masters and to apply online for the 2012 course, go the Carolina Thread Trail website, www.carolinathreadtrail.org. Here is a direct link to the online application: 2012 Trail Masters Online Application. Applicants will be notified of their eligibility in the program by July 27, 2012. Catawba Lands Conservancy is the lead agency for the Carolina Thread Trail.