If you’re like me, the coming Labor Day holiday and school starting back up feels more like the beginning of a new year than January 1st does. With that in-mind, I thought now would be an ideal time to share some of the things your Mount Vernon Parks Foundation has been up to, and some of our plans for the near-term - Particularly for Little Mountain Park:
- This past February we saw the release of a FREE GPS smartphone map app developed in conjunction with REI’s Adventure Project, that includes the entire Little Mountain trail system. To-date, more than 1,000 people have registered on our website for Adventure Project apps.
- The month of March brought revising and approving new MVPF bylaws, successfully completing a new volunteer agreement with the City of Mount Vernon, and the onboarding of MVPF’s new Trail Builders leadership - Leah Kiviat & Ian Horton.
- In April we saw the biggest volunteer turnout ever for a Trail Builders event, putting in over 400 man-hours in single day on the new, road-free trail connector trail between Bonnie & Clyde and Upper Surfer’s Way,
- For May, MVPF had two big firsts - One was our Invasive Species Removal Day debut, in which volunteers came out to remove holly and ivy from throughout the Park. Our other first was the launch of the “5th Graders to Little Mountain” program where the educators serving on MVPF’s board designed a custom, Little Mountain curriculum and then lead nearly 300 Mount Vernon School District 5th graders on five separate day hikes through Little Mountain Park.
- With June and July our AWESOME MVPF Trail Builders volunteers finished work on the new (and yet-to-be-named) connector trail. By the way, if you haven’t been on it yet, it’s gorgeous!
- For August, our AWESOME MVPF Trail Builders volunteers have been turning their attention to blazing a new mountain bike flow trail route which will wind from the service road at the top of Huff & Puff all the way down to the future location of the Heart of the Park Trailhead Facility.
- This September our AWESOME MVPF Trail Builders volunteers will go to work on the flow trail, with first dig happening on Saturday, September 9th - CLICK HERE to Learn More
Besides all this serious work, we also have some SERIOUS FUN planned for September 23rd when we’ll be putting on our “2017 Trail Mixer” fundraising event.
The festivities will not only include the 3rd annual LM10K trail run but, also a new 5K fun-run/hike, as well as a BBQ picnic! The starting/finish lines will be at Carpenter Creek Winery (directly across the street from the Park’s south trailhead) where our MC, Mike “in the Morning” Yeoman, will be spinning records and keeping us entertained. 10K/5K registration opens at 9 AM with a 10 AM start time and then followed by the Picnic Celebration from 11 AM to 1 PM. Registration options include: 10K + BBQ, 5K + BBQ, and BBQ Only.
Now for the most exciting news of all…
We are thrilled to report that the City of Mount Vernon has initiated the site engineering study for the “Heart of the Park” Trailhead Facility (aka the "HOP"). When completed later this fall, this study will be determine the final layout of the facility, including where the Mountain Bike Skills Center will be built, which we now anticipate putting our AWESOME MVPF Trail Builders volunteers, and your $65,000+ in HOP donations, to work on as soon as next summer! Even more exciting, is that the City of Mount Vernon’s latest Capital Improvement Budget prioritizes the Heart of the Park Trailhead Facility as the City’s #1 Parks project and identifies $650,000 in funding sources for that work - $300,000 of which is proposed for 2018 construction work on the new, 40 space parking lot! That said, the 2018 funding still needs final authorization and we strongly suggest anyone and everyone who supports this project
My first six months as MVPF President has been a very exciting, and a very productive time, for me and for all of our hard working board members and volunteers. All of the credit for this year’s accomplishments and planning belongs with each and every person whose donated their precious time to bettering Mount Vernon's parks and trail. Thank You.
And believe it, or not, MVPF will have even more big Parks news coming out in just the next few weeks! Until then…
President - MVPF