Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trails and Conservation

I recently spoke to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club at their annual dinner and awards ceremony held at the Atrium at Meadowlark Gardens. PATC is a fantastic group that for decades has been building and maintaining hundreds of miles of trails in our region. In addition to large areas of the Appalachian Trial and the portions of the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, they also maintain the Bull Run/Occoquan Trail which is an 18 mile nature trail along the southern boarder of Fairfax County Va.

A number of trail groups like PATC help the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority maintain our 100+ miles of trails. I estimated that for every mile of trail we have over $3,000 in volunteer labor per year. That is a saving of over $300,000 to the public contributed by all of these volunteers, just for our park system!

I also told the group of about 200 club members about our founder Ira Gabrielson who served as the Chairman of NVRPA for our first 17 years. Gabrielson was the first Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and was inducted into the Conservationist Hall of Fame.

We are very proud of our conservationist roots, and our long-standing partnership with the PATC and other trail groups that help us run our 11,000+ acre park system.

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