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President’s Message – December 2011

President’s Message

We’re Back!

The Advocates are back! Technically, we never really left, we just had a few years of, shall we say, “less vigorous activity.” Some of our Board members moved on, and our beloved president, Paul Ticknor, passed away. This definitely took a little wind out of our sails. But, there is a fresh wind blowing and it’s time for us to carry on Paul’s legacy and the Advocates’ Mission.

The Advocates for the Forest of Nisene Marks is a non-profit volunteer organization that supports the maintenance and improvement of the park. We have been executing that Mission since 1992. To learn more about what we do, what we’ve done, and how you can help, please explore our website more thoroughly and don’t forget to ‘Like us’ on Facebook.

Part of the fresh wind in our sails is the renewed commitment of three of our long term Board members: Jeff Thompson (President and Treasurer), Geoff Alexander (Secretary) and ‘Redwood-Ed’ Gilbert (Our Nisene Ambassador).

Joining the Board this year were John Fuchs, Tanya Larson, Allison Livingston and Maureen & Bob Thrash. The combination of the old guard with the new members has brought fresh energy, ideas and talent.

This rebirth began appropriately in the spring with the installation of the seasonal bridges over Aptos Creek. This is always a much anticipated sign of the season for the Advocates and all of the Park users. It’s an exciting day and we had a great turn-out. We had enough volunteers to split into two crews (a crew for each bridge).

The volunteers worked under the patience, guidance and good humor of Park Maintenance personnel Barbi Barry and Patrick Courtright, along with Advocates board members Tanya Larsen and Geoff Alexander. Each year we barely get the bridges built before they are inundated with runners, cyclists, hikers and families with dogs and strollers. Possibly, some day, we’ll get a permanent bridge. Until then, we’ll continue putting up the bridges in the spring and taking them down in the fall. It’s a tradition!

Trail Work: Vienna Woods Trail

We also performed some long overdue clearing and maintenance on the Vienna Woods trail, including the installation of a culvert on a particularly bad section of trail that we were in danger of losing. Patrick Courtright and Bob Thrash were the ‘engineers’ on this project. Mission accomplished, and just in time for the winter rains. We are pleased to report that the repair is holding up quite well.

Winter Winds

A massive wind storm blew into the Park on the 1st of December. Downed trees, limbs and duff covered the fire road and all of the trails throughout the Park. This wind event insured a lot of trail work ahead for the coming year. With all the downed limbs, the Park smelled like fresh cut Christmas trees for months. It was kind of nice. And the fire road looked like a narrow single-track trail. The mountain bikers liked that!

A Look Ahead: 2012

2012 not only promises to be a productive year for the Advocates, it’s also a milestone year for us. It’s our 20th Birthday. The Advocates were founded in 1992 by Jeff Hicks, Jim Nee and Sandy Lydon. It’s been a wonderful 20 years, and we look forward to what the next 20 years may bring.

So, with renewed energy, a full Board of Directors, incredible volunteers and generous donors we look to hit the ground running in the New Year. We are looking forward to great things, big and small. Become a member, volunteer on trail work days and/or make a donation. We can’t do it without you. We rely entirely on your contributions, and those contributions truly are making a difference in the Park!

Happy New Year everybody!

Geoff Alexander
President, Board of Directors

John Fuchs
Vice-President, Board of Directors