The Black Run Trail Crew is a volunteer program of the Friends of the Black Run Preserve (FBRP) and is comprised of volunteers who have the principle responsibility of performing trail maintenance on all of the Black Run Preserve’s trails on a regular basis and to promote conservation and sustainability.
The Friends of the Black Run Preserve has as one of its missions the stewardship of the multi-track (hiking / biking / skiing) trails throughout the area. As our trail network has become more developed, we want to establish a team of volunteers as trail maintainers capable of effective maintenance.
Become A BRP Trail Maintainer
Our trail section maintainers will be one of the “eyes” and “ears” of their section, as well as an important advocate and protector. In this role, they will become familiar with the techniques to perform the simple, recurring maintenance and repairs necessary to keep the trails in good useable and safe condition. In that respect, trail maintenance is an important task. Without vigilant attention, the trails would soon disappear.
Preserving the quality of the outdoor experience, while providing a minimal level of soil and vegetation disturbance should be the goals of trail workers. While periodic trail maintenance is the basic volunteer duty, the BRP Trail Crew is responsible for the “heavy duty” work on the trail such as relocations, clearing downed trees, and the trail work that a maintainer does not feel comfortable doing alone.
To prepare volunteers to become BRP Trail Maintainers, and to provide general education to those interested, you will need to attend a “Trail Maintainer TM-101” course.
This introductory class is for people new to trail work who want to learn “how trails work,” i.e. basic trail maintenance concepts, including trail work safety, how to cut brush to help clear a trail to proper specifications, trail markings, conducting a trail survey to identify and report major problems, and understanding a range of trail work tasks. Also included will be a short Leave-No-Trace (LNT) Awareness Workshop, where the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace will be presented and discussed. The first part of the course is taught in a classroom. The second part is a hands-on walking the trails. Please check our events section to find out when our next class is scheduled.
Why is Trail Maintenance Important?
Well-maintained trails provide a pleasant trail experience, make the trails safe, minimizes the impact of the trails to the environment, and minimizes or addresses erosion.
Trail Crew members will work with hand tools such as shovels, Macleods, Pulaskis, clippers, rakes, as well as power tools such as mowers and weed trimmers. The Trail crew will perform trail clearing, trail improvements including erosion control, minor re-routes, improve wet areas, remove litter and debris, and report problems such as tree falls, vandalism, erosion, unauthorized trail building and illegal use.
This is an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, enhance and preserve our open space, learn new skills, and get fit!
Trail Crew Work Duties:
- Work as a team – Trail Crew members should not work alone.
- Log all work performed on the Trail Crew Work Report form.
- Respect your fellow crewmembers.
- Respect the natural environment.
- Follow directions and ask for approval before you dig.
- Show up to work on time.
- Perform high-quality work.
- Work SAFELY at all times.
- Demonstrate a desire to learn new skills.
- Conduct oneself with courtesy and care to trail visitors and the environment.
In our responsibility to the environment, we value stewardship.
We recognize the natural world as the sustaining factor of our quality of life as individuals and as a society. By caring for the earth and connecting people to nature through stewardship we build strong community and healthy individuals now and in the future.
- Be aware how your actions impact the earth and its natural resources.
- Strive to leave a small footprint and take responsibility for your actions.
- Educate others in the goals of conservation and how they can take part.
- Get your hands dirty and shirt sweaty alongside others in service to conservation.
- Think beyond today and protect the world for future generations.
Trail Crew Membership Qualifications:
- You must be 18 years of age at time of work. Under 18 requires parent or legal guardian consent and signature. Under 18 not permitted to operate power tools/equipment.
- You must be willing to work as a team.
- You must be willing to work in all weather conditions.
- You must be willing to listen to and follow crew leader instructions.
- You must be willing to hike up to 2 miles per day (with equipment).
- You must be willing to get dirty and have fun.
- You must complete and submit the application and waiver.
Trail Crew Structure:
The Trail Crew will be coordinated through a volunteer Trail Crew Manager who will oversee the program through the auspices of the FBRP. The manager will provide day-to-day supervision, schedule all Trail Crew work, assign tools, approve recommendations for changes to existing trails and/or building new trails, coordinate training and submit reports, trail work logs and trail recommendations to the FBRP. The Trail Crew Manager will also identify individuals as Point of Contacts (POC) for each event. The POC will provide information to the Trail Crew regarding trail conditions and recommendations for trail work.
Key Trail Crew Contacts:
Joe Michiels, Trail Crew Manager
Rich Taylor, Friends of the Black Run Preserve Trustee
Jon Gaynor, Trail Crew Co-chair
Tools will be provided. Members are encouraged to have your own work gloves, should you not be able to provide your own, a pair will be lent to you for the day’s activities. Hiking or work boots are required. Leather boots are preferable. You must wear pants (not shorts) that provide full coverage. You may wish to wear a wicking material, including t-shirt as well. You must always have drinking water. You can bring a backpack, lunch, raingear, and any other personal gear needed to stay comfortable outdoors. Crew members must be dressed in an appropriate and respectable manner.
Expectations and Safety:
As this is a Township owned property, all Evesham Township rules and regulations apply. Violation of any Trail Crew or Township rules may result in suspension from the Trail Crew program. There is an inherent degree of risk associated with working with tools and manual labor. Trail work is strenuous and exhausting. Work within your own physical capabilities. Trail Crew members have a personal responsibility to follow directions and work safely. Safe use of tools will be taught. Sessions will include training in trail building and trail maintenance techniques.
All Trail Crew members using tools or operating power tools must be equipped and use the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which may include safety glasses, gloves, hearing protection, and appropriate boots and clothing.
- All leather (or Kevlar) boots. NO EXCEPTIONS WHILE USING TOOLS! Boots should always be worn at the worksite. NO working in lightweight hiking shoes or boots unless the Program Director allows otherwise.
- Gloves and eye protection must be worn AT ALL TIMES on projects unless the Trail Crew Manager allows otherwise (for example trash projects may not require a hard hat)
- Long pants. Like boots they should always be worn at the work site. A thin layer of fabric can deflect a blow and/or reduce injury from a stray tool swing. NO shorts are allowed at work site.
- A T-shirt or long-sleeved work shirt is required. No modified shirt sleeves or tank tops.
- Ear protection must be worn while using impact tools (rock hammers, etc.) when using chainsaws, working around or using machinery or power tools.
- All proper PPE MUST be used during setup and cleanup of work site and equipment.
You are about to participate in a rare opportunity. It requires strenuous labor, respect for the natural environment, and a high level of self-motivation. In return, you will have an opportunity to make a positive difference in preserving our natural lands and supporting safe and enjoyable access to our woodlands and open spaces for residents and visitors.
The Black Run Trail Crew is an all-volunteer organization. You and your crew mates will devote your own personal time and commitment out of love and respect for the outdoors. We take our stewardship role seriously and we expect the same of you. On behalf of the Friends of the Black Run Preserve, thank you for giving your time to make a positive difference. Information about the FBRP is available on the web at www.blackrun.org