Stewardship Tip: Trail Signs with Stewardship Focus
While working on Nature Groupie's Trail Maintenance for Volunteers Stewardship Training Guides, our staff got to thinking about trails and their role in connecting people to conserved land. Have you noticed trails near you with no signs? We have. Have you met people who admit that they won't use a trail without signs? We have. Do you know trails that are under-loved or an organization that could use more funding for stewardship? We do. We've been keeping our eyes peeled for creative trail signs that alert users to the stewardship needs of our lands and trails.
Trails Do Not Magically Appear
The trail sign above is used by the Island Heritage Trust of Deer Isle, Maine and is near a map of the property. This sign tells a different story than how to get from here to there. Instead, it sends other messages to the user: trails require maintenance and funding to exist (trails don't just magically appear!); look for this logo on other trails managed by us; thank you to the person (in this case, "anonymous") who funded upkeep this winter; you too can support this trail and be recognized for your contribution.
These Trails Brought to You by...
This sign from the Musquash Conservation Area in Londonderry, New Hampshire has a lot of important and useful information for users: a map, GPS coordinates, and the name of the nearest trailhead. And what else? Information about who owns the land (Londonderry Conservation Commission) and who helps manage the trails, Londonderry Trailways.
Do you know of other examples that highlight the connection between trails and stewardship in your community? Send us your pictures and we'll add them! firstname.lastname@example.org