The Baxter State Park Trail Stewards Program is a win/win opportunity for both volunteers and the park. There are many volunteers that would like to give back to the park that has brought them many great memories, but they just don’t have the time to commit to the Trail Crew’s other weeklong projects. Trail Stewards have the opportunity to work more independently on trails during multiple visits throughout the season. The contributions that Trail Stewards bring to the park allow for the necessary basic maintenance of trails to keep corridors open and blazed and prevent further erosion. With those types of contributions and support, it allows the BSP Trail Crew the time to concentrate on other technical projects.
- Trail Stewards
- Volunteers spend one day training with the Baxter State Park Trail Crew where they learn: Waterbar Maintenance, Corridor Definition, Blaze Painting, GPS Use and Project Documentation. ( National Trails Day – Annual Event)
- Trails are assigned by the Trail Supervisor from a list of identified priority trails.
- Commitments are made by each volunteer to schedule three (3) work trips throughout the season. The dates and locations (depending on trail assignment) are then organized into a schedule by the Trail Supervisor. This prevents accommodation conflicts and organizes communications to gate attendants and campground staff of the participation of such volunteers.
- The Trail Supervisor then communicates in writing to the volunteers as to which volunteer camping facility will be reserved for them. Depending on location of trail assignment, volunteers will have reservations for accommodations in close proximity to the trail assignment.
- Area campground rangers help distribute tools, safety gear and paint to the Trail Stewards.
- Trail volunteers sign trail registers to account for their safe return to camp each night.
- Trail Stewards submit their work reports to Gatehouse Attendants upon departure or mail them directly to the Trail Supervisor.
- The Trail Supervisor keeps a file for each Trail Steward and their assigned trail section(s) to document progress on trail sections and for detailed, updated trail condition reports.
- Volunteers each receive a copy of the BSP Trail Standards that are relevant to their expectations as a Trail Steward. This will serve as their guidelines to reference to when out on the trail, in addition to the training weekend.
- To deter excessive vehicle traffic and ensure that other Trail Stewards will have parking at park facilities, individuals may have up to a party of four to help on a section of trail, and should make plans to arrive in one vehicle. Outing clubs and other larger groups should carpool or optimize their transportation by traveling by van or other large capacity vehicles.