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Volunteers sought to prep post trails for warmer weather traffic

Trails behind Parcours Youth Lake, once bustling with Soldiers training, rest somewhat forgotten and partially overgrown. Adopt-a-Trail asks volunteers to help breathe new life into this old trail system, filled with various paths and more than a dozen exercise stations. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Trails behind Parcours Youth Lake, once bustling with Soldiers training, rest somewhat forgotten and partially overgrown. Adopt-a-Trail asks volunteers to help breathe new life into this old trail system, filled with various paths and more than a dozen exercise stations. (Photo by Jeremy Henderson)

Published: April 21, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 21, 2016) -- Fort Rucker’s trails begin to bustle with activity as temperatures warm up, and the Fort Rucker Directorate of Family, and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hopes to keep those trails clean and safe in 2016 with the aid of volunteers and the Adopt-a-Trail program.

“Volunteers can earn recognition by helping MWR maintain the running and biking trails on Fort Rucker,” Lori Ciranni, sports, fitness and aquatics manager, said. “The volunteers visit their trails and do minor clean up, document maintenance needs, report acts of vandalism, interact with trail users, promote trail safety and encourage an overall positive use of public trails.”

Commuters along Farrell Road may notice the scenic expanse of Parcours Youth Lake, but few realize an adventurous expanse of trails exists within the wooded area surrounding the water.  Those trails are one of two locations volunteers can help maintain.

“Adopting one of our trails is a great way to give back to your community,” Ciranni said. “In doing so, you not only gain that sense of pride of giving back, but it is a program that promotes healthy living.  It is a way for a couple or family to be with each other without the hustle and bustle of modern technology.

“While walking and working on the trails, you get the added benefit of beginning or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and could possibly spark an interest in biking, hiking or running,” she added. “Maintaining the trails can also be used to learn the plant life and wildlife in our area. The society we live in, unfortunately, is a lot about taking. This is a great chance to learn or teach someone the rewards received from giving.”

Volunteers are asked to commit three months of maintenance to their assigned trail. Volunteers are asked to visit their trail each month to document maintenance needs, report acts of vandalism, interact with trail users, promote safety and encourage positive use of the trails.

“As a result of concerns brought up as part of the installation’s Army Family Action Plan, Fort Rucker’s DFMWR community recreation division developed the program to gain assistance from the concerned individuals and organizations,” Ciranni said.

Volunteers will be required to attend a short orientation before they begin maintaining the trails.

“The program is open to anyone wishing to volunteer,” she said. “It can be an individual, a family, an organization wishing to use this as their community project, or anyone with an interest in giving back to their community. Participation in this program not only promotes community stewardship, it helps maintain our highly used, difficult-to-maintain trails.”

Applications are accepted on a continuing basis. DFMWR will follow up with applicants soon after their applications are received.

For more information or to register for the program, call 255-9567 or visit www.ftruckermwr.com.

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