Trail Assessment Training Seeks to Energize Volunteers in a New Way

Trail Assessment Training
Photo Credit: Mike Downs

A dozen students participated in a Trail Assessment training on Saturday, August 5th thanks to a grant from the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation. Mark Gronewald of Trailwerx instructed the students on how to assess trails for maintenance needs. The training was held at the Valley Center for Recycling Solutions and included field time on the Crevasse-Morraine Trails.

A wide variety of trail professionals and volunteers attended the class including staff from the Mat-Su Borough, State Parks, the National Park Service and a variety of trail groups from around the Mat-Su. The morning session included sustainable trail fundamentals and classroom prep for assessing trails. After lunch, the class hit the trails for field exercises.

This class is part of an on-going effort of Alaska Trails in partnership with the National Park Service – Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program. With the help of NPS, Alaska Trails will continue this project to engage volunteers in a new and meaningful way. Alaska Trails is excited about this important program because it weaves together the sustainable trails mission of the group with a practical way for land managers to assess their trails and a way to engage community volunteers in the solution.

The development of an efficient and attainable method of trail assessments and the training that goes along with that is an effort to better address the broad needs of land managers. Too often trainings have been too narrowly focused and thus too technical for broad application. This training seeks to keep the technical knowledge of trail maintenance and make it relevant for land managers across the State.

Alaska Trails plans to conduct another Trail Assessment Training this fall in the Mat-Su. Stay tuned for details.

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