This year GROC turned 10 years old! Our contributions have been publicly recognized several times over the years for the positive impact on the community including awards for volunteer work from Genesee Valley Recreation and Park Society and the Rochester Parks Society. We also received an award from Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks for asset building in the community. We have received two proclamations from the Monroe County Legislature recognizing GROC's efforts in the community and the improvements to our local parks. The second proclamation was presented on 11/14/2014 by legislators Dan Quatro and Debbie Drawe at full meeting of the Monroe County Legislature.
This year we became an IMBA Chapter, one of only a few in this region. Being an IMBA Chapter provides GROC additional credibility and more opportunity to develop and maintain shared-use trails. Anthony Duncan, IMBA's Mid-Atlantic Regional Director spent a few days with us recently and helped present a sustainable trail building seminar at Ontario County Park. GROC contacted other trail organizations and local land managers and invited them to attend. Despite the cold weather and snow, we had a good number of participants join us for the event.
Where we have been?
A look back to where we started and a review of all the work and time invested by our volunteers really inspires us to continue our efforts. GROC can only exist with participation of the community. We have put a significant number of hours into our local parks over the last 10 years and have brought shared-use trails to Monroe County Parks for the very first time. The Ellison Parks Master Plan was the fight that changed the conversation and the trail work we have done since has proven that the off-road cycling community is a significant resource. GROC has contributed over $250,000 dollars in volunteer hours since 2008.
Check out this 2014 Year in Review for the stats and the value of what our volunteers have done since 2008:
Where can we go?
GROC has a tremendous amount of opportunity. There are 21 Monroe County Parks yet today only 2 are designated for shared-use. In order to begin the process of opening more parks, GROC needs to organize around the County's Master Plan process. There are three park master plans currently being developed. These include Webster Park, Mendon Ponds Park and Powder Mills Park. There have already been some public-input meetings and there will be more in the future. We would all love to see more parks open but trail access comes at a cost. The cost is in leaders and volunteers to build, maintain, and support the park for shared-use. We will need your help in order for GROC to organize an effort to open additional parks.
How can you help?
We all want to see more trails move to shared-use status but there is a lot of work that goes into developing, managing and maintaining trails. Before we can consider new trails, we need to be able to support and maintain the ones we have access to today. The quality of our trails has a direct impact on being able to open additional parks for off-road cycling. So what can you do? GROC needs more than just the volunteers who show up to trail work days. WE NEED LEADERS. Leaders are GROC members who adopt a park they are interested in to take on the role of organizing volunteers for work parties and working with the land managers as GROC's representative.
If you live near a park where you would like to see trails opened for off-road cycling then please consider contacting GROC about becoming a Trail Crew Leader. Don't worry if you don't have much experience. We can help and train you. We are looking for those who love their local park and want to see it open for shared-use.
Thank you to all the volunteers and Trail Crew Leaders who have been keeping our current shared-use parks in great shape.
Dryer Road Park - Mark and Mary Lee Rosenzweig
West Bay Park - Adam Reitz
Ontario County Park - Pete Landre
Tryon Park - Mark Dunn
Please visit the Trail Crew Meetup website to join Trail Crew or to contact me or any of the Trail Crew Leaders: http://mygroc.com/trailcrew
Thank you again for a great year!
Check out this 10 year video timeline