Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Heather's Corner: Do You Know About "AAT"?

There is an interesting opportunity to become involved in your community especially for those nature lovers out there. Perhaps your family is looking for a great way to give back or to honor a loved one. Maybe your special interest group or club is looking for a unique way to dedicate time for a worthy cause. And it effects all of us here in Oro Valley. About ten years old now, the Adopt a Trail Program ("AAT") through the Parks and Recreation Department of Oro Valley, allows you to do just that and "gives residents a chance to clean and maintain the trails within Oro Valley."

"The program provides land stewardship, physical fitness, and instills a sense of pride and ownership for volunteers, fostering a closer connection to the community and to the environment. Trails provide a recreation outlet in Oro Valley, which is a requirement for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They preserve open space and animal habitat, which assist in maintaining the health of the environment."

The main objective is:
  • To clear, maintain, upgrade and mark existing hiking, biking, and equestrian trails 
  • To teach organizational, outdoor, and safety skills 
  • To encourage volunteer participation
  • To publicize and encourage use of the trail system

Should you or your group decide to adopt a trail, you will be responsible for the basic maintenance of your trail to include brush removal, downed logs, litter, repairing trail head and will commit to this on a "reasonably frequent" basis over the course of a couple of years. Major repairs or issues should be reported to and handled by Parks and Rec Division employees.

Don't fret at the responsibility, the town will provide ample assistance and "Provide safety training and safety rules and regulations to organization’s group supervisor for distribution to program participants.Supply safety vests, trash bags, and other necessary equipment for use by volunteer organizations. Remove filled trash bags from trail side and dispose of properly."

They will also erect for public display the name of your family, loved one, or organization for which the trail was adopted.

So I implore everyone and anyone who take advantage of the 54.5 miles of trails in Oro Valley to consider adopting a trail. And if you can't, then do your own part in assisting those who do maintain that benefit for us. Clean up after Fido, don't litter in the first place, and report anything hazardous to the town.

Want to learn more?
 Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)

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