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|THTB News Update Part 1
|One of the biggest problems that we face as a club of volunteers, is dissemination of information to our members. While our website serves us well, especially in the forums, it seems that we come up short when trying to update our membership with club news. And there is a lot of news to share…
To begin with, you may know that we are in the midst of our yearly membership drive. In January and February, we encourage club members to renew their membership. This way, we can budget our funds for the upcoming year. And it simplifies the process of when a member is due to renew.
The executive board recently added new membership giving levels. We did not raise the basic rates of membership, instead we have added to them and are offering an enticement to raise your contribution. The 2009 membership structure:
Basic Membership $20
Fat Tire Family $25
Middle Ring Supporter $40
Big Ring Supporter $100
Corporate Singletrack $200
Corporate Big Air $500
Corporate Mojo Sponsor $1,000
Contributions at or above Middle Ring ($40) will receive a voucher for a Trailblazer t-shirt. You can register on-line from our homepage or mail in your registration, also available online.
As in all things voluntary, we sometimes have a bit of a lag in getting updates and / or upgrades to our website. There may be a few issues with online contributions at certain levels, but our membership director, Emily Sardonas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Emily can help you through the process.
That said, what happens to our raised funds? Well, recently we have rebuilt our Ditch Witch track machine, purchased two trailers to move our heavy equipment (which includes the aforementioned Ditch Witch, a BobCat, and a Volvo mini-excavator. In addition we have an enclosed trailer that houses our Suzuki 4 wheeler, dump trailers, chainsaws and countless trail tools). Just keeping our fleet of mechanized machinery up and running can be a task in and of itself.
Recently (at our December meeting) the club voted to approve the spending of $10K to hire Trail Dynamics (www.traildynamics.com) to punch the trail corridor of Phase IVa at Lake Norman State Park. This new, advanced level trail will be a departure from the feel of the existing Itusi trails (Hawk, Hicks Creek, Norwood and Monbo), as a more narrow corridor and naturally occurring obstacles will elevate the skill level. The corridor will be roughly 3.25 miles in length. This phase will intersect a fire road that will join to a second trail to complete the loop. Next year (2010) we will venture across the fire road (Phase IVb) and complete the loop. The total trail length of Phase IV will be +/- 7 miles, bringing the total available trail at LNSP to approximately 20 miles!
This is the first time (other than the point trail at the USNWC) that the club has paid to get trail on the ground. But we feel it is the wave of the future for the Trailblazers.
So much so, that Jeff Archer has submitted a Recreational Trail Program grant application to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources for $75,000 for Phase V at LNSP. 255 acres and upwards of 11.5 miles of additional trail awaits us in this Phase. Once again, the Trailblazers would hire a trail construction company to blast the corridor and then rely on the Trailblazer faithful to groom and apply the finishing touches to the trail. It’s a scene that will become more familiar to club members in the future.
(Please See Part 2)
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