By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

Good Trails Don't Build Themselves!

eydstacked_darkDid you know there are nearly 100 miles of singletrack trail in the Kansas City region, all of which are built and maintained by volunteers like you!

Earn Your Dirt is a coordinated effort to direct and promote trail building activities throughout the trail building season.

Volunteers will learn sustainable trail building techniques from our local experts (ERTA), and gain a connection to the trail that you can't get in any other way.

Come on out. You're sure to see a friend or two, or even make some new ones!

Google Map of area trails.

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dingoTrail Managers are experienced trail builders who are also responsible for organizing work days and recruiting and managing volunteers.  Typically there are 1-2 Trail Managers per trail system depending on the size.


List of area Trail Managers:

Blue River Park – Rob Stitt
Kill Creek Park – Pete Barth
Landahl Park – Aaron Browning
Shawnee Mission Park – Sean Cairns
Smithville Lake – John Harter
Lake of the Ozarks State Park – Larry Estes
Swope Park - Scott Capstack, Craig Stoeltzing
Stockdale/Walnut Woods - Matt Woody

Each trail system has a group of individuals that volunteer their time year-round to the design, construction and maintenance of trail systems.  Much like an adopt a trail program, volunteers maintain a section in the summer by weed eating the vegetation back, pruning limbs that grow into the corridor, and removing any limbs that fall across the trail.  Volunteers are needed at nearly every trail system.  If you are interested in this type of work, use the "Contact Us" link in the main menu on the left.  We will make sure toput you in touch with the appropriate trail managers and stewards.

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Are you new to trailwork? Have you found yourself wondering what to expect on a workday?  Hopefully this article will give you a little better idea of what to expect and help you know what you can bring along to make your first time out an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

What to Bring
The weather will dictate to great extent what to wear, but since the trailbuilding "seaon" in our part of the world is generally fall winter and early spring, dressing in layers is recommended. Dressing warm enough to saty warm at the trailhead is often too much once the realwork begins! Regardless of the weather it is important to always have eye protection,  a good pair of work gloves, and sturdy footwear.  Our workdays typically last 4 hours, so it is important to  bring water and  an energy snack. If you already have a camelbak, those work well, but it not just a water bottle will do.  We are often asked "what tools should I bring?". The short answer is "none"... just bring yourself. ERTA has several tools and typically each Trail Steward will bring several "spares" to equip anyone that shows up willing to help. If you have a lot of tools and still want to bring your own, see this article on "tools of the trade", which explains what are the most common tools used on a workday.

At the Trailhead
Each ERTA workday will start by asking you to sign in and sign a  waiver.  Before work begins one of the Trails Stewards will go over working safely around others, especially as it relates to the tools we will be using.

On the Trail
Depending on the size of the group that shows up, the Trail Steward may divide the group into teams --with each team always being lead by an experienced trailbuilder.   Typical tasks are corridor clearing (removing branches, trees, brush and most vegetation from the trail corridor) and building the singletrack trail tread (usually bench cutting).

Meet great people and have a great time while giving back to the trails!

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