uman Powered Trails, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is: “To develop and maintain first class sustainable and environmentally correct, human-powered, shared use trails for the La Crosse, WI region."
|Transition Time for Human Powered Trails, Inc.|
|Written by Marvin Wanders|
|Tuesday, 10 April 2012 09:53|
Transition, growth, change and protection are all words that come to mind when we look at the end of year 2011 and start making progress towards a successful year 2012 and beyond.
After months of strategic planning and hard work, in November of 2011, the HPT Board of Directors made a decision to greatly expand and broaden the vision of HPT to benefit our silent sports and regional community. Within the focus are all of the silent sports we love; hiking, trail running, cross country skiing, singletrack mountain biking, road biking, snow shoeing, bird watching, dog walking, canoeing, kayaking and many more. Initially, this focus will be on developing silent sports infrastructure in the City of La Crosse and La Crosse County emphasizing Land Trails, Blue (water) Trails, and Road Trails. The development of this infrastructure will lead to expanded opportunities for accessibility to outdoor activities for more citizens of all abilities, better mapping and signage, more and new shared use land trails, and additional and improved canoe and kayak landings.
In order for this new vision to move forward, the HPT Board realized that one of the keys is to create an expanded strategic community based organizational structure. Subsequently, the HPT Board chose to realign itself and voted in a new structure and organization. The new Board includes four permanent representative positions from the following organizations: The EcoPark, the La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Mississippi Valley Conservancy and the City of La Crosse Park Board. Further, the new Board will include 7 representatives of silent sports in our region, with two of the seven representatives moving over from the previous HPT Board. In November, 2011, this change was adopted and the new Board consists of the following members:
Additionally, Marvin Wanders volunteered and was tasked by the Board to serve in the capacity of a non-paid Executive Director until paid staff can be put in place.
The following are the current committees of the new Board:
While it will take some time for the new Board to work through the “nuts and bolts” of a new board structure, progress is already being made. Several meetings have already been held with local officials with the following projects underway:
The primary focus and goal of the Executive Director in 2012 will be to pursue and secure “gap” funding in order to hire full time staff as soon as possible. This goal is key to building a sustainable organization. We all understand that volunteers are, and will always be, critical to the success of our strategic plan. We also understand that volunteers can only carry an organization so far. In order to fully develop our strategic plan, we will need full time staff. Some of the duties of full time staff will include:
Work collaboratively with local governments to pursue funding to advance our infrastructure
Please know that all are invited to join a Committee of your choice and attend the Board meetings. Regular Board meetings are scheduled for the third Monday of the month at 7:00 pm at the Myrick Hixon EcoPark building. Currently, the Land Trails Committee also meets on the third Monday of the month at 5:30 pm at the Myrick Hixon EcoPark building.
Our expanded vision has caused our mission to broaden. But one thing has not changed, VOLUNTEERS ARE CRITICAL and we are ALL still needed to move our vision and mission forward. Please understand that we find ourselves at an exciting crossroads. We have positioned this organization to be the leader in controlling the destiny of silent sports activities in our region for generations to come. This will take much hard work, and more of your continued time, talents and treasures. As always, “Let’s Make it Happen!”
Marvin Wanders Executive Director