(Maricopa County) The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department is currently seeking individuals, organizations and agencies to assist with maintenance efforts for Maricopa Trail. The Maricopa Trail is a non-motorized, shared-use, multi-modal corridor used for transportation and recreation that resides under the jurisdiction of multiple federal, state and local agencies but is spearheaded by the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department.
“Now that more than half of the 376-mile trail system has been constructed, we are seeking assistance through an Adopt-A-Trail program to sustain the trail,” said Maricopa County Supervisors’ Chairman Andy Kunasek. “As Maricopa County continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important to preserve a portion of our natural desert as open space. As good stewards, we have an obligation to leave a legacy for future generations. The Parks department is able to maintain the segments that reside within park boundaries but they will need assistance with those segments that reside outside the parks.”
The newly developed Adopt-A-Trail program allows groups and individuals to make an impact on the environment and community by adopting a trail segment and assisting with inspections and maintenance which are necessary to ensure that the trail system is clean, functional and safe.
“When the Maricopa Trail and Parks Foundation learned that the department was ready to launch the Adopt-A-Trail program, they jumped at the opportunity to be the first agency to adopt a trail,” said R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director. “The foundation focuses on protecting, promoting, developing and maintaining the county’s regional trails, parks and open spaces. I can’t think of a better way for them to educate the community on the importance of being a good ambassador of the land than to lead by example.”
Through the program, groups or individuals may adopt a trail segment for a one-year period. During this time, the adopter is responsible for completing one to two trail inspections, minor maintenance work, if needed, and trash collection. The department provides tools and supplies as well as trail maintenance and safety training for participants.
In addition to the formal adoption process, the department also welcomes episodic volunteers who are only able to donate a day or two of service. These groups will be assigned a segment of the trail for inspection and maintenance on a specific day.
Currently, there are three segments of trails varying in length available for adoption and seven more are slated to become available within the next couple of months. “We have several groups that use various segments of the trail system for long-distance runs, hiking and to exercise their horses. These are the people we’re hoping to see come forward seeking adoption because they’re already familiar with the trails and have a passion for using them,” Cardin added.
To learn more about how you and your co-workers can become good stewards of the land by participating in the Adopt-A-Trail program, contact Kim at (602) 525-3004 or visit http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/Protect.aspx.
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Posted: May 15, 2013