FVTC FAQs & Committee Structure
Published Date: 11/30/2012
Who Are We?
- The Farmington Valley Trails Council. Inc. is a CT 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1992 by Preston Reed of Farmington to advocate for multi-use “rails-to-trails” in the Farmington Valley.
- We are now the largest such organization in New England with over 1,600 paying memberships. We fully recognize that the political advocacy and economic strength of the organization stem directly from the vibrancy of our membership.
- Every cent (except our very low administration costs) goes to the trails, we are all volunteers.
- Spending on construction, maintenance and amenities has averaged over $44,000 a year over the last 4 years.
What Do We Do?
Broad Corporate Activity:
- Advocate for the completion of (1) the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (2) the Farmington River (loop) Trail and (3) the East Coast Greenway in Connecticut.
- Promote the benefits of this multi-use trail system (the 80.5-mile FCRT and the 29.5-mile FRT) as a branded destination.
- Help our area towns through funding trail construction, enhancements and maintenance.
- Build alliances with federal, State, town and advocacy organizations.
- Educate the public by providing maps (10,000 a year), information and events that promote safetyand proper etiquette on the trail system.
- Provide up-to-date information on a high quality Website and through timely communications such as a Newsletter and email list.
- Publish papers on trail advocacy, policy, maintenance and safety.
- Hold events like Trails-in-Motion (15 years) and our annual Clean-Up Day in April.
- Our Adopt-a-Trail Program helps our eight towns keep the trailclean and safe with over 100 volunteers.
- Increase membership and volunteer coordination, renewal and retention.
- Manage FVTC activities requiring assistance from members/volunteers.
- Business Plan: Decentralize authority by strengthening FVTC Committee structures.
FVTC Trailwide Initiatives:
- FVTC Maintenance Matching Fund: Recent projects include fencing grants in Avon and Farmington.
- Projects: $10,000 Collinsville Information Center with a matching grant from the Rails to Trails Conservancy; $55,000 Suffield Parking Lot and State-line Monument with a grant from Coca-Cola© North America.
- Targeted Funds: Salmon Brook Bridge Fund granted $70,000 to East Granby for completion of the Bridge. Potential Fund for Burlington Resurfacing in 2013.
- Safety: Handlebar bell Program, Laser Counter Program, Painted Center Lines, Rules and Etiquette Signage.
- Unified Design Policy and Commercial Signage Standards
- “You are Here” Trail Program; Trail Ambassador Program
- Boy Scout Eagle Projects
How Do We Do It?
(We are always looking for Committee Volunteers)
The Strategic Planning Committee (Jim Cassidy)
- Analyzes the progress each Committee had made on its short term and long term goals.
- Solicits input from officers, directors and the public concerning future plans of FVTC.
- Presents to the Board for its consideration and action, any analysis and recommendations for changes, if any, to the short term and long term goals of each committee for the coming year. Works closely with the Finance Committee on the Annual Budget.
- Updates and amends the Business Plan of the Organization.
Advocacy & Outreach (Bruce Donald)
- Maintain regular & consistent contact with: Federal, State and Municipal officials who can impact creation/maintenance of trails of interest to FVTC, esp. unfinished sections.
- Coordinate with other trail advocacy organizations: ECG, Bike/Walk CT, FCRTTA.
- Maintain a role as speaker at various venues to make local businesses/groups aware of how trails benefit them and why they should support FVTC.
- Publish papers and other materials advancing the advocacy of the FVTC.
Volunteer (Matt Graeber)
- Implements recruitment and retention programs to increase and maintain volunteerism, particularly for Events, Committees and Adopt-a-Trail programs.
- Recruits volunteers that will mentor other volunteers until they are accepted and established as working members of the Council.
- Specific duties include: Receive and record all volunteer offers from telephone, email, Website, event staffing and new/renewal membership communications.
- Liaison with planned annual events such as Trails-in-Motion, Trail Clean-up Day andTrail Assistance Staffing for the “You Are Here” trail orientation program.
- Disseminate listing of the existing standing committees and their objectives. Solicit choices, connect with committee chairs and follow up until there is closure.
- Assure the Adopt-a-Trail coordinators that volunteer wants the task for the next year and helprecruit replacements as needed.
- Assure that the Kiosk coordinator annually verifies the Kiosk volunteers want tocontinue one more year and help recruit replacements as needed
Membership (Erich Kronschnabel)
- Implements recruitment and retention programs to increase and maintain membership.
- Maintains a current roster of members, dues paid, and communications.
- Assures that annual renewal notices are sent out and new members receive return mail.
- Updates the Volunteer Committee on any member expressing interest in volunteer duties.
- Creates and maintains a database of pertinent contact information.
- Searches for new software systems to enhance our recordkeeping and communications.
- Updates the Electronic Communications Committee with information for, and changes to, the email list-serve.
Maintenance & Enhancements (Al Ryan)
- Identifies trails in need of: Maintenance, Root remediation/repaving, Fencing repair, Enhancements, Safety/rules signage. Initiates projects as needed.
- Maintains and updates information in all of the Kiosks on the trail system.
- Encourage/promote sharing of equipment among municipalities for better, morefrequent maintenance.
- Clearinghouse for Trail memorials.
- Manages efforts of: Adopt-a-trail volunteers, Boy Scouts, Others wishing to install trail enhancements.
- Oversees Spring Cleanup Day subcommittee with Chair, Diana Moody.
Publicity (Nancy Anstey)
- Oversees the creation of, and revisions to; Folding Trail maps, Press releases, Newsletter
- Develops/implements Publicity Plan:Identify individuals, organizations, businesses that utilize/benefit from CTtrail network
- Determines how FVTC can assist in delivery of benefits identified
Electronic Communications (JoyHimmelfarb)
- Maintains FVTC Website; act as liaison with Development and IT professionals
- Insures legal retention of Website, and all intellectual property.
- Distributes email communications to members: Periodic newsletters, Notification of upcoming FVTC events, Other events of interest to members
- Cooperates in migration of all communications from hard mailings to electronic distribution
Finance (Steve Noble)
- Prepares Corporate taxes, monthly and year-end statements
- Provides for all banking services
- Pays all Board approved expenditures
- Accepts and records all monetary inflows
- Oversees third party audit of FVTC financial records annually
Safety & Education (Scott Myrick & Steve Cole)
- Plans/implements programs to educate public about safe use of bikes on and offtrails.
- Oversees safety initiatives such as Bike bells, Helmets.
- Oversees placement of historical markers to interpret trail significance in Farmington Valley.
- Establishes presence for FVTC at: Sam Collins Day (Collinsville), Avon Day, Tariffville Day, Unionville Day.
- Trail Counter Program
The Fundraising/Corporate Liaison Committee (Dwight Weed)
- Plans and implements efforts to raise funding for FVTC from an array of outside sources.
- Seeks out opportunities for corporate and government grants.
- Creates a program and documentation making local businesses aware of how the trails benefit them and why they should support FVTC.
- Merchandising and e-commerce.
- Other fundraising initiatives.
Trails-in-Motion (Susan Phillips & Dave Waldburger)
- Plans/organizes/manages Annual Trails-in-Motion event each National Trails Day first Sat. of June
- Coordinates with Volunteer Committee to insure sufficient volunteers for event