Ukiah Valley Trail Group Request for Proposal – Catering Services for Gala Fundraiser

Event Date; Friday October 4th, 2024

Contact; Neil Davis – ; 707-972-0926


The UVTG Board of Directors seeks a caterer to provide dinner for the Ukiah Valley Trail Group’s 2nd Annual “Glamp-Out; Gala in the Street” on Friday October 4th from 5-9:30 PM. The event will include a happy hour and silent auction, followed by dinner with live auction, and conclude with attendees preparing their own “s’mores” around open fire pits for desert. The selected caterer will provide dinner only.

Attendance is expected to be between 150 and 200. The event will take place in front of the Ukiah Valley Conference Center on School Street which will be closed between Stephenson and Church St. Ukiah Valley Trail Group volunteers will serve food and bus tables. Volunteers can also assist with food prep or barbecuing should the caterer wish.

The theme for the event is “Glamping” or fancy barbecue / cookout. The successful proposal will include a menu that best suits this theme (see linked “Mood Board” here). Vegetarian options must be included and appealing.

Proposal Requirements.  

  • Suggested menu options (does not have to be final).
  • Description of food prep concepts and how it will meet the “Glamping” theme.
  • Summary of proposed/typical rates.
  • Photos, website, or other evidence of caterer’s work and experience.

Follow up interviews and discussions with selected proposals will be used to make a final decision and negotiate menus and terms.


Trail Group to Help Fund Land Acquistion

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group (Trail Group) is pleased to announce a pledge of fifty thousand dollars to assist with the City of Ukiah’s acquisition of a key western hills property that will improve the opportunities for future trail development in the area. The property creates a land bridge between two City owned properties and opens opportunities for a convenient trailhead and sustainable trails with comfortable grades. This acquisition opens the area for future trail development maximizing the community benefit of the City’s recent acquisition of over seven hundred acres of western hills.
The Trail Group mission is to create and maintain a trail system that will improve the community’s quality of life and health. “Our biggest barrier to adding to our trail system is a lack of publicly available open space,” said Trail Group Board President Howie Hawkes. “We don’t want to miss the opportunity to acquire this critically situated piece of land. With this addition, the land is conserved and protected, but also open for future recreation.”
For more information on the details of the acquistion go to



Trail Group’s Position on Western Hills Acquisitions

We’re super excited to be working with the City of Ukiah to preserve the Western Hills of Ukiah. Of course we hope to be able to build trails up there, but the first step is to acquire the property and stop development. We need more housing but not in the wildland urban interface (western hills). That’s where we need trails.
The City of Ukiah acquired close to 700 acres of western hills property primarily to protect our watershed, but also with the hope that the area can be opened for recreation, AKA Trails! We’re already exploring trail alignments!
We’ve been working with the City to identify additional properties that will make the area more accessible and improve the options for building trails. We support the City’s efforts to annex these properties as we believe the City code, and enforcement, is siginificanlty more effective than what the County provides.
There are some trade offs. We don’t have the resources to purchase properties outright, so to make the deals work, there may have to be some limited development of the lowest areas of the properties. Unfortunately, it’s part of the price of preserving all the rest of the hills.
You may hear some people saying we shouldn’t allow any development, and although that would be great, there’s no deal on the table that allows this. When we have the opportunity to increase our public land holdings we need to seize the day – even if there are some trade offs. If we don’t act quickly, we could lose the opportunity to do the conservation and create the recreation we’re looking for, and then see uncontrolled development in its place.
Without publicly accessible land, we can’t build trails. The UVTG is doing what we have to do to make sure we have Great Trails Close to Home.

1) Why is this a good deal for the City? It’s only 25 more acres but allows an additional house to be built.
For those of us who want public access, this is an essential acquisition. The City owns property abutting the valley floor, and the the City owns 700 acres farther up the hill. This property links the two properties. Without it, there is no way for us to build trail. With existing conditions, there is conservation benefit to the 700 acres, with this acquistion, it has conservation and recreation benefit.

2) Is this the best deal we can get? 
Yes, it’s the best deal we can get. The City tried for years to obtain grant funding that would allow the outright purchase of the property. That wasn’t successful, so it was necessary to negotiate the best deal the City could afford. If we don’t jump on this opportunity, there is no guarantee we will be able to get the property later, and it could be developed under the County’s more permissive standards.

3) Isn’t this just a give away to rich developers?
No. It’s a negotiated deal with benefit to both parties. The City can’t just take property from people nor can the City randomly tell people they can’t develop. Negotiations for this property began months ago and there’s been a lot of back and forth. The City (with the Trail Group’s support) want to limit and control development of the Western Hills as much as possible but have to work with the resources avaiable to us.

4) Where will the access for trails be? Isn’t Redwood Ave too narrow?
The exact access location for future trails has not yet been determined, but most likely it will be from the City’s recently acquired property at the bottom of Doolin Canyon Drive. Redwood Avenue would not be a very good access point, primarily as it is too steep. City staff with Trail Group support have applied for grant funding to obtain further properties and are exploring other properties to both protect more of the western hills and find the best possible future trail access points.

5) Won’t this increase fire risk, wouldn’t it be better to stop all development up there? 
The City has been making great progress on increasing housing stock in the areas where housing is most beneficial. The Western Hills is not a good place for development, only one of the reasons being increased fire risk. Pretty much everyone agrees housing in the hills is not a great idea, this unfortunately is the best option available to us to limit and control development and we don’t want to miss it. This will stop development in the Redwood Ave drainage above the 1100′ level.

6) Shouldn’t there be secondary access roads to allow for escape during a fire? 
The existing roads were build on private property under County standards. The UVTG supports the City’s efforts to purchase and / or annex as much of the Western Hills as possible. Purchasing allows the City absolute control, and annexing allows improved control, of development. This acquisition is another step in this process. Any future housing inside City limits (including annexed property) will require a CEQA document and will be built under the more rigorous standards and enforcement of the City (as opposed to the County). Currently, it will be up to the people who choose to build or purchase homes to decide if they want to assume the risk.

7) I heard it’s going to lead to more cannnabis grows. Is that true?
No. Although it may be theoretically possible for someone to grow cannabis, it simply makes no sense for someone to purchase any of this property for that purpose.


First Annual Gala in the Street – Success!

We sold out and had a super fun time at our first Gala in the Street! Our auctioneer, Rachel Britten, did a great job making it fun to for participants to contribute to Great Trails Close to Home. The paella was great and paired perfectly with Husch wines and beer from Ukiah Brewery. There was some really spirited bidding on the auction items and of course the weather couldn’t have been better.

If you missed out, you really missed out. We’re still counting all the pennies in, and all the pennies out, but we made over $25,000!, Looks like we’ll have to do it again next year, better get your tickets early!


Ukiah Valley Trail Group Announces Grant Award and Call for Proposals. 

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group (the Trail Group) is pleased to announce the acceptance of grant funding from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County for its “Sustainable Funding for a Sustainable Future” program. The award will be matched by Trail Group funds and will be used to hire a part time fundraising consultant to develop a business sponsor program and annual fundraiser plan for the Trail Group.

“We’re so pleased to have the continued support and trust of the Community Foundation,” stated Trail Group Board President Howie Hawkes. “Our board is great at building trails, but we’re not so strong when it comes to asking for money. Hiring a consultant who can help us develop fundraising mechanisms and train our board to be better fundraisers will be key to building a sustainable future for our group and local trail system.”

The paid consultant will be tasked with leading the board in the development of a business sponsor program and a new annual fundraising event. The successful candidate will meet with the board during board meetings and at additional meetings scheduled specifically for the consultant’s work. The process is expected to take a year and will culminate with a “first annual” fundraising event.

“We’ve been successful in expanding and improving our trail system over the last 15 years,” stated Hawkes. “But to make our trail system really great, we need more funding, and ultimately, professional staff to design, build, and maintain our trails.”

The Trail Group is immediately seeking proposals from fundraising professionals to provide the services. The Call for Proposals is available here.


Pacific Redwood Medical Group Gifts $32K for Great Trails!

Ukiah Valley Trail Group has announced a $32,000 gift from Pacific Redwood Medical Group to improve trails at Lake Mendocino. The funding will allow the Trail Group to realign and improve the trails between the Dam and Spillway. This gift follows a $25,000 gift in 2019 that provided the funding to build the recently completed trail above City View Trail at Low Gap Park.
Pacific Redwood Medical Group (PRMG) is a medical group comprised of doctors, physician-assistants, and nurse practitioners who provide Emergency Department and inpatient hospitalist services to local hospitals. PRMG established a corporate-advised fund with the Community Foundation of Mendocino County in 2016 with a goal of contributing to community health through health promotion efforts to ensure a just and prosperous community.
The PRMG corporation provided seed money to start the fund and pays the annual management fee. After that, the fund is based solely on employee donations. Although donating to the Pacific Redwood Medical Group Charitable Fund is entirely voluntary, most of the full-time employees have opted to contribute monthly.
“By working with the Community Foundation, we can allow funds to accumulate,” said PRMG’s Dr. Debbie Marks. “Then, when the right community-based prevention project comes along, we will be in a position to make a substantial grant. With the help of the Community Foundation, the impact of our collective giving is so much greater than our individual gifts.”
PRMG identified the Ukiah Valley Trail Group as a local non-profit whose mission aligns with their desire to improve community health by encouraging physically active lifestyles. “The research is clear that if you create pleasant convenient places to exercise, more people exercise more often,” said local trainer and Trail Group board member Mike Cannon. “We had a hundred and twenty people show up for the PRMG-funded new trail opening a Low Gap Park last weekend, and now with this new gift we expect to be able to do something similar in a year or two at Lake Mendocino.”
For decades, PRMG emergency physicians have cared for patients with incredibly complex and challenging medical problems, the types of problems that would be reserved for specialists in a larger metropolitan hospital. But here in Ukiah, where our specialists are limited, PRMG providers rise to the challenge and care for patients who have nowhere else to turn. According to Dr Debbie Marks, “You can’t just be good to practice medicine here. You have to be really good,”
“We’re really grateful for this gift as it allows us to focus on trail building rather than fundraising,” stated Cannon. “This will allow us to complete the reroute of old, poorly aligned trail on the southwest corner of the lake and make it a much more appealing and accessible route. Great trails, close to home is what gets people out and exercising” concluded Cannon.

Super Fun at the Big Reveal Hike – Ribbon Cutting

Low Gap Park

On May 15th over 120 peple hiked the 1.75 miles up the hill to the start of our new trail at Low Gap Park. Pictured here (from left to right) Mayor Jim Brown, Dr JJ Allende from PRMG, Board Treasurer TIm Pletcher, Supervisor Mo Mulheren, and Ryan Veness form the Blue Zone project cut the ribbon to open the new trail. But becuase this trail belongs to all of us,all Big Reveal hikers were given the opportunity to cut the cut the ribbon and open the trail.

After cutting the ribbon, hikers then hiked at their own pace along the new trail. Docents and trail information signs were posted along the route to enhance the experience. The temporary trail information signs are still up, so if you were unable to attend the Big Reveal, head up soon while they are still posted.



Big Reveal Hike – Trail Grand Opening

Low Gap Park

May 15 10-11:30 Sign in

Meet us at the Low Gap Parking lot and sign in anytime between 10 and 11:30 on May 15th, then hike at your own pace to the new trail. We’ll have the route marked so you can find it. When you arrive at the new trail you’ll be able to have your picture taken while you cut the ribbon to open the trail! W

e’ll have information stations along the new trail and docents at key locations to answer questions. In addition to hiking the trail, you’ll have a chance to learn about how we design and build the trail, and what kind of enviornmental reviews are necessary. We’ll also have some expert birders and plant people who can answer questions and let you know what to look for while hiking. Finally, we’ll have a few goodies at the end of the hike.
Come prepared for

a five plus mile hike with a good deal of climbing. Wear good shoes and carry water. We’ll have the path marked and trail maps available at the sign-in station.

This project would not have been possible without the significant support of Pacific Redwood Medical Group and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County











Map of Proposed trail

Upper City View Trail – Coming Soon!

It’s been a rough year with virtually no “shovel in the dirt” trail work. But behind the scenes our board and volunteers have continued moving forward with project planning.  We’ve continued preparing the biological studies and various planning documents we need to have in place so we can build another mile of trail above City View Trail. There are some significant costs to the planning work, but thanks to the support of Pacific Redwood Medical Group through the Community Foundation of Mendocino we’ve been able to keep the ball rolling. We expect to be ready to begin construction in the late winter and open the trail in the Spring! Your donation will help ensure we have the funds we need to complete the project. We’ll once again partner with the CA Conservation Corps. A Corps crew costs $13,000 a week and we’ll need them for two weeks. Pitch in what you can and let’s do this thing!



Help Us Create a Golden Corridor of Walking and
Biking Through the Ukiah Valley

We live in an incredibly beautiful place, but too often it’s behind locked gates. The unused railroad corridor through the center of Ukiah could be a place for us to get outside and walk and bike, but it lies dormant, decaying, and inaccessible. Why can’t we put this asset to good use? Why can’t we walk and bike here?

We can. As laid out in their Master Plan, the City of Ukiah plans to establish the trail as the centerpiece of a park and regional active transportation network. The key to unlocking this gate is “railbanking.” Railbanking is a land use designation that allows for rail corridors to be used as trails while preserving the ability to reestablish the railroad in the future if it becomes economically feasible.

There are approximately two miles of trail currently traversing the city, and any future expansion now hinges on a decision before the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in Washington D.C. The STB has the authority to railbank the corridor.

There are funding opportunities to do this! The City of Ukiah has funding to extend the trail another two miles to the south. While there is no funding available for re-establishing rail service, there is funding for trails and parks. These trail projects will be much more expensive, and in many cases impossible, without the ability to remove the rails allowed by railbanking.

This section of rail has been dormant for decades, and there is no plan to resume running trains in this area. Reliable estimates suggest a trail from Hopland to Redwood Valley would generate $20 million in economic benefit per year to the area. Please join us in calling on the STB to open this public asset to public use through railbanking.

Please sign our petition today!

I support railbanking so we can extend the Great Redwood Trail as a highly valuable community asset and allow the trail to serve as the centerpiece of a regional active transportation network.



Support Local Trails. Score Great Stuff!

Hey Trail Fans, it’s time for our annual Taste of Autumn fundraiser, and although we can’t get together to eat, drink, and be merry… we can still hold our annual auction. This time it’s virtual. As usual there’s tons of cool stuff and some of the proceeds go to the important work of Hearthstone Village, and some goes to support our local trails.

The bidding will begin on Tuesday, November 10 at 5 pm PST!

I hope you’ll join me in supporting two great local organizations by bidding in their online auction. Hearthstone Village does global work supporting an orpahange in Haiti, and the Ukiah Valley Trail Group does local work making sure we have Great Trails, Close to Home! The online auction will over 50 great items including coastal homes, handmade furniture, artwork, wine, and experiences. You can even name a trail or have a place at Lake Mendoncino named for you or a loved one.  MARK YOUR CALENDAR, FRIENDS. Bidding starts Tuesday, November 10 and ends the evening of Sunday, November 15.

Take a look at the items up for auction here. Bidding goes LIVE at 5 pm PST on Tuesday, November 10!

Mendocino County’s own Hearthstone Village has 10 successful years supporting education, nutrition and healthcare for 31 girls in Haiti (#NotJustAnOrphanage). The Ukiah Valley Trail Group built and maintain City View Trail and all the trails at Lake Mendocino.

We are so grateful for your support!


A New Paradigm for Trail Work

For many of us, even in the best of times, getting out on the trail is key to our health and wellbeing. In troubled times, we need it even more. And our trails need us, too. So,… we have a plan for returning to work. We must remain physically distanced and we have to work in teams of six or less. But we believe we can get the healthy exercise and community camaraderie we all value while maintaining good infection control practices.

We are once again going to schedule trail days every second Saturday at 9AM. We’ll have trail days through May. As usual, we’ll provide lunch and the tools and we’ll quit by 2PM.

All volunteers must wear a mask while working.

All volunteers must sign up online in advance. We will need to limit the number of participants to 5 volunteers per crew leader. Depending on crew leader availability this will usually mean a maximum of 15 volunteers per day.

We’ll be sending out our famous trail day reminder card, if you want us to send you one, email  your address to and we’ll mail you one. As always, there’s plenty of work to do, and it’s fun and satisfying to do it, so see you on the trail!

Virtual Hike Series Comes to Ukiah

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group and Mendocino Outdoors are sponsoring a Virtual Group Hike Series. A total of ten hike descriptions will be posted online once per week starting on the week of Monday the 21st. A new hike will be posted once per week with the final week being an Appetite Seminar the week of Thanksgiving. Hikes will be around the Ukiah Valley at Lake Mendocino, Low Gap Park, Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project, Mill Creek Park, and Cow Mountain.

Hikers are encouraged to do the hike at some time during the week and take a selfie of themselves and post it online. Bragging rights to those who do all ten hikes.

Each “group” hike will have a description posted online and hikers can do the hike at any time during the week. You won’t be alone in doing the hike, just separated!
Hike descriptions will be posted on
The first hike description can be found here!


Bringing Nature Home

It was pouring down rain and our crew leaders all assumed we’d show up in the rain, work for an hour by ourselves and head home for hot cocoa. So, no one was more surprised then us when a half dozen intrepid native-plant planting geeks showed up to help!

It was pretty darn wet. And muddy.

But we managed to get tree-start cages assembled and in place to protect 20+ acorns planted along the phase 3 section of the Great Redwood Trail. We also planted over fifty purple needle grass seedlings! A great day on the trail, and a great start,… but we still have a lot to do.

Our goal is to plant at least two-thousand grasses, five hundred shrubs, and of course forty oak trees. One day, this section of the trail will be a native plant wonderland!

We’ve scheduled additional work days for Sunday the 15th and Saturday the 21st. We’ll meet at the intersection of Ford St and the Great Redwood Trail. Ukiah. With your help, the tired old rail trail will be turned into a wildlife and people life corridor. Wear sturdy work shoes and bring gloves if you have them (we have extras). Yes, we’ll work rain or shine! Your RSVP helps us plan.


Taste of Autumn
Sunday Oct 6th 1-5 PM Frey Ranch, 14000 Tomki Rd, Redwood Valley

We’re going to join Hearthstone Village again this year for a super fun time out at the Frey Ranch. It will be a load of fun for the entire family. Our Board Member Andrea Davis is in charge of the wood-fire baked bread and there will be home brewed beer tasting, wine tasting, local food and a bunch of activities for the kids. We also will have a silent auction that has some “great deal” potential. Donate to a great cause and go home with the righteous shwag!
Please by your tickets in advance online with the security of Eventbrite! When you do, you give us the money and you get to go to the event!

Buy your tickets online at Eventbrite or from a UVTG rep and 100% of the ticket price goes to the UVTG to support our work! For tickets, call 467-3217 or email

Tickets: $25 in advance and $30 at the door for Adults;
$5 Children 5-12;

Under 5 for FREE! Can you volunteer to help? Many hands make light work, give us a call at 467-3220 or email


We Can’t Help But Succeed; We Have 100+ Strong Women in Our Corner!

Do you know about 100+Women Strong of Inland Mendocino? This great group is a “giving circle.” Members commit to giving $100 per quarter to one selected non-profit. They ask three non-profits per quarter to present their case for funding, then vote. This quarter we were asked to present and were selected! It looks like we’ll be receiving about $15K. As always we’ll use the money to fix our trails that need it, while looking for opportunities to build new trail where we can. Our vision is for everyone in the Inland of Mendocino County to live within biking distance of a great trail and 100+ Women Strong are helping us make it happen! Check out their site and consider joining them.


A Taste of Autumn – 2019 

Family Fun on the Farm! October 6th – SAVE THE DATE!

We’re going to join Hearthstone Village again this year for a super fun time at our annual Taste of Autumn fundraiser.  It will be a load of fun for the entire family. Our Board Member Andrea Davis is in charge of the baking bread and there will be home brewed beer tasting, wine tasting, local food and a bunch of activities for the kids. We also will have a silent auction that has some “great deal” potential. Donate to a great cause and go home with the righteous shwag! More details coming soon. Purchase your tickets right here and 100% of the ticket price supports local trails!
Save the date: October 6th

Day of event sales benefit our partner Hearthstone Village – They’re great!
100% of online ticket sales go to us! 



How much can we get done in two hours?

Join us on June 29th and let’s see.

Graffiti & Weed haters Unite! We love the Historic Railroad Parkway (aka Ukiah Rail Trail) but we hate weeds and graffiti. If you too are a great hater of weeds and graffiti, or if you just don’t have anything else to do that morning, come join us for a festival of weed and graffiti destruction. We’ll meet at the Historic Railroad Depot off Perkins next to the Railroad Parkway at 8AM, graffiti haters will get paint kits and targets, and weed haters will get to pull to their hearts content. Join us and score a UVTG water bottle! Hope to see you there.


Great Redwood Trail Town Meeting

Saturday, June 22, from 10:30 to Noon

Senator Mike McGuire will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting to provide an update and opportunity for discussion of the effort to establish a Great Redwood Trail. The meeting will focus on the progress being made with the Great Redwood Trail, including details on the Mendocino segment.

It’s a really exciting project – converting a decaying railway into a world-class destination for hikers, cyclists and nature lovers here at home and from across the globe that will stretch from San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay.

We want to encourage all you trail fans to attend so we can discuss how we can support this spectacular opportunity to open up some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth and create a significant economic driver now and into the years to come:

WHAT: Community conversation about where we’ve been, where we’re at now and where we’re going with the trail in the future. We’ll provide details and an initial timeline for the Great Redwood Trail and what will be happening with the Mendocino County segment.

WHEN: Saturday, June 22, from 10:30 to Noon

WHERE: Ukiah Valley Conference Center, 200 South School Street, Ukiah, CA 95482

MORE INFO: Karlene Rebich at (707) 576-2771 or

Trail Improvements Coming to Lake Mendo


Rejoice! we have work to do! Thanks to the great ranger staff at Lake Mendo we have permission to reroute the trail between the Dam and the Spillway. The trail here traverses some really steep side-slopes and in one place drops so low it’s underwater when the lake is full. Well, not for long. We’ll start building a new reroute to keep our feet dry on February 2nd. We’re looking for a couple of volunteers to help us move supplies to the site on Wed., January 30th, then we need all hands on deck for trail work on the 2nd. In addition to keeping the trail above the high-water line, this project will replace a number of super steep sections with nice contouring trail. It will make this a much more accessible and enjoyable way to begin your trail journey. January 30th, 2PM at the Dam February 2nd, 9AM at the Dam March 16th 9AM at the Dam April 20th 9AM at the Dam This project will probably take at least four trail days. The more volunteers we have, the faster it will go. Please RSVP either via Facebook or by email to

New Park. New Trails.

Great Trails. Close to Home.


Budget Graphic copyHey Trail Fans, You have all been so patient. Yes, it was two years ago that you all voted all day every day to convince State Farm Insurance they should give us twenty five grand to build new trail. It was an incredible effort from our small community; it worked because so many of you pitched in.

So for the last two years our team has been working to layout the trails and work on the environmental review documents (CEQA) that will allow us to build the trail. It’s been a lot of work and the City of Ukiah has been a great partner in helping us get it all done. As I write this, the CEQA document is out for public review. We’re confident it’s a quality document that will withstand any level of scrutiny, and confirm the project as a net gain to the health of our environment and community.

We hope to have approval from the City in January to start work. Our new trail park will give us about four miles of new trail.

This project is going to cost about $76,000. We have $25,000 from State Farm, and we’ve already matched that, but we’re still about $25,000 short.

You get one of these letters from us every year, and with your neighbors you typically donate a total of $7,000 to $10,000. This year we need to raise $25,000.

We need those of you who already donate to donate more this year, and we need to attract new donors as well. There are two ways you can make these trails happen; first, donate, and if you can, double of even triple your usual donation. And second, tell your friends about this project and tell them you’re donating. Tell them you gave extra this year because it’s so important. You can make this dream of Great Trails. Close to Home. a reality.

Thanks, Neil Davis, Director UVTG

Click HERE to donate through “Network for Good”


Call to Action – Save our Railroad Corridor for Trail Use!

2017-02-05 09.33.15 HDRThe Good News: Senator McGuire’s Great Redwood Trail Act (SB 1029) passed the CA Senate without objection. Assemblyman Wood’s office does not expect it to have too much trouble being passed in the Assembly either. The bill has been supported by over 20 agencies and non-profits including the Ukiah Valley Trail Group and Walk & Bike Mendocino.

The bill will create a new agency to assume responsibility and ownership of the rail corridor from Willits north, and pass responsibility of the corridor from Willits south to the Sonoma Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART). From Willits north the new agency will work to build a world class trail on the corridor that will link our cities with a safe active transportation route for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. From Willits South, rail service will continue to be a possibility but we expect a renewed effort to include trail alongside the rail. This trail could be a significant economic engine for our area and attract users from all over the country.

The Bad News: Since its inception the NCRA has been saddled with a mission and no funding. As such, it has accumulated almost 10 million in debt. If SB 1029 becomes law without sufficient funding to clear the debt, it could end up in the courts, not pass through the Assembly, or simply return to a state of unfunded neglect and the rail corridor will continue to deteriorate.

It is critical that the corridor be rail-banked to protect it for future Mendocino County generations before it is lost.

The bill is also being discussed by Governor Brown’s office for consideration to be included in the state budget. It is essential that the governor’s office hear from as many trail supporters as possible about how important we believe the funding for this bill is.

Action: We need your support to help move SB 1029 forward!

Decisions on funding this bill will likely be made in the next couple weeks. It is important to have our voice heard NOW.

Calls to the office of Governor Edmund G. Brown will be the most effective. His office will no longer accept emails. Phone: (916) 445-2841

Simplest message:

“Please support funding for converting the NCRA to the Great Redwood Trail, SB 1029!”

Here are some additional talking points regarding SB 1029, the Great Redwood Trail Act. Please feel free to add anything personal about your vision of the Trail or the bill.

  • I’m calling/writing from Mendocino County (or your place) to ask the Governor to support funding for Senator McGuire’s SB 1029, The Great Redwood Trail Act.
  • We don’t want to lose this opportunity to protect this public right-of-way or the economic development for Mendocino County
  • We are asking the Governor to help find the funding needed to buy out the NCRA debts, and establish this new agency to build the Great Redwood Trail.

Letters and Post Cards to:
Governor Edmund G. Brown
c/o State Capitol Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841

Thanks for the support!


It’s Time for Mendocino County to Support Trails and Parks!


Mendocino County disbanded and defunded its Parks and Rec Department over twenty years ago – and our trails suffered because of it. Our trails deteriorated to the point where volunteers started working on them. In the last ten years volunteer groups like the Ukiah Valley Trail Group, the Mendocino Coast Cyclists, and the Willits Area Cyclists have volunteered thousands of hours of trail work – with minimal to nonexistent support from the County. Although we believe we’re doing great work, we need – and our parks need – County support. It’s time for the County of Mendocino to devote Director level support AND financial support to providing quality opportunities for outdoor recreation in Mendocino County.

All we ask is the County assign a Director level staff member (someone with the authority to approve projects) a few hours a month to oversee parks and trails AND that a line item be added to the budget to fund trail projects. If you agree, please sign our petition.

Sign the petition here!

Our approach has always been to roll up our sleeves and pitch in. But we can’t help if we can’t get projects approved. Are our parks and trails really worth so little? Is it really too much to ask that a little part of our County budget goes to trails?

The Library Kerfuffle.

It’s not a zero sum game

Mendocino County staff recently asked the Board of Supervisors for approval to investigate the possible benefits of consolidating administrative duties with a Director assigned to oversee the Library, Museum, and Parks. In this scenario, a new Cultural Services Agency would be formed.

The BOS did direct staff to look into ways administrative service could be consolidated without negatively impacting direct services. Karen Horner, the Director of Libraries, has been mentioned as a likely Director to take on additional duties. Ms. Horner has said she feels she has the capacity to do this without a diminution of library services.

A group of very vocal library advocates are adamantly opposed to the County even considering this. Despite all evidence to the contrary, they are presenting this as a threat to library funding.

This doesn’t have to be a zero sum game; the County can budget resources to parks and trails without abandoning our libraries and museums. We can have our trails, and read about them too.

Please do take a moment to sign our petition in support of increasing County resources for trails. Thanks



 It takes more than shovels. Trail advocacy in action.

   Building and maintaining trails on public property is only possible with the permission of the land owner or manager. With trails on County property this is often difficult because the County doesn’t have a Parks and Rec Department; so there isn’t really anyone in charge for us to speak with. Mendocino County staff recently asked the Board of Supervisors to investigate consolidating administrative duties with a Director assigned to oversee the Library, Museum, and Parks.
Neil BOS Speaking at the Board of Supervisors meeting our Director Neil Davis said “One of the big issues we have had over the years is that there has not been anyone consistent for us to speak to at the county level. Frequently when I come in (to the County) I’m directed to somebody new because there is simply nobody in charge of parks and trails. We usually end up speaking to someone who has in their job description something like ‘other duties to be assigned later.’ And we are the duties to be assigned later.”
   Mr. Davis went on to explain how we have missed opportunities for grants and haven’t even pursued some projects due to the unavailability of support from County Staff.
   The meeting was packed with many people adamantly opposed to County staff even considering a consolidation of administrative services. We understand that libraries and museums are important, but feel that we also need parks and trails.
   Our approach has always been to roll up our sleeves and pitch in. But we can’t help if we can’t get projects approved. Are our parks and trails really worth so little? This doesn’t have to be a zero sum game; we can budget resources to parks and trails without abandoning our libraries and museums. Your support allows us to devote a small amount of our time to advocating on behalf of trail users.

What’s that thing on the rail trail? 2017-12-08-162208

You may have noticed a new structure at the Norton Street entrance to the Ukiah Rail Trail. You might have wondered what the heck is that?
   Well…., it’s going to be part of a rain water collection and native plant demonstration garden. Why? Because we want to make the rail trail nice.
We’re super proud to have taken a lead on the project. Thanks to funding from the Community Foundation of Mendocino County we’ve been able to coordinate with the Sanhedrin Chapter of the Native Plant Society and the Mendocino College Sustainable Construction and Technology Program to get this sucker built. It’s not quite finished yet but we’re on track. We’ve had great support from Menton Builders, Hawkes Construction, and Clark Construction.
   When complete, there will be a water collection tank inside the gazebo and water it collects will be used by volunteers to water the native plants we’re putting in along the trail. This Spring we’ll be coordinating with the Sanhedrin folks to develop and place informational signs explaining about the project and how people can use rainwater harvesting and native plants at home!

26172414_10155123759420848_6344247567799565344_oOur new #MendoStrong caps are in and they look great! “When the recent fires hit our board was quick to suggest we contribute to fire relief in some way, said board member Carolyn Welch.  “The trick was to make sure we were doing it in a way that is consistent with our mission.”

We took money out of our promotions budget and purchased hats with the #MendoStrong on the back and we’ll use all the proceeds from the hats to support fire relief conservation efforts. “When we purchase promotional items like this, we don’t necessarily expect to get the money back. So in this way we can make a contribution to fire relief while staying consistent with our mission.”

The hats are being sold for $20 and are available for pick up at the UVTG office at 413 N State St in Ukiah.



26167326_10213178741561414_1484038247845370570_n26219494_10213178740201380_926310144906221164_nOver sixty people joined us for our annual New Year’s Day Hike at Low Gap Park. Hikers split into two groups with about half taking the “one-loop” 3 mile option and the other half adding a loop for an approximately four mile hike. The routes were marked with flour arrows so people could find their way and hikers were provided with maps to help. There were enough people hiking to ensure that there was almost always someone else in sight.

“The hike was really well organized and marked. It was my first time doing the hike but it was really fun and a great way to start the New Year,” said Toni Wheeler.

Janie Sheppard said she has been on the New Year’s Day hike about seven times. “We first did a few New Year’s Day hikes before the trail group formed, but then joined them once they started. This year the weather was just perfect!”

Janie and a number of other hikers brought snacks and treats that were shared both at the end of the hike and the lookout bench near the top of the City View Trail. Although it was great way to start the new year, don’t wait for next year to hit the trail!


You Make Trails Happen!

Board LineUpTrails don’t build themselves! But with the support of our community, donors, volunteers and people like you – they do get built; and maintained! Our great board isn’t afraid of a little hard work, and they also know how to get all the paperwork done. Thanks to your input we are making progress towards building new trail on the east side of the Ukiah Valley.

Hundreds of people like you volunteer time and donate money to make sure we have Great Trails. Close to Home.
Can you join them this year with a personal donation?
   Your support allows our community to maintain and expand access to the natural wonders and health benefits available on our public lands.
When you hike or bike on our local trails, you’re enjoying the fruit of community effort. “When I hike down the trail, sometimes it seems like almost everyone I see has either volunteered or donated to our trails” said UVTG Director Neil Davis. “What we do simply wouldn’t be possible without our supporters, and the more people who pitch in, the more we can do.”
  When you hike or bike our local trails you’ll rest easy knowing your support is allowing us to move forward on building 4+ miles of trail at the new Vichy Hills Trails park. You’re funding the preparation of a reroute of the bottom of Valley View Trail with gentler grades that will allow you and your friends to keep using the trails even as you get older or as you have kids. Your sustaining donation will lead to the first sections of trail along Orr Creek that we refer to as the Orr Creek Greenway. Imagine walking a trail from Low Gap Park to downtown! 
Will you make it happen with a donation today?
*Envision * Build * Maintain * Enjoy *
Taste of Autumn2017Poster 3

Sunday Oct 1st 1-5 PM Frey Ranch, 14000 Tomki Rd, Redwood Valley

We’re going to join Hearthstone Village again this year for a super fun time out at the Frey Ranch.  It will be a load of fun for the entire family. Our Board Member Andrea Davis is in charge of the wood-fire baked bread and there will be home brewed beer tasting, wine tasting, local food and a bunch of activities for the kids. We also will have a silent auction that has some “great deal” potential. Donate to a great cause and go home with the righteous shwag!

Please by your tickets in advance online! When you do, you give us the money and you get to go to the event!

Buy your tickets online or from a UVTG rep and 100% of the ticket price goes to the UVTG to support our work! For tickets, call 467-3217 or email Tickets: $20 Adults; $5 Children 5-12; Under 5 for FREE!    Can you volunteer to help? Many hands make light work, give us a call at 972-0926 or email


Strike Force Six – At Your Service!

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group (UVTG) has created a new team of volunteers they refer to as their Strike Force Six to deal with trail maintenance issues that are a long way from the trailhead. The volunteers are primarily mountain bikers and the trail group has purchased six sets of specialty tools and packs to make sure the Strike Force can quickly travel from the trailhead three to five miles down the trail to where the work is needed. The tools have handles that can be broken into pieces and matched to interchangeable heads that can be affixed to the handles. The ability to disassemble the tools allow them to be carried in a hydration pack carried by the mountain bikers.

IMG_1379 IMG_1392The UVTG formed in 2004 in response to a trail system that was in dire need of maintenance. In those early years almost all the trails needed significant amounts of work and trail crew leaders could assemble large groups of volunteers for a full work day with no shortage of places to work. Over the years the crews have caught up with most of the basic maintenance needs.

Ukiah Valley Trail Group Director and mountain biker Neil Davis is leading the new team. “These days we increasingly will come across a section of trail that’s a long way from the trailhead” said Davis “but it doesn’t need that much work. A It may be a very significant problem and may even be dangerous for trail users, but will only require a few hours work from a small team. So it really doesn’t make sense to try to have an entire fifteen to twenty person crew hike to the site.”

That’s where the Strike Force Six comes into action. With the specialty tool packs the volunteer mountain bikers can bike to the site in a fraction of the time it would take a team to hike to the same spot. Once at the site, they can take off the packs, assemble the tools and get to work. As a group, mountain bikers tend to be fitter and stronger than other trail users. Hike-in Strike Force days may be scheduled, but typically it will be mountain bikers who are experienced trail volunteers.

“I expect many of these missions will be as much a mountain bike ride as a trail day” said Davis. We’ll ride to the site, do an hour or two’s work, get it fixed, then be on our merry way for a little more riding”

Davis went on to explain that mountain bikers are a key to the trail group’s success. “From the very beginning mountain bikers have donated time and money out of proportion to their numbers.” He went on to explain the UVTG promotes shared use trails (open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians) as a means to ensure there is enough support for the necessary trail work.  “We never would have gotten up and running without mountain bikers and our continued ability to maintain and expand our trail system is dependent upon a shared use trail philosophy.”

The UVTG will continue to hold its traditional eight work days a year to deal with larger projects as well as hire contract labor for even larger projects. Volunteer trail work typically happens between October and May when temperatures are not so hot and the ground is softer making it easier to dig and shape the trails. For more information on the Ukiah Valley Trail Group or to learn more about helping as a volunteer or donor go to ,call 467-3220, or email


Ukiah Valley Trail Group Statement on

Threatened Recreational Closure of Lake Mendocino 

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group (UVTG) is disappointed at the recent discussions of closing Lake Mendocino for some, or all, recreational activities. The UVTG originally formed in 2004 in an effort to support our understaffed and resource poor local land managers, including the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at Lake Mendocino.

We are proud of the work we have been able to accomplish in cooperation with the USACE and staff at Lake Mendocino. With the cooperation of their professional but overworked staff we have built 5 miles of new trail on the east side of Lake Mendocino. We rerouted an additional three plus miles of trail on the south side of the lake to improve user experience and sustainability. We built a 60 foot fiberglass bridge as part of our efforts to ensure that trails will be accessible even when the lake is at its highest levels. Our Director even presented at a regional USACE Ranger training speaking to the amount of work that can be accomplished with this kind of public-private partnership.IMG_6150

The USACE Operations and Management Plan of 2013 estimates that Lake Mendocino attracts over five hundred thousand visitors per year bringing 5.6 million dollars in economic benefit to the Ukiah Valley. Unfortunately, the resources committed to Lake Mendocino have continually declined over the years. The USACE has operated the Lake Mendocino facility without a Park Manager and/or Supervisory Ranger and with unfilled ranger positions for at least six years. Without a Park Manager they have also struggled to fill seasonal ranger positions and contracts for support services have been neglected.  The UVTG has provided the USACE with a trail plan outlining a number of trail improvement projects. However, the lack of leadership and staff has limited us to basic trail maintenance projects for three years while we await approval of our next significant project. Although we have a signed agreement with the USACE to raise funds for recreational support projects at the lake, we have been unable to take advantage of this opportunity as managerial staff is unable to provide the necessary support or approval of our efforts. In sum, the staff at Lake Mendocino are too short staffed to effectively accept help.

Our mission is to create and maintain a trail system that will improve our community’s quality of life and health.  As such, our commitment to providing support to Lake Mendocino staff in managing this valuable resource, and our commitment to representing our community will continue unabated. We want to thank Jared Huffman who has already responded with a letter to USACE leadership to find the resources to maintain this valuable community resource. We ask for you to join us in supporting the remaining staff at Lake Mendocino while we together implore our local elected officials to find a way to keep our Lake Mendocino open.

  • UVTG Board of Directors

fogg poster

Win a Quilt From Award Winner Laura Fogg

Here’s a great chance to support our local trails and maybe, just maybe,…. win a wonderful quilt crafted by award winning quilter Laura Fogg. Laura’s art quilts have received numerous awards and we are so thankful for her support. This quilt is entitled “Waiting” and is 33″ x 48″ inches. We like to believe we’re pretty good at designing, building and maintianing trails; but we have to admit, we’re really crappy at selling raffle tickets. Please take pity on us and buy some so Laura will like us ( it will also be good for our trails!). You can BUY TICKETS RIGHT HERE or send us a check to UVTG 413 N State St Ukiah, CA 95482.


IMG_4442Trail Crews Reopen Orr Creek Trail at Low Gap ParkIMG_4406

Winter storms led to high water on Orr Creek and in turn led to a trail wash out on Orr Creek trail. Our great volunteers buttoned up their sleeves and got immediately to work. Nineteen volunteers put in just shy of 100 hours and rerouted the trail to a safe position. We were pleased to have a few Ukiah High School students come to help as a part of their senior project! So we had high school seniors and AARP seniors working side by side. Thanks to our trail day sponsors Peregrine Chapter of the Audubon Society and North Coast Opportunities.



Trail Planning Underway

From Trash to Treasure at Vichy Hills

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Lead Botanist and #ActualLivingScientist Kerry Heise with Jim Xeogeanes and a team of volunteers from the Sanhedrin Chapter of the CA Native Plant Society have begun a botanical survey of the site.

Planning for our Trash to Treasure trail project is underway. Thanks to your support and daily voting we were able to secure Neighborhood Assist funding from State Farm to plan and build new trails at the old dump site on the east side of Ukiah.

“We’ve had to squeeze the layout work in between storms, but we have a rough plan for where the trails will go now” stated project leader Neil Davis. “I’m really excited about the potential for some new and really great trails close to home.

The first botanical survey was performed last weekend. The survey work will be led by #actuallivingscientist Kerry Heise. Expert members of the local Sanhedrin Chapter of the Native Plant Society (CNPS) are helping keep project costs down by assisting Mr Heise.

Botanical surveys will continue through the spring and will be used to prepare a CA Environmental Quality Act study. Our hope is to have the document complete by the end of summer.

“In a best case scenario I think we could start building trail after the first rains of next year,” stated Davis. “There are some really beautiful areas and a some nice views of the valley from the high points.”

Jen Ridell is the Co-chair of the Sanhedrin CNPS group and is also active with the CA Naturalist program at the Hopland Field Station.  She and the team will be logging many of the plants they identify at the site on the iNaturalist site. In the future, trail users will be able to use the site to help learn about the plants of the area.




Ukiah Valley Residents Outcompete the Big Kids!


Ukiah Valley outvotes much larger Cities to get funding.

$25,000 State Farm Neighborhood Assist® grants make a difference

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (Nov. 30, 2016) – After 1.8 Million votes were cast by 72,000 people in just 10 days, State Farm is proud to announce the Top 40 vote-getting causes that will receive grants to improve their communities.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that empowers communities to identify issues in their neighborhoods. The affiliated nonprofits of the top 40 causes will each receive a $25,000 grant to create and execute a plan to address the cause. The top 40 causes represent 25 states from around the nation.

The Ukiah Valley Trail Group’s “From City Dump to Community Park” project was a top vote getter despite competition from much larger communities and Cities.

“We got simply phenomenal support from the community. The process allowed people to cast up to ten votes a day for ten days and we had a ton of people logging on and voting ten times a day” stated UVTG president Carolyn Welch. “Our team is chomping at the bit to get started planning and laying out the trails!”

Of the 2,000 cause submissions that were received through State Farm Neighborhood Assist, at least one cause was received from every state in the U.S. Then, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board, a diverse group of 30 students who are passionate about social responsibility, reviewed the cause submissions and selected the 200 finalists to be voted on. In the five years of the program, 200 causes have received a total of $5 million to enact change in their communities.

For a complete list of the top 40 causes, please visit:

Thanks to State Farm’s Jay Epstein for all his help!

#DumpBecomesPark #SFNeighborhoodAssist #mendotrails #Success









What’s trail access worth to you? Help us keep our trails open and in good repair with a donation to our general fund!

You can also donate by check/cash/money order; simply make a checks payable to:
Ukiah Valley Trail Group
413 N State St Ukiah CA 95482
EIN 20-1098878