Mid-Atlantic-Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Board Meeting
REI Tyson’s Corner
June 12, 2017
Board Members Present
- Ernie Rodriguez, President
- Rob Lowe, Vice-President
- Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
- Jeff Niner, VA Advocacy Director
- Tom Howe, Membership Director
- Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
- Aaron Richter, Treasurer
- Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director
MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests
- Steve Dontigny, MORE Executive Director
- Jonah Meyers, MORE Vice-Treasurer
- Jonathan Kidwell, MORE Trail Boss
- Brad Hawk, MORE Ride Coordinator
Item #1: 2017 Budget/Financial Review + Gala Financials (Aaron)
Budget is looking good. Thus far in the calendar year we’ve earned ~$20K in membership donations and $1K in interest made on our investments.
Gala raised $14,484 ($7,200 in tickets). We’re still waiting to see if/when we get our deposit back. Many lessons learned. Happy to report that we’ve made money from this event. Next event may be five years from now, for a 30th anniversary.
Item #2: Membership Update (Ernie)
As of this month, we’re at 1,452 members.
Item #3 MD Trails Update (Dave)
Rivers Edge: Call tomorrow w/MD State Highway Administration. They have not signed any of the MOUs that were awarded over 12 months ago. We want to use the grant from the city of Brunswick to match the existing grant. A slow process. It’s a $15K grant and there must be a $7,500 matching grant to see this to completion. We’re trying to use volunteer hours for the match. No volunteer work completed before the grant was signed will be applicable to list as “costs” towards the $7,500 matching grant. SHA requiring a much more specific plan for how we provide the match (hours vs. $’s) and what it is used for (work plan) than in past years.
Gambril and Frederick Watershed: good turnout during recent volunteer workdays. Still awaiting land survey for the FY2017 grant. SHA wont execute the grant until the specific trail(s) we plan to work on are identified.
Emmitsburg: Nothing to report.
Patuxent: Dan Hudson is responsible for the MD Department of Natural Resources permits. New co-trail liaison for Patuxent, Steven Cover. *Dave reached out to a local equestrian organization to collaborate at Patuxent for volunteer trial work and funding. The organization is PBHTA (Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trails Association, http://pbhta.org).
Hashawha (Carrol Co.): Ride this coming weekend (August 19/20) on Sunday the 20th. It will be MORE’s Trial Series Ride #3.
Patapsco: Patapsco Trail fest organizers have extended an invitation to MORE BoD, liaisons and staff to ride and participate for free.
Seneca Creek State Park (SCSP): The park-funded design for hiker/biker bridges (lighter and easier to build vs. equestrian bridges) is done; this was paid out of SCSP’s budget.
Rosaryville: The large bridge is out (land around it washed out). This is the third “temporary” bridge fix before a longer-term bridge can be installed.
Bacon Ridge (Anne Arundel Co.): Nothing to report
Damascus: Four miles of trails built and nearly ready to open.
NW Branch Trail: Three miles of trails being built to extend current four miles of trails will soon be open.
Schaeffer and Muddy Branch: Pepco is looking good to approve and permit the connector between these parks and hopes to get work started (to be done by MoCo Parks and MORE) later this year.
Cedarville: the recent ride event was cancelled due to rain.
Chesapeake: *MD trails committee approved the allocation of $1K from the general trails fund to the Chesapeake Trails Fund for Chris Garrett to buy tools.
MoCo Ride Center Application Update (Dave): Application will soon go to IMBA for consideration. MoCo has the lead for the application, w/assistance by MORE BoD and staff. Feedback was received on the application that focused on details and information regarding trial types in the area. MoCo will fund the “professional services” to evaluate the application (i.e. someone from IMBA will ride the trails over a week-long period). This is supported by Casey Anderson of MoCo Park and Planning.
There is also a discussion about a new “urban/metro ride center” concept that IMBA may create that IMBA thinks would be well suited for the DC metro area.
Item #4 VA Trail and Advocacy Update (Jeff)
Bull Run to Occoquan Trail (BROT): Applied Trails Research (ATR) (https://appliedtrailsresearch.com ) has been selected to complete the trail assessment for BROT. We expect to have the assessment completed and work started by end of 2017 or early spring 2018.
NoVA Parks HQ: Met w/Barbara Nugent. Discussed Lake Fairfax pump track and an award for building community and maintaining the pump track. Discussed Mt. Vernon Park status; working w/the Park manager on education and other opportunities. Working to set up a future meeting with Fairfax County Park Board member Lynwood Gorham after the August recess period for access to Mount Vernon. Goal is to eventually be granted approval for MORE to take over the trail maintenance for the park.
Conway Robinson: looking to work a re-route at bottom of a hill.
Meadowood: MORE’s liaison is looking to work w/Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on a re-route at bottom of creek. Possibly a boardwalk.
Laurel Hill: Looking to restore current trails but plan must be approved by local users, i.e. equestrians. Mike Applegate and Chris Morin have been very, very active at Laurel Hill doing great work. Kyle Bondo is working with FCPA and trail liaisons to host a race at Laurel Hill.
Accotink: Volunteer workday is needed–Trails could use some brushwork, downed tree removal and cutting. Looking to hold a trail workday in the near future.
Wakefield: A trail-work day should be organized in the future—need is there.
Loudoun County: MORE is looking to get more involved in Loudoun Co.
Loudoun Co. has reached out to MORE for trail master planning support. IMBA will be involved in a future telecom w/County staff—the idea is that IMBA would design the trail and MORE would build it.
Trails Summit in Stokesville: IMBA coordinated a mountain biking summit at the Stokesville Loge through a grant from a MORE member to create the VA MTB Alliance. The VA MTB Alliance is an advocacy and networking organization designed to share ideas and best practices among all VA mountain biking organizations while creating a stronger advocacy voice with land managers and elected officials.
Purceville Watershed: Jay Pelletier is looking to participate as the trail liaison and get MORE members riding on the trails.
Prince William County: Trail Building Workshop in Prince William Co. and partnership w/Ryan Delaney: (Sept. 9/10): looking to support at next month’s workshop. A two-day class put on by Applied Trails Research. Ryan D. has extended an invitation to MORE members who are considering becoming trail liaisons.
Motion put forward by Jeff Niner: to re-allocate $16K from the General Trails Fund and $15K from the Fort DuPont fund to support BROT upgrades. The original source of these funds were REI grants, and REI supports the reallocation of the grants to the BROT. Applied Trail Research (ATR) is making the assessment to re-do the trail from fountainhead to the marina. Motion passed unanimously by BoD.
Motion put forward by Dave Magill: to move $13K from the 25th Gala Event proceeds into the Grants Working Capital Fund. Motion passed unanimously by BoD.
Item #5: VA Mountain Bike Alliance (Ernie/Steve)
IMBA organized chapters and unaffiliated mountain biking organizations including MORE is working as a forum to coordinate, share best practices, and creating a unified voice regarding MTB trials in VA. VA MTB Alliance its own entity which Steve and Ernie will participate with along with other volunteers interested in advocacy. It looks to be the beginning of a great information-sharing group with joint advocacy benefits. No cost to MORE. Richmond, Roanoke, MORE, CAMBO, Lynchburg, Shenandoah and a couple of other clubs initially attended and the group is looking to involve other groups like Quantico and Prince William Co. trails.
Item # 6: MoCo Epic Update (Steve)
MORE is close to similar registered numbers at this time last year; we are 12 fewer than last year. Email marketing is helping and MORE is currently delivering hard-mail marketing into the field. Two potential beer sponsors: Denizen and Smoketown brewery. Denizen offered to donate two kegs and sell MORE additional kegs at wholesale price. Denizen will provide a tap system for the day. Steve will continue to reach-out to other breweries. Action: BoD recommends reaching out to DC Brau, and in any case ensure there is enough can beer at the event given how high the demand is when all the riders return in the afternoon. (Greg and Steve to coordinate). Working w/Whole Foods to supply some of the aid stations w/drinks and fresh fruits. Action: Steve to ensure vendors know they have to supply their own refrigeration.
Bike route issue: a routing issue in Kentlands—re-routing around an October Fest celebration already in place at Kentlands.
Committee update: Steve needs to meet w/the groups and get the volunteers up and running: Trails, marking/clearings, parking, course marshals, beer servers, etc.
Permitting is underway; scheduled to meet w/the parks at the end of this month.
Item #7: National Public Lands Day (Ernie)
National Public Lands Day is October 1st. MORE does not yet have a coordination/outreach plan. REI wants to be included and involved. Jeff and Dave will coordinate and develop a plan.
Item #8: 25 for 25 Funding (Ernie)
The BoD needs to start advertising it. Ernie will work with Martin to develop webpage and social media blitz in support of the $25 for 25 years fundraising campaign.
Item #9: Fundraising Effort Update (Ernie)
Action: Board Members are asked to provide updates to the Fundraising Plan Steve drafted six months ago. Action Item: all board members will report fundraising contacts at our next board meeting.
Item #10: Winter Membership Meeting (Carlos)
Q: Shall we reserve the Caulfield Center or look for another venue? A: YES—lock it in, but let’s also be on the lookout for another venue for next year, where riding is close-by, such as the facility at Fairland Regional Park near the Icehouse Pavilion. Action: Carlos will look at options at Fairland regional Park. The Winter Membership Meeting will be held the day before Super Bowl in early February 2018 as in years past to maximize attendance. Need to focus on the details for swag: Cannondale, Shimano, Trek, etc. MORE is looking to recognize trail volunteers, members. We will begin the silver spokes award process for nominations, voting and coordination of awards.
Q: What about the summer member’s meeting location? Action: Carlos should also reserve the summer venue at the same location and do this within the next two weeks.
Item #11: Communication Schedule & Fall Trailhead News (Rob)
Rob is reviewing all of MORE’s communication activities—Trailhead news will go out in the future (i.e. by the end of September, Quarter Three). Need to Solicit articles & topics from BoD, staff, and MORE members. Q: When are MORE’s major events happening? A: They seem to be bunched up in late spring, summer, and fall. What about getting a trail work calendar out at regular intervals? Ernie: three months ago we talked about assignments for all the BoD. Action: Ernie will follow-up on trial descriptions and reminders for BoD’s responsibilities for communications.
Item #12: General Topics
Q: When will elections be held for the vacant Board positions (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Operations)? Late November/early December. Strategy session will be held in early November (11/12). Next month will most likely be Aaron’s last BoD meeting but will work remotely to support the BoD. Fall Camping Trip in September is also on the calendar.
*The next MORE Board meeting with be September 11th at REI in MD, 7PM-9PM.
July 2017 MORE BoD, Staff, and Member Activities for the August Report
President – Ernest Rodriguez
- Work with Tom to send out reminder emails to lapsed and expiring members for renewal
- Send out daily “Thank you” emails to renewing members
- Attended DirtFest at Big Bear in WV as MORE
- Attended MORE’s 25th anniversary gala
- Attend and join newly formed “VA MTB Alliance” with Steve
- Focus is on networking for sharing ideas, best practices and creating a strong state voice for advocacy
- Attended meeting with Steve DonTigny and Ryan DeLaney with Congressman Don Beyer for MTB advocacy
- Attended meeting with National Park Service with Steve DonTigny and volunteers for trails, reroutes and possible pump track
- Working with NOVA Parks on selection and path forward with BROT sustainability work
- Participated on Gala committee planning
- Sent out personal emails to members encouraging them to attend our fundraising gala
- Processed and tracked gala ticket sales and donations
- Processed Women’s Intermediate MTB Class registrations for Simona and Anne
- Participated in IMBA’s Ride Center discussions and application for MoCo
- Applied for grant from Keen shoes, “Keen Effect”
- Created website and Facebook post
- Trails committee, tool grant for Chris Garret to support building new trails in Carrol County
Executive Director – Steve DonTigny
- Public Open House – Benjamin Banneker Park Project
- Ft Dupont NPS meeting
- Gala Committee calls
- 25th Gala Event
- Staff Calls
- Capital Trails Coalition meeting
- VA MTB Alliance weekend
- Google drive and contacts database
- OA planning calls
- OA Meeting with Rep. Beyer
- MoCo Epic:
- marketing materials to VA shops, MD volunteers
- Whole Foods meeting, contract
- Beer sponsors
- Final permitting
- Aid Station letters and confirmations
- BikeReg account and emails
- MoCo 2017 Signups – 141 Riders / 191 with Volunteers – 2016 – 203 at same point.
- The 25 Miler: 21
- The Whole Foods 40M 66
- The Shimano 55M 15
- The Sandy Spring 75M 23
- Sweeper/Course Demark 16
Vice President – Rob Lowe
- Lead Wakefield Rides
- Ad-hoc Wakefield and Accotink Trailwork/Trimming
- Aug BOD Meeting Agenda and July Activities Report
- Attended 25th Anniversary Gala
- Communication Schedule Research
Treasurer – Aaron Richter
- Prepared books and paid checks
- Meet with CPA and finalized 2016 tax return and financial review
- Attended 25 Gala
- Attended MORE EF ride
Operations – Greg Dwyer
- Gala Event participation and beer delivery
- Secured small business donation for the Gala–Shine Massage of Riverdale, MD
- Recruiting for upcoming BOD position(s)
- Social media postings throughout the period
MD Trail Advocacy – Dave Magill
- Developed and submitted IMBA Ride Center application for MoCo, obtained IMBA feedback, working on revised application
- Drafted and submitted MORE maintenance agreement for the Pepco trail to MoCo Parks
- Worked with Carlo Alfano on Rivers Edge RTP grant, trying to get SHA to accept our plan and execute the grant MOU, redrafted the application
- Collected GPS data at Patuxent River for submission to DNR for permitting
- Processed grant request from Chris Garrett for Chesapeake Church Trail with Trails Committee
- Arranged delivery of more pervious pavers to SCSP
- Led Schaeffer Farm trail workday
- Helped organize Hashawha ride and communication between our liaison and parks dept
VA Advocacy – Jeff Niner
- Met with NoVA Parks rep at their HQ to discuss status/way ahead for Mt Vernon Park
- Pushed ticket sales/Attended 25th Anniversary Gala
- Scheduled meeting w/ Mt Vernon Park Supervisor
- Drafted Email to VA Trail Liaisons re Trail building workshop (9/9-10)
- Distributed MORE promotional materials (stickers and hang tags) at FH parking lot on 8/5
Member Representative – Tom Howe
- Working with Ernie to take over reminder emails to lapsed and expiring members for renewal
- Working with Ernie to take over sending of the daily “Thank you” emails to renewing members
- Working with Ernie to streamline / understand process of automatic email notifications for membership sign-ups
- Attended MORE’s 25th anniversary gala
Activities Director – Carlos Alfaro
- Assist with 25th Anniversary Gala
- Attend 25th Anniversary Gala
Trail Boss – Jonathan Kidwell
- Updated website and Track it Forward
- Began distribution of tools to liaisons
- Attended 25th anniversary gala
Ride Coordinator – Brad Hawk
- Attended 25th Gala
- Various social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter) postings
Fundraising Development – Jonah Myers
- OA DMV planning call
- OA DMV meeting with Rep. Beyer
- Donations tracking
- BOD recruiting
Historian and Website – Martin Fernandez
- Web maintenance
- Member communication; mostly forwarding answering queries from site/Facebook
- Participated in Gala committee; gathered solicited imagery and put together anniversary video; reached out to old members for messages