I am Dave Magill and I am running for the position of MD Advocacy Director for 2017-18. I have been on the board for 4 years and a trail liaison at Schaeffer Farm since 1995. In the role of Trails Director I have been responsible for guiding MORE’s programs and people who build, maintain, fund and advocate for trails throughout the entire MORE territory, all 600 miles of them. This year MORE is splitting this job in two geographically; there will be separate MD and VA advocacy directors, and Steve DonTigny will manage DC trails matters. Although the job title is being changed from Trails Director to Advocacy Director, the job scope is still the same; build, maintain, fund and advocate for trails.
MORE is one of the most successful trail building and advocacy clubs in the nation. That is because of our huge core of dedicated volunteers, especially our trail liaisons and our trail boss. Every one of MORE’s 50 parks has 1 or 2 trail liaisons, 70 in all right now. Trail liaisons are the leaders for their trails and bike parks; they “act like owners”, they just keep trying to make their parks better, more fun, more inclusive, more challenging. Liaisons also build communities around their trails, teams of volunteers from occasional to every work day, people who gain pride in their trails, who ride a section of trail and think “I built that, I did that”. MORE is coming into its 25th year; the liaison system was written into our first bylaws and has worked incredibly well, and is allowing MORE to seamlessly add more parks and more trails to our club every year.
So if you re-elect me, I want to continue to empower trail liaisons in MD to do the amazing things they have been doing. Just look at the success at the Watershed, Bacon Ridge, Ten Mile Creek, Emmitsburg, Brunswick, Patapsco, Rosaryville to name a few. MORE is going to have more opportunities like these in the next two years, and I want to support the many MORE trail communities as they keep making trails better.
We also have a handful of tough challenges in MD, places like Loch Raven where access is not what it should be. I am not exactly a patient person, but patience and persistence go together. The MD and VA advocacy directors are going to keep working with our liaisons on these tough issues and we will not give up on them, because what MORE is asking for is so reasonable.
I also want to keep expanding MORE’s outreach and coordination with other trail user groups. This has been a grassroots movement, with liaisons leading the way to develop trail communities with hikers, runners, equestrians, all trail users. We are stronger together. Special recognition should go the example set by the Patapsco team for their leadership in building an amazing all-user community and in mobilizing that community to do great things. Another example is opening up Pepco’s power line rights of way to trails; by joining with hikers and equestrians our voices are about to open a whole new chapter in trail connections throughout a large part of MD.
The board, the staff and liaisons are all volunteers; we try to never forget that when we are asking people to do something, to lead something. In return I want to make sure MORE as a club keeps providing the resources to our volunteers for our trail success; tools, workday notices, special purpose trail funds that let people give to individual projects, training for newer liaisons, communication outreach for tough advocacy issues, grant requests. That is what I will do if you re-elect me