Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who maintains that trail?

The north fork trail at Clinton Lake is a 10-mile loop (some signs say 11 miles) with very little vehicle access. Yet the trail is in great shape almost all year. How is it maintained so well? The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is responsible for its upkeep. They do a nice job--especially Mike at IDNR. He mows the grassy meadow sections, cuts back the thorny briars, and removes fallen trees. Occasionally the Boy Scouts and buffalo trail runners from Champaign help Mike with trail maintenance. I've gone out a couple times with local runners to weed-wack and prune sections of the trail that get overgrown in the summer. It's dirty & sweaty work in the heat, but well worth it when you run the freshly cleaned trails! I encourage everyone to volunteer at a local park or trail. You develop a great sense of satisfaction and ownership. It would be nice if you volunteered at a local race too. I'd like to have a volunteer requirement for future Clinton Lake runners. In order to register you'd need to confirm on the race application that you've volunteered at a race in the past 12 months. Any race in any capacity. Pretty easy requirement. And we'd be on the honor system. We could all do that, right?

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