Hinesburg Trails Committee
February 15, 2012
Present: Cathy Ryan, Jim Goldsmith, Michelle Fischer, Greg LeRoy, Lenore Budd
Minutes of the January 12, 2012 meeting were approved by email and posted on the town website.
Finances: Jason and Jane are working with the Town Clerk to track HTC finances. At the beginning of February $550 remained in our SCHIP grant and $480 remained in our Town budget. Since then Lenore was reimbursed $17.48 from the Town account for the purchase of nails for trail blazes. Bart Frisbee of Sterling Construction, the builder of Thistle Hill, has made an unrestricted donation of $500 to HTC.
Committee membership: The Select Board has not indicated any changes.
Development Review Process: Lenore and Stewart met with Peter Erb, the Zoning Administrator, regarding how to improve the Committee’s ability to evaluate proposed developments relevant to trails and connectivity and thus its ability to advise the Development Review Board. We agreed that a) the Planning & Zoning office would convert Town Plan Map #13 “Trail Network Vision” to a GIS layer so that staff can more easily visualize the relationship between a proposed develop and the envisioned trail network; b) P&Z will create and publicize a project location map for proposed developments in addition to providing the street address; c) P&Z will forward project maps and documents to the HTC Chair for proposed projects that relate to the Trail Network Vision or otherwise have the potential to improve connectivity between parts of town; d) Lenore will work with the HTC and P&Z staff to propose ways that zoning and subdivision regulations can be strengthened vis-a-vis trails.
Trailhead Kiosk Design: Michelle and Greg presented various design options and progress on content. They will take comments and suggestions back to the designer. Jim will research the maximum size for laminated maps and other kiosk components.
Old Town Forest: A public forum on the draft management plan will be held on March 14. Fellowship of the Wheel (FOTW) has applied for a state grant for improvements to the Maiden, International, and Dragon’s Tail Trails.
Logging Volunteer Hours: The Committee agreed to log ALL volunteer hours, using the form that Lenore provided. The hours can be sorted by place and type of volunteer activity as needed.
VT Trails & Greenways Council: The Committee voted to become a member and directed Lenore to request the $35 annual membership fee from the Town Clerk. Several HTC members have taken the current VTGC survey. All agreed that the VT Trail Ethic sign should be included in our trailhead kiosks.
Meeting Of Local Trail Organizations: Stewart and Michelle, along with about twenty representatives of local trail groups, met on February 11. It was primarily a get acquainted session and an opportunity to discuss projects, common issues, and funding sources. The group plans to get together twice a year.
Eagle Trail: The Committee recommends to the Town Forest Committee that the northeast portion of the Eagle Trail be discontinued in 2012 and that foot traffic be directed onto Homestead Trail instead, as this trail is on much better terrain and is better designed. In addition, the myriad trails emanating from the Hayden Hill East trailhead should be condensed and clarified. The HTC is ready to work with the TFC, FOTW, and others on these two objectives.
Russell Trails Management Plan: Lenore and Cathy are part of a group tasked with updating the management plan for the Russell Trails and hope to complete the process by June. Cathy pointed out that the trail easement states that the “owners shall not erect fences, barriers, or signs that impede access to or use of the Trail” and that the new fences may be in place before the trail is relocated. Lenore will check with James Donegan re: the timing of VYCC’s anticipated trail relocation work.
National Trail Day June 2, 2012: Discussion of potential projects was tabled until the next meeting.
Town Meeting: We will have an information table at Town Meeting. Michelle will check on printing a supply of trail maps and brochures. Cathy will bring a folding table and she and Greg will staff the table before the meeting.
Hinesburg Record Article: Cathy will check on deadlines and assign the next article.
Hinesburg 250th Anniversary: Discussion of our participation in the celebration was tabled until the next meeting.
VT Recreation Trails Program Mini Grant: The Committee approved Lenore’s draft grant application for blazes, nails, posts, and a posthole digger. She will work with the Town Manager to submit the grant before the beginning of March.
Mud Season Trail Outing: Jim will check with James Donegan about potential dates for publicizing sugaring at the Russell sugarhouse.
Invasive plants work day: The HTC is invited to participate in two workshops planned by the Hinesburg Invasives Team (HIT) on April 21 and April 28. More details to come.
Proposed Change For HTC Meeting Date: Changing the regular meeting date from the 3rd Wednesday to the 2nd Wednesday of the month was agreeable to all present. Jim will confirm with other Committee members that this change is OK and the availability of a meeting room and, if all is OK, this change will take effect starting in April 2012.
Next Meeting: March 21, 2012, 7 PM
Lenore Budd (substituting for the Secretary)