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New Leadership for UVTG!
The Ukiah Valley Trail Group is pleased to announce the election of new officers and the appointment of a new Executive Director. Carolyn Welch will be taking over as President of the Board and Howie Hawkes will assume the role of Vice President. Neil Davis will transition from his role as a Board Member and President to being a part time Executive Director. The Ukiah Valley Trail Group was formed in 2004 and is committed to building and maintaining a trail system that will improve the health and quality of life in the Ukiah Valley.
Carolyn Welch is the Chief Financial Officer for North Coast Opportunities and has served on the group’s nine member board for the last four years. “It’s an exciting time for me to be able to take this leadership role,” said Carolyn. “The UVTG is growing and maturing and we can now have Neil take over as a part time Executive Director. It’s an important developmental step for us as we work towards a truly sustainable model as a local, public benefit non-profit.”
The UVTG has built over seven miles of new trails at Lake Mendocino, built the popular City View Trail at Low Gap Park, and reopened Scorpion Trail at Mill Creek Park. “I love going out and working on our local trails,” said new Vice President Howie Hawkes. “ I have to admit I’d rather be working on the trail then sitting in a meeting talking about it, but the reality is there’s a lot of planning that goes into it.”
The Group holds once a month volunteer trail days between October and May. In addition to the volunteer days, the group plans, funds and contracts with professional trail builders and work crews to get additional work done. “With limited funding from our public agencies, there’s more work than we can get done,” said Carolyn. “Over the last ten years, it’s often been a lack of volunteer time for planning that has been the limiting factor to our doing more work. There have been times when we’ve had the money to pay for work to be done, but we need a plan so we can tell the contractor what we want done but no one was available to do the prep work. We hope with Neil in his new role we’ll be able to get around that problem and be able to get more work done.”
The group prides itself in its “get er done” approach. “It’s really hard when we see a lot of money being spent on feasibility studies or planning,” said Howie. “We know how much we can get accomplished with a pragmatic approach that builds on our local relationships and reputation.”
The UVTG receives funding from memberships, donations, and grants. More information on Ukiah Valley trails, opportunities to volunteer, and membership and donation opportunities can be found at www.mendotrails.org