Activities in 2003 included a weekend First Aid workshop organized by Walter Lepuschenko and taught by instructors from SOLO. There were also two winter hikes for beginning snowshoers, which succeeded in getting some people hooked. (Good thing the trips are advertised in the newspapers as well as in GMC publications! Asking GMCers to try snowshoeing seems as preposterous as offering reading lessons on a college campus.)
The education committee would like to thank TUBBS for generously loaning us the snowshoes for the two introductory trips. Their generosity made it possible for us to offer the hike to those who needed it the most. Imagine life in Vermont without snowshoeing! Four intrepid folks braved frigid temperatures to hike the Nebraska Notch trail to Taylor Lodge on January 24th. On February 1st, a crew of eight tackled Prospect Rock and the goodies at the CITGO station in Jeffersonville. Thanks are especially due to Paul Adams from TUBBS for his assistance.
While we have your attention, we should point out that many folks take the initiative to organize and lead educational outings on their own (birding, wildflowers, map and compass workshops, just to name a few). This seems like as good a place as any to thank them THANKS!!!
Do you have ideas for educational programs you’d like to see? Do you have knowledge or skills you’d be willing to share? Let us know! Call Walter Lepuschenko at 849-6493 or Brynne Lazarus at 863-1469.
Keep an eye out for a camp stove potluck, coming this summer!
In 2003 there were a total of 110 outings offered, with activities as varied as birding, beginning snowshoeing, investigating carnivorous plants, tracking, trail work, and map and compass. Along with many sites in Vermont, participants went to NY, NH and Maine. The most popular destinations were Mt. Mansfield and Camels Hump. One of the most popular outings was the Winter Solstice Hike to Butler Lodge, led by John Connell. About twenty-five hikers trekked up on a frosty December day in 2003.
The Outings Committee again thanks the many volunteer trip leaders.
Trail Work Committee
In 2003, the Burlington Section had a total of 42 work-days. (That’s the number of workers multiplied by the number of days worked by each.) In spring, we had our five regular Long Trail walk-throughs. The turnout was been lower than in any recent years, probably because the work outings were mistakenly left off the spring Activities schedule. We had a maximum of 15 and a minimum of 3, including leaders. However, the trails are in good shape and we were able to do a lot of basic maintenance, mostly in groups of 2 or 3 workers. We took blown-down trees with the chainsaw as needed, but there weren’t many down. The late spring meant there was less clipping than usual. Trail adopters will need to do some clipping in the summer after there has been more growth.
We also had two outings in August to replace the puncheon over the beaver dam south of Taylor Lodge. With the help of AmeriCorps volunteers, we completed that task.
The Boy Scout troop that has adopted the LT from Jonesville to Bolton Notch Road did blazing and trail clearing, and we covered the trail with two volunteers to do the required chainsaw work.
Our work outings in 2003 covered the LT up to Butler Lodge. We’ve also done some maintenance (amount varying from trail to trail) on Nebraska Notch, Butler Lodge, Lake Mansfield, Sunset Ridge, and Halfway House Trails. In each case, we concentrated on what was needed the most since we had so few workers.
There are two short reroutings that we’re waiting for permission to do. One is between Mayo and Bolton to avoid a big mud puddle; this will be done by the adopter, Doug Houston. The other is just north of Jonesville to avoid a very steep rock climb, and the section will do that.
(The Director attends meetings of the GMC with news from our section and brings back information from the larger organization.)
Headquarters: As a result of the fire that took the South Barn early in 2003, the GMC lost presentation materials and educational displays, archival documents, merchandise and guidebooks, and most important a wonderfully historic building that provided a hiker center and a gathering place for events like the Snowshoe Festival and Taylor Series.
The Headquarters Planning Committee presented draft plans to the Board last fall and a revised plan this January. A hiker center, meeting space for 100 people, and improved offices are among the competing priorities. The current idea is to build in stages to allow more time for fundraising. The project is roughly estimated at one to one and a half million dollars. (Some of the bricks and not-very-charred timbers from the old South Barn will be incorporated into the new structure.)
Trails and Shelters: Work at Smuggler’s Notch resort requires closing the LT around Sterling Pond this year. The trail will be temporarily relocated onto Elephant’s Head Trail, and Watson Camp will be removed this year. We built two shelters in 2003, the Bromley Mountain Shelter and Journey’s End II. We acquired the Wheelock property in Bolton, protecting 1000 feet of the Long Trail. The Board approved a trail relocation on Bromley as part of a proposed land swap between the Forest Service and Bromley ski area. And we finally obtained an Act 250 Permit for a bridge across the Lamoille River in Johnson!
Windpower: The Board adopted a policy opposing windpower projects within the 1000-foot corridor of the Long Trail system and any projects that pose “significant adverse effect” on the LT system or hiker safety.
Publications: Sales of the beautiful new 25th Edition of the Long Trail Guide and the Day Hiker’s Guide were comparable to previous years, and are a source of profit for the club. The GMC came out with a new Membership Brochure and Group Use Guide, and reprinted the Trip Leader’s Handbook this past year. Soon to come a new, full-color Long Trail map designed by Wilderness Map Company!
Vote! Look for the ballot of candidates for General Director positions in the Spring issue of The Long Trail News. Be sure to vote!
Serve! This will probably be my last year serving as the Burlington Section Director. If want to learn more about being a director, please feel free to contact me at 654-7831. Or, better yet, let the Executive Committee know about your interest.
During the 2003 hiking season, Leo Leach filled in for me while I was hiking the Appalachian Trail. A new "crib" for the mouldering privy at Taylor Lodge was built and installed. Leo, Scott Christianson, Bruce Bushey, and Jeff Bostwick were involved in the project. Residents of Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center and the UVM Alternative Weekend group carried in the lumber for the project.
I would like to thank all of the shelter adopters: Kerstin Lange - Duck Brook, Clem Holden and Gardener Lane - Buchanan, Jeff Bostwick - Puffer, Leo Leach - Taylor, Todd Mallory - Butler, Scott Buckingham - Twin Brooks, John Bennet - Taft. Gardener Lane is retiring from his adopter position and Herm Hoffman will take over as co-adopter with Clem Holden at Buchanan.
Our Section now has 655 memberships. 206 of these are family memberships, making a total of 861 adult memberships. Following last year’s trend, we have more total memberships but fewer family memberships, resulting in ten fewer members than last year.
There also seems to be a trend for more people to come from outside the immediate area. Last year 50% of the members lived in Burlington, South Burlington, Essex or Essex Junction. This year only 45% live in those areas, with the biggest increase in other parts of Chittenden County.
We had our second membership phona-thon, organized by Phil Hazen, in November. Others who worked on it were Sue Girouard, Paul Houchens, Fred Roane, and Pete Saile. Their calls to lapsed members resulted in at least five people rejoining. Thanks to all who worked on the phonathon.
New members since the last Ridge Lines: Bob and Joan Britt, Pat and Bob Carman, Val Costes, Margaret Gagne, Meg L. Hart-Smith, Eric Johnson, Carlie and David Krolick, Mike and Kristie Larose, Peter Merritt, Ruth Skiff, Joan Wallace, and Andreas Werthof.
Special Events Committee
In January 2003, the Burlington Section’s Annual Meeting started out congenial and relaxed but ended with worry and concern. Eighty members met in South Burlington to enjoy Papa Frank’s lasagna along with potluck salads and desserts. Then GMC executive director Ben Rose stood to say a few words - and was interrupted by the news that the headquarters in Waterbury was on fire. (When he arrived in the parking lot for the 2004 Annual Meeting, Ben instantly got a nervous stomach!).
In February 2003, the Burlington Section hosted John Abbott from the UVM Outing Club, a Taylor Series event at the Billings Campus Theatre.