HMBA’s 2014 Annual Meeting was a productive one with many announcements.
First, we’d like to congratulate the 2014 HMBA Board and Advisory Committee. A full list of positions and a contact form can be found on the Current HMBA Leadership page. Some positions have not yet been filled, and the committees have yet to be decided. In particular, we still need a Treasurer. We are looking for someone who has the interest and attention to detail necessary for the position. A good candidate does not have to be an accountant, but should be someone who can keep a budget in the black.
The 2014 HMBA Board is as follows:
Anyone interested in holding a committee leadership position should contact a board member. If that committee position does not currently exist, we may create a committee around someone who has the interest and the skill to lead that committee.
Many of the announcements for 2014 have been included on the HMBA History page in short form.
As many of you already know, Tammy Mebane was hired as HMBA’s Executive Director and IMBA’s Great Lakes Associate Region Director. She will be splitting her time between the two roles. Prior to HMBA, she was the Outreach Market Coordinator for REI in Indianapolis and worked with HMBA in that capacity. She also served as a Stewardship Director with the Sacramento Valley Conservancy in CA. She has experience with fundraising, grant writing, public relations, volunteer coordination, and conservation.
HMBA will be hosting the Subaru IMBA Trail Care Crew in Indianapolis at Southwestway Park on May 15-17. The details have not been finalized for the event yet, but the general outline for the event is as follows: Thursday, May 15: Economic Impacts in the afternoon followed by a social event in the evening; Friday, May 16: Land Manager Training; Saturday, May 17: Morning classroom instruction followed by an afternoon work session.
Speaking of Southwestway Park, RTP grant work will continue in 2014. In 2013, Spectrum Trail Designs and volunteers from REI, the Southwestway Trail Bums, HMBA volunteers, equestrians and trail runners assembled to build the Big Fire flow trails, Mann Loop, and the Mann Hill trails. In 2014, we plan to add the River View trail and the Power Line downhill mtb trail to the system of trails at Southwestway.
2013 brought HMBA the possibility to start looking at trail development in part of Yellowwood State Forest and utilizing the old Girl Scout camp (the “Bridge House”) that was acquired by State Forests in 2013. Access to Yellowwood State Forest would go a long way towards connecting many existing trails in the area. Trail development in Yellowwood will be a several year process. Advocacy efforts need to focus on showing the economic benefits of recreation facilities for State Forests, and convincing officials to authorize State Forests to invest in recreation facilities.
Approval for Phase III construction at Brown County State park was granted by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Proposed trails will include the Hobbs Hollow flow trail, HP Bowl expert trail, a Limekiln return leg for campground visitors to have a continuous beginner’s loop, an HP East leg, and the Weed Patch trail to connect HP, HP East, Limekiln, HP Bowl, and Aynes and will bring total mileage of trails at BCSP to 40+.
Additionally, the proposed expansion of Versailles State Park with the Hasmer Hills project is moving forward. HMBA was awarded a Transportation Equity (TE) grant for Versailles State Park in 2013 to begin the Hasmer Hills expansion. The proposed trails include connections to the town of Osgood at the northern edge of the park, as well as a paved bike path connection from the Hasmer Hills section, through the town of Versailles, and to the current trailhead. Stay tuned for more information about volunteer opportunities with this project.
HMBA submitted a proposal for 12-15 miles of trails on the West side of Eagle Creek Park through the Mayor’s Request for Proposals (RFP), which included a pay-for-play proposal for IndyParks to generate revenue from mountain bikers and other trail users at TRTP, SWW, and Eagle Creek. This proposal was supported by the Marian University cycling team and SRAM.
The biggest message to gather from all of this news is that HMBA needs your support! We need more members so we can flex our political muscle. We need more revenue so we can afford to hire more professional staff. There is enough work to keep multiple staffers busy, but we need the finances to support them. We also need a larger volunteer base to build and maintain the trails we do have access to. In some parts of the state, we have very little membership to support more trail access. Many land managers are willing to allow access, but without local volunteers, HMBA simply cannot support new trail construction in those places.