Tag Archives: Workshop

Trail Marking Clinic: July 23

The Catskill Conservation Corps is at it again! This time it’s a fun-filled day on Ashokan High Point, featuring a little trail work and a lot of learning. Join NYS DEC Forester Ian Dunn as we learn and practice all there is to know about marking a trail. Forester Dunn will demonstrate and guide volunteers in proper use of trail markers. Learning to mark trails is fun and easy, but doing it correctly is key. Properly marked trails are unobtrusive to the eye and safe to travel – and in compliance with the Catskill Park State Land Master Plan.

Ashokan High Point is a gorgeous peak, filled with wildlife and wildflowers and a truly unique blueberry meadow up near the summit. Fascinating ancient rock cairns line the trail at one point, and the trail parallels Kanape Brook for the first mile or so. The views are quite spectacular, and the entire hike offers a wide variety of trail types, from woods road to single track. There are some rock scrambles and steep sections on this trail, and the total distance is approximately 8 miles. This is a fabulous hike, a heavy favorite among veteran Catskill hikers.

The CCC will provide tools for the trail maintenance we’ll be doing on our way up to the summit. We’ll focus on side clipping, waterbar clearing, and removal of any small blowdowns or debris in the trail. Come prepared to be outdoors all day, with plenty of water and a bag lunch and anything else you might need to enjoy a full day in the woods (sunscreen, bug spray, your basic day pack items, etc). We’ll also provde some light refreshments, so be sure to register so we know how much to bring!

To register, contact Heather Rolland (hrolland@nynjtc.org or by phone at 518-628-4243) or by using the form below:

Trail work makes you smile!
Trail work makes you smile!

Notes From The Field: Welcome, Summer!

Summer solstice, Father’s Day, and some super Catskill Conservation Corps activities made for a busy and fun weekend in the Catskills!

On Saturday, June 20, a star-studded cast of characters taught and learned side by side on the scenic trails of the Southern Escarpment. NYS DEC Ranger Rob Dawson and the Trail Conference’s Catskill Program Director Doug Senterman, along with Heather Rolland of the Catskill Conservation Corps (CCC) taught the Introduction to Trail Maintenance course on the trails. Hands on learning at its finest, volunteers assessed blowdowns and used a variety of tools to remove them, cleared water bars and learned about their construction, and clipped encroaching branches. In total we cleared about 3 miles of popular trails, and enjoyed some killer views as well. We were joined by two hardworking Student Conservation Association (SCA) interns, Kalvin Murphy and Louis DiLorenzo, who helped out and learned alongside our volunteers.

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June 21 became an impromptu “undergraduate litter picking day” as the SCA interns returned with a volunteer from SUNY Geneseo! Heather led these intrepid litterpickers through the mess just off the trail at Overlook Mountain, removing 10 bags of nasty stuff from the woods. The ugly eyesores have were removed amid shouts of “hey! Look at this! Dude! Look what I found!” and as always, lots of laughter. Afterwards ice cream and people watching in the village of Woodstock rounded out the day.

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The CCC wishes to thank DEC and Ranger Dawson for the advance planning regarding the Introduction to Trail Maintenance course. In order to learn in the field, we needed a number of different problem types and learning opportunities. Ranger Dawson made sure we had a great trail to work on – plenty of all manner of challenges with amazing views to enjoy. It was perfect!

Read the full follow-up press release for our workshop

Another big thank you to the SCA interns and their supervisor, NYS DEC forester Ian Dunn, for their role on Saturday – helping to fetch and carry, as well as pitching in and participating in the workshop. They also get kudos for working hard on a miserably muggy Father’s Day, picking up trash and swatting mosquitoes with good cheer.

Our next event is another litter pick up, this time near Kingston, NY, at Onteora Lake on July 5. Stay tuned for all the details on how you too can make friends, whistle while you work, and have a blast while making a difference. Volunteering in the Catskills is cool, even on the hottest of summer days!

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Free Introduction to Trail Maintenance Workshop on June 20

Volunteers taking part in an Introduction to Trail Maintenance workshop
Volunteers taking part in an Introduction to Trail Maintenance workshop

On Saturday, June 20, 2015 join the Catskill Conservation Corps and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference on trails around North and South Lakes as they teach you about the basics of trail maintenance in the Catskills.  You’ll learn what goes into keeping the hundreds of miles of Catskills trails open and discover how you can get involved in being a steward of the Catskills.

At this free workshop on the trail from 10am to 3pm, our instructor and Catskill Conservation Corps staff member Heather Rolland, will be teaching attendees the basics of trail safety, what tools are needed for the job, and you’ll be hiking the trail learning how maintainers clear back brush and weeds and remove fallen trees from the trail.  The local New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger will also be joining us to talk about the work of the Forest Rangers in the Catskills.

Through the field work, participants will learn about the assessment of trail conditions, clearing, trail marking, proper use of tools and how to report any trail problems they may come across on their segment of trail.

Be prepared to spend the day on the trail as part of the field training. Make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and trail work; bring a bag lunch; pack plenty of water and snacks; and bring work gloves.

Refreshments and snacks will be served.

This event is free and open to the public.  Please register below using the form or register on the Trail Conference website so we can maintain an accurate headcount for the day.

Press Announcement for Workshop

 

From Pest to Pesto! A Culinary Approach to Managing Invasive Plant Species Workshop on Sunday, May 10 in Fleischmanns

nik20110724DSC4802The Second Sundays Trail U series from the Catskill Region – New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Spillian continues with a free workshop to turn garlic mustard from pest to pesto!

Wander on the trails at Spillian to forage for the invasive plant garlic mustard. This early maturing plant competes with some of the most special early spring natives in the Catskills and spreads like wildfire. But, it has two redeeming features! It tastes good. And it’s very good for you — it’s loaded with anti-oxidants.

You’ll forage garlic mustard in the woods and then gather in the Spillian kitchen to make garlic mustard pesto that you can take home with you. Learn how invasive species can be battled with knife and fork!

Bring your mom for Mother’s Day or make pesto for her. Glow with self righteousness as you hand her a healthy, sustainable, home made dinner! No guilt. Serious brownie points. Mama Earth will love you, too…

Be prepared to spend a few hours on the trails around Spillian as part of this workshop. Make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and trail work; pack plenty of water; and bring work gloves.

The even will be led by Will Soter, the Trail Conference’s Southern Catskills Co-Chair and a NYS Outdoor Guide and avid Catskills hiker. Trail Conference Catskills Program Coordinator Heather Rolland, and Spillian CEO and founder, Leigh Melander.

Refreshments will be served and you’ll have enough pesto for dinner when you leave.

This event is free and open to the public. Please register on the Trail Conference website so they know how many folks to prepare for!

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT

About the Presenters:

Molly-Marquand-225x300Molly Marquand joined the Catskill Center in 2012 and as the coordinator of the CRISP program, oversees and organizes efforts to manage invasive species throughout the Catskill region. Molly has also worked with the New York City Natural Resources Group conducting vegetation surveys, the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island, collecting locally sourced native seed to be used in restoration projects, and the New England Wildflower Society, conducting and coordinating rare plant surveys all over New England. When not at work Molly enjoys hiking with her dogs, riding her horses, and finding interesting plants to identify. Molly holds a B.A in Ecology from Bates college and a Msc in Botany from the University of Reading, England.

Will SoterWill Soter is the Trail Conference’s Trails Chair for the southern Catskills, CEO and Lead Guide of Upstate Adventure Guides,  and a registered New York State Guide.  Will has years of experience exploring and hiking throughout the Catskills and as a guide, he strives to provide a superior level of wilderness guidance, while maximizing the visitor’s experience.

Heather RollandHeather Rolland is an avid Catskills hiker, on staff with the Trail Conference as the Catskills Program Coordinator, a member of the Board of Directors of the Catskill 3500 Club and is currently working on her Catskills All Trails Patch.

Free Introduction to Trail Maintenance Workshop April 12 in Fleischmanns

Trail Crew members cleared the route of the new trail
Trail maintenance work gets you outside and on the trail! The Intro to Trail Maintenance workshop teaches you what you need to know to get involved as a volunteer trail maintainer in the Catskills!

The Trail Conference‘s Second Sundays at Spillian series continues with a free workshop on the basics of trail maintenance in the Catskills on Sunday, April 12 from 1pm to 4pm.

This workshop will provide participants with the skills necessary to properly clear, maintain and improve a hiking trail so it is easily passable for fellow hikers and the trail itself is harmonious with the environment. Through a few hours of field work, attendees will learn assessment of trail conditions, trail clearing, trail marking, proper use of tools and how to report any trail problems they may come across on trail that they ware working on.

Be prepared to spend a few hours on the trails around Spillian as part of this workshop.  Make sure to wear your hiking boots; dress appropriately for the outdoor conditions and trail work; pack plenty of water; and bring work gloves.

Refreshments will be served.  This event is free and open to the public. Please register on the Trail Conference’s website so they can maintain an accurate headcount for the event.

REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP

About the Presenters:

Will SoterWill Soter is the Trail Conference’s Trails Chair for the southern Catskills, CEO and Lead Guide of Upstate Adventure Guides,  and a registered New York State Guide.  Will has years of experience exploring and hiking throughout the Catskills and as a guide, he strives to provide a superior level of wilderness guidance, while maximizing the visitor’s experience.

Heather RollandHeather Rolland is an avid Catskills hiker, on staff with the Trail Conference as the Catskills Program Coordinator, a member of the Board of Directors of the Catskill 3500 Club and is currently working on her Catskills All Trails Patch.

Spring into your Catskills hiking with free workshop on Sunday, March 8

Hiking Trails in the CatskillsThe Trail Conference’s Second Sundays at Spillian series continues with a free spring hiking workshop to get you ready to hit the trails as the snow melts!

Led by Will Soter, the Trail Conference’s Southern Catskills Co-Chair, a NYS Outdoor Guide and avid Catskills hiker and the Trail Conference Catskills Program Coordinator Heather Rolland, this workshop will cover topics such as: how to select and plan a hike for you or your group; how to determine your ability; how to determine the intensity or difficulty of a trip; what gear you should always have; and how to utilize the tools and resource available to ensure the safest/best experience.

Refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. Please register on the Trail Conference’s event page.

About the Presenters:

Will SoterWill Soter is the Trail Conference’s Trails Chair for the southern Catskills, CEO and Lead Guide of Upstate Adventure Guides,  and a registered New York State Guide.  Will has years of experience exploring and hiking throughout the Catskills and as a guide, he strives to provide a superior level of wilderness guidance, while maximizing the visitor’s experience.

Heather RollandHeather Rolland is an avid Catskills hiker, the Trail Conference’s Catskills Program Coordinator, a member of the Board of Directors of the Catskill 3500 Club and is currently working on her Catskills All Trails Patch.

Free Catskills Hiking Program on Sunday, February 8

10620371_745724175495954_7927043099924632836_oOffering a mix of free programs and workshops about hiking, trail skills and more every month, the Trail Conference’s Second Sundays at Spillian series continues this February with an interactive discussion about safe and environmentally sustainable hiking in the Catskills.   This event will be held at Spillian on Sunday, February 8th and begins at 1pm.

Using the principals of HikeSafe and Leave No Trace, presenters Heather Rolland, Will Soter, John Leigh and Forest Ranger Joesph Bink will be going over the dos and don’ts of hiking and discussing how to make sure your trip in the backcountry of the Catskills is as safe and as sustainable as possible.

HikeSafe, along with the Hiker Responsibility Code, was developed as a joint program between the White Mountain National Forest and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to create and develop a Mountain Safety Education Program. While originally designed to educate those hiking throughout New Hampshire about the steps they must take in order to be prepared before entering the forest, the HikeSafe program has expanded to include other areas, including the Catskills. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands.

This workshop will focus on applying HikeSafe and Leave No Trace principals to your hikes, walks, excursions and climbs in the Catskills. You’ll learn how to be safe on your hike and how to ensure your hike doesn’t degrade any of our natural resources.

This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Please register on the Trail Conference’s event page so organizers can maintain a headcount for the day.

About the Presenters:

Will SoterWill Soter is the Trail Conference’s Trails Chair for the southern Catskills, CEO and Lead Guide of Upstate Adventure Guides,  and a registered New York State  Guide.  Will has years of experience exploring and hiking throughout the Catskills and as a guide, he strives to provide a superior level of wilderness guidance, while maximizing the visitor’s experience.

Heather RollandHeather Rolland is an avid Catskills hiker, the Trail Conference’s Catskills Program Coordinator, a member of the Board of Directors of the Catskill 3500 Club and is currently working on her Catskills All Trails Patch.

John LeighJohn Leigh is the Trail Conference’s Volunteer Coordinator and a certified Leave No Trace instructor.  He has hiked throughout New York and New Jersey, including many of the trails of the Catskills. John  has taught backpacking, wilderness survival, and camping in New Hampshire, and sailing and canoeing on Chesapeake Bay.

Joseph Bink is a New York State Forest Ranger in the Catskills.  He will be sharing his insights on the HikeSafe and LNT guidelines.  He will also provide information on staying safe, having fun, and knowing the regulations in the Catskill Park and Forest Preserve.

Training new volunteer leaders in the Catskills

Participants in the Leadership Training
Participants in the Leadership Training

The newly formed Catskill Conservation Corps, held its first event in cooperation with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference: a Volunteer Leadership Training workshop on Saturday, August 9, at the beautifully restored former Ulster & Delaware Railroad station on the Mountain Top Historical Society campus in Haines Falls.

The workshop was led by experienced volunteer trail leaders Chris Connolly and Jane Daniels  of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. This free, one-day workshop was a great opportunity for participants to sharpen their leadership skills and learn more about how to manage volunteers in a trail and outdoor setting.

The workshop was open to anyone interested in learning more about how to lead volunteers on volunteer stewardship activities in the Catskills and beyond.  Participants in the workshop included existing leaders from the Catskills, along with others from as far away as Staten Island and the Capital District.

Attendees learned a number of skills, including:

  • Developing their skills to effectively manage maintainers and volunteers from recruitment to recognition;
  • Learning about responsibilities activities of leaders within the volunteer structures that currently exist; and
  • Developing and tapping into resources to solve problems on and off the trails.

The day was full of hands-on exercises and group discussions that helped provide information to find solutions to problems that volunteer supervisors commonly face.

Press Release for Leadership Training Workshop Follow Up

Volunteer Leadership Training Opportunity – August 9, 2014

Being held in a beautifully restored former Ulster & Delaware Railroad station on the Mountain Top Historical Society campus in Haines Falls, this workshop will, through a series of case studies and activities, help you learn how to supervise volunteers who maintain trails in the Trail Conference’s network of over 2000 miles of trails, including over 200 miles of trails in the Catskills.

Supervisor workshop (1)

Hands-on exercises and discussions will provide information to find solutions to problems that supervisors commonly face. An effective supervisor will have a tool kit of skills which includes access to a variety of resources: fellow supervisors, trail crews, staff, park partners, and his/her trails chair. While this information will be tailored to the Catskills, existing or potential supervisors or trail leaders from any region will find the information presented in this workshop useful and worthwhile.

This will be an indoor workshop that will be held rain or shine.

Workshop Goals:

  • Develop skills to effectively manage maintainers from recruitment to recognition;
  • Learn about on-the-ground and off-trail responsibilities activities; and
  • Develop and tap into resources to solve problems on and off the trails.

Light refreshments and snacks will be served throughout the day, but participants should bring a bag lunch to have when we break for lunch. Lunch will be a great time to check out the western trailhead of the Kaaterskill Rail Trail, which heads eastward along the former U&D railroad corridor towards Kaaterskill Falls.

Photo1While this workshop is geared towards helping train existing supervisors, no previous Trail Supervisor experience is necessary and all are welcome to attend to learn how to become more involved with stewardship activities in the Catskill Park. This workshop is a great opportunity to sharpen your leadership skills and learn how to manage volunteers.

There is no fee for this workshop, but you must register on the Trail Conference’s workshop page to attend.

Registration Link

Press Materials