Minuteman Response: The violent derecho windstorm on Friday, June 29 downed 40 trees on our 50-mile trail. By Sunday night, our Adopt-a-Trail adopters and volunteers had cut up all 40 trees to make the trail passable. Jim Henahan, Ohio State Parks manager, noted "this was the largest turnout of friends/volunteers to an emergency situation in Ohio State Parks history. The friends/volunteers on the Little Miami led the way in responding quickly and efficiently thanks to your group's strong organization and selfless members.”
Purchase of a pull-behind debris blower: This high-capacity blower, selected and bought by Tony Blizniak with grant funds from Loveland’s Amazing Race, removes leaves, twigs, and walnuts to extend the safe use of the trail into the fall and winter months.
A smoother ride: Don Hahn and his team ground down bumps from encroaching tree roots moving from Oregonia to the southern end of the trail. Jay Hanson’s team cut offending roots at the trail edge to keep the ride smooth.
Good riddance: Super-invasive honeysuckle met its match when the Friends hired a professional to spray the plants with herbicide. Now that it’s spring, the effectiveness is visible on all 33 trailside miles treated so far. Controlling non-native honeysuckle allows the return of Ohio underbrush in all its variety and promotes trail safety by improving visibility at intersections.
Fifty miles of paint: Don Mills and Bruce Cortright repainted all 100 mile markers and all 92 pavement stop signs along the trail.
Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati Grant: Recognizing the vital role of our trail in promoting exercise, the foundation awarded a total of $37,500 over three years to the Friends for filling cracks in the asphalt to promote safety and trail life. Contractors are completing the southern section.
Arming the Adopters: REI awarded a $5,000 grant for the purchase of tools to clear the trail berm of ever-encroaching undergrowth. Paul Morgan bought chain saws, KombiSystem power tools, and other equipment now used every week by all Adopt-a-Trail crews.
Tool Caches: We now have three tool caches spaced along our 50 miles of trail. This promotes efficient use of our volunteer resources by reducing the time spent fetching and returning tools.
Community Support: Several work days during the year brought out volunteers from Crossroads Church, Anderson Hill United Methodist Church, Procter & Gamble, Madeira High School, Starfire Academy, and LexisNexis. Work days not only allow group members to do meaningful trail work in a fun environment, but also promote a sense of shared responsibility for maintaining this well-loved community resource.
Volunteer Dedication: Friends of the Little Miami State Park gave a total of 3,791 hours of their time in 2012 to ensure our trail is safe and well-maintained for the 500,000 people each year who find a multitude of ways to enjoy its natural beauty. Help us make this story even better for 2013 by joining us.