Volunteers & Partners
Volunteers: A Premium Renewable Resource
Agencies struggling to find funding for construction and maintenance should consider the considerable return that can accrue from developing a volunteer program; a well-organized group of volunteers can keep trail maintenance and construction costs to a manageable level.
Recruiting and retaining volunteers requires a variety of skills, from marketing and publicity to training and event organization/management.
Our experience in volunteer recruitment and event management has delivered more than 75,000 labor hours and the construction of more than 50 miles of new trail, plus many more miles of trail maintenance. We can help set up a volunteer program, provide training in volunteer coordination and train crew leaders.
Partners in Trailblazing
The trails community is a brother/sisterhood of professionals and volunteers who love the outdoors and are devoted to ensuring that our natural areas are protected and safe for future generations to enjoy. These are “our people,” and we encourage you to support them with your business and, in the case of the non-profits, contributions.
There’s much to be said about looking forward to a hard day in the field because of the people with whom you will be working, and that’s true for everyone on this list. Several of the people in these organizations and businesses have become hiking and mountain biking companions.
Non-Profit Trail Organizations
Southwest Trail Solutions provides financial and in-kind services to organizations that share our enthusiasm for trails and could benefit from our assistance.
0S3 (Zero Stress Movement)
It has been our pleasure to help this exceptionally worthy Borderlands youth group develop trails on city property, and to discover that Nogales is one of the most vibrant and supportive communities we’ve encountered. “0S3 Reptilian” cyclists learn about teamwork, caring for the environment and contributing to their community while participating in fitness activities and competition.
The hub of all things trail, this is our go-to resource for research and information. Their International Trails Symposium is the place to go to learn about new trends and initiatives and to network with the trails community.
Arizona Trail Association
The ATA is the organization that was behind building this 800-mile cross-state trail and now is providing invaluable support to the trail, the agencies through whose land it runs, and all the hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians who use the trail. Mark and Neil both volunteer to help the ATA with its mission.
Navajo Nation Trails Initiative
In 2014-2015 Mark and Neil made many trips to the Navajo Nation, teaching design and construction skills and helping communities develop trails both for the health of the Dinè, and, where desired, economic development/ecotourism.
Summit For Arizona Trails
Formed in 2019, this organization brings the Arizona trails community together to solve problems and share information and strategies for improving trails throughout the state.
Colleagues and Associates
American Conservation Experience
ACE provides leadership and training for volunteers working on environmental restoration and trail projects throughout the United States. Their commitment to environmental protection, and sustainable trails, brings these critical values to the volunteers, many of whom may find careers in the conservation field.
Longtime trail builder, designer and trainer Matt Roberts brings a wealth of experience to benefit the trails community, and we’ve found him an ideal colleague in working on trail projects, especially when they involve challenging terrain and machine builds.
Harris Environmental Group
One of several environmental services firms that we have worked with, HEG’s staff are consummate professionals and a real pleasure to work with.
Pine-Strawberry Fuel Reduction, Inc.
The Pine-Strawberry community has developed trail-based recreation into a substantial economic engine, thanks in large part to Pine-Strawberry Fuel Reduction. While their primary focus has been on keeping the area safe from wildfires, they recognize that the same space provides opportunities for trails that benefit residents and local business.
Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists
Tucson-based Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists is a group of trail advocates who happen to like riding mountain bikes. Their partnership with Pima County has contributed thousands of hours, and many thousands of dollars, for new trails and reroutes in county parks. Their involvement in trail work has built a base of skilled trail builders and designers, providing additional help for Southwest Trail Solutions and other members of the trails community.
SWCA is another environmental services company that we’ve found to be good colleagues and professionals. When you spend a lot of days in the field with people, professionalism and positive attitudes help make the work flow smoothly, and all of our days with SWCA have been a pleasure.
Tierra Right of Way Services
Our work with Tierra took us on a long hike, performing an assessment of the Black Canyon Trail for the BLM. Their positive approach helped make those long miles much more tolerable.
Hiking and introducing people to trails led Sirena Rana Dufault to make a career of her love for Nature. Her tech-savvy, communications skills, years of volunteering and working on trails, and positive approach to problem-solving have made Trails Inspire a valued colleague.
We’ve shared some of our most challenging work with the Westland team, and we’re glad to have them by our side. They were committed to getting it right despite the difficulty, and able to do so with good humor.