Well, I'm finding out that it's cool to be part of a Steering Committee for a local park system. I have the honor of representing local trailrunners' needs, which happen to coincide with local mountain-bikers' needs, as well. We both want the same thing - sustainable dual-use singletrack trails that are built in accordance with IMBA standards (so that they don't errode the landscape). We also want to limit pavement and development in one of the last decent natural recreational areas in this over-developed county.
My involvement on the committee consists of attending a lot of planning meetings, and making sure that I get trailrunners to attend the "public input" meetings. So far, so good. The only downside: I'm running less because of it, although I did get to run after the public meeting last night with Caleb. Caleb, by the way, uses cycling and running as his only means of transportation, so he's a great representative for us. Fellow trailrunners Good Ben, Kyle, and Shane are MTB and road cyclists also, so they can mingle very well with the cycling representatives.
Our trailrunning group is also involved with building and maintaining sustainable trails in two other counties in the area. We not only build & maintain trails and haul-out trash from the parks, but our April 28th race will give a significant amount of the net profits directly back to the same trail system that we will be running on.
We are having a positive impact! And all of this came about from a few guys & gals running together on the trails, and talking about how we could get more trail-friendly stuff happening in the area. Of course, Ed Eveld's article 1-1/2 years ago gave us some notoriety and got a lot more people interested in trailrunning. That article helped kick us in the butts to get things rolling.
Seven Trail Nerds doing trail maintenance on a hot Saturday in June for 8 hours.
Running on the North Shore Trails of Clinton Lake in September
Group training run at Kill Creek Park in Late October 2006
6 months ago