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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Tuna Valley Trail Association Marilla Trail Race to be held on Oct 8

At the September meeting of the Tuna Valley Association Board of Directors, it was reported that operational plans continue for the upcoming Marilla Trail Race to be held on Oct 8, and everything is coming together. 

Additional discussion and concerns about the original plans for the Cornelius Connection Trail dedication to be held the same day as the race resulted in the rescheduling of the dedication ceremony to Oct 15. It was felt that facilitating the 14 mile race, 7 mile race, and 3 mile hike would be enough to handle in one day. By rescheduling the trail dedication for the following weekend, the ceremony would receive the attention that it deserves. 

The Cornelius Connection Trail is being named in honor of the late Gene Cornelius, one of the founding members of the TVTA organization and Master Trailblazer. Special recognition and thanks were also given to the CareerLink young people who were a huge part in the initial trailblazing needed for the Cornelius Connection Trail. 

Their work allowed advanced development of the trail by the TVTA Geritol Gang with the installation of drainage sluices and walkways over bogs and ditches. It was noted that the CareerLink group also conducted a fundraiser of their own with the proceeds being donated to the TVTA.

Ideas to address the decline in TVTA memberships were presented. Some signs have been purchased to help encourage the community and trail users to join the organization. It was noted that the cost of an individual annual membership is about the same as a meal at a fast food restaurant.

Under trail maintenance and development, the new mowing equipment that was purchased is working very well. Trail mowing was completed in August on the Marilla Overlook Trail, the Marilla Springs Trail, the Marilla Bridges Trail, and the Hidden Valley Trail. Mowing was also completed at Crook Farm on a relocated section of trail as well as the north parking area just prior to their fair and country music festival. Some additional mowing is planned later this fall. The Eagle Trail at Crook Farm, originally blazed and developed by Boy Scout Troop 414 over a decade ago, has also been reestablished by TVTA and is again open for use.

The repairs to the McDowell Trail are underway and should be completed soon. These repairs will address tree root damage, breakdown of bridge approaches, and some drainage problems in different areas along the trail. Costs for these repairs is projected at $21,000.

Work in Hanley Park is nearing completion. The playground equipment has been installed, and the fitness equipment segment has been incorporated as a part of the Community Parks Trail. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled at 2pm on Oct 28 .

Trailhead kiosk informational materials and graphics were presented, and the funding to proceed with development and production was approved.

Additional TVTA organization information is available on Facebook and at The next board meeting will be held on October 4.

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