March 2107 Board Meeting Minutes + Board & Staff Activity Reports

Mid-Atlantic-Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Board Meeting

Held Via teleconference

March 13, 2017


Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez, President
  2. Aaron Richter, Treasurer
  3. Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
  4. Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director
  5. Jeff Niner, VA Advocacy Director
  6. Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
  7. Tom Howe, Membership Director

MORE Staff, MORE Members, and Guests

  1. Steve Dontigny, MORE Executive Director
  2. Jonah Meyers, Vice-Treasurer
  3. Jonathan Kidwell, Trail Boss
  4. Martin Fernandez, MORE member and former Board member
  5. Mike Pellerin
  6. Karen Garnet

Item #1: MORE Insurance Overview

Meeting began with Mike Pellerin providing an update of MORE’s liability insurance coverage renewed on March 1, 2017.  MORE renewed at the same rate and same coverage for $14,200 plus and additional rider for the MoCo Epic, costing an additional $2,500.  MORE events are covered under MORE’s liability insurance as long as they are not open to the general public like the MoCo Epic which requires an additional insurance rider.  MORE is not covered for moving features and we need to be diligent in removing or alerting land managers to moving features.  Additional insured may be named on our liability insurance policy at no cost to MORE.  Additional insured are landowners who require indemnification from Memorandum of Understanding agreements.  Mike will research use of electronic waivers in DC, MD and VA.

Item #2: MD Advocacy Update (Dave Magill)

General Discussion: MORE will continue working with MD-Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  MD-DNR protects natural surface trails and establishes policies and procedures allowing access when no damage will result to trails.

  1. Brunswick Rivers Edge and Frederick Watershed: MOU’s have been signed for both RTP recipients; Brunswick Rivers Edge and Frederick Watershed.  Both Rivers Edge and Watershed are working through the NEPA process.  There is another project to sign the Frederick Watershed in the planning phase.
  2. Emmitsburg: Tim O’Donnell in his role of land manager is applying for a trail award to recognize Emmitsburg trails.
  3. Northwest Branch: future increase of trails based on recent land purchase by M-NCPPC/ Additional 500 acres purchased on northwest corner of 10-mile creek. Black Hills would be connected (partially) to Little Bennet. Connectivity will take time as negotiations with developers will take time.
  4. Patapsco: Nothing to report at this time.
  5. Rosaryville: Dave provided an update on Rosaryville meeting with MD- DNR. Previously, trail work and permission issues have been worked through the Rosaryville Conservation Trust.  Issues discussed included rebuilding the inter loop, future stream restoration projects, and possibility of winter closings.
  6. Bacon Ridge: Nothing to report at this time.
  7. Northwest Branch: Open with Shaun Punga and Tom Newton as co-liaisons.

Vote: Motion to transfer $10K of unrestricted general funds into MORE’s Working Capita Grant Fund (Patuxent, Frederick Watershed, and Brunswick). Motion was seconded (Dwyer), vote taken, and motion passed unanimously.

Vote: Motion to move half of the net proceeds ($10K) from 2016 MoCo event in MORE’s unrestricted funds section to MORE’s MoCo Reinvestment Fund. Motion was seconded (Dwyer), vote taken, and motion passed unanimously.

2017 MoCo Epic Event funds transfer (Dave):

Board and Steve Dontigny should be considering how funds would be reinvested in 2017. Steve: Going forward, it’s good to understand the split between spent funds and remaining funds. One idea is to spread the funds around to trail networks in the region.

Winter Liaison meeting (Dave):

All Board members invited. There will be a pre-ride before the meeting. Meeting will take place from 1-4 in Silver Spring. Martin suggested folks from Quantico and Richmond bike clubs attend (they are confirmed).

Item #3: VA Advocacy Update (Jeff Niner)

General Update: Taking time to understand the current issues of all VA trail liaisons. Have met with many of the VA liaisons, but still many more to interact with. A survey email and welcome email has been sent to all VA trail liaisons. All liaisons want MORE’s support with trail workdays and assistance with tools.

  1. Lake Fairfax: A meeting for the VA Trail Liaisons (TL) is in the works sometime after the March TL meeting on March 26th. The VA TL Meeting date and time is TBD.
  2. BROT: On 16 August, there will be a trail survey of the BROT.
  3. GW Forest: Current liaisons are looking to pass the torch. Tom is looking for a replacement, as current team is ready to pass the work on.   Approximately 350 miles of trails. Current liaisons are looking for someone to take over 11 miles of trails that are managed by the Forest Service.

Item #4: Financials (Aaron) *Covered at end of meeting

Looking to push for spring fundraising activities—push liaisons to get additional restricted donations to their specific parks.

Item #5: DC Advocacy Update (Steve Dontigny)

Ft. DuPont Park (FDP): MORE has been asked to lead a ride in the spring (April) for the Riverfest event. Current trail is largely a cinder-based trail. Rode different parts of the trail this past weekend to understand its current situation, to look at alternate routes, and to prepare FDP for the April Riverfest event.   Request to meet w/new park superintendent has been made this week; Steve will deliver MORE’s proposal to care for the trail system in FDP. There is no true single track in FDP. There is an individual who has offered to serve as FDP trail liaison. A big job ahead for MORE to clean, build, manage, and promote the trails in FDP. We have funds in the form of the REI grant ($15K) that need to be put to this project.

Item #5: Donor Development (Steve Dontigny)

Sent out donor contact sheet to each board member this morning; intent is to have each Board member contact individuals on their list. Dave Magill: Do we have a stock presentation about MORE to distribute via email to each potential donor? Steve: Yes, we can update what we created in 2016. Specifically, the “Who is MORE” presentation and the case for support document, though this needs updating. Dave: Need to also update the 10,000 hours of volunteers in our social media so that potential donors can see this. Also, interacting w/our local Chambers of Commerce is an excellent way to reach local businesses and others who support us.   Steve: a powerful argument to donors for funding MORE is that trails assist in keeping users healthy and active; this is a major issue in our current political conversation regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Action for Martin F.: MORE should have a “25 for 25” page on the website to show our metrics, our plan for 2017, and our supporters.  

Item #6: 25th Anniversary Gala (Karen)

Ernie: Updated the Board on current status and past actions. Board authorized an initial $5K to fund the event.

Karen: Committee has explored many options and approaches to the July event. The committee is still reviewing all of its options for venues, prices, numbers of attendees, etc. Venues are expensive. Looking to accommodate approximately 100 people. Committee is looking at an event in downtown Washington, DC. Date is an issue. Target date is July 29th (Saturday evening). $5K would not cover the event at venues we’re looking at. The Loft is where we’re currently looking (downtown, near metro center); we would not have to look at outside caterer at The Loft. Committee is looking at heavy appetizers instead of a sit-down dinner. Looking at a six-hour rental. Karen and the committee will keep the Board informed and updated.

Item #7: Grant Discussion and DMV Outdoor Alliance (Jonah Meyers)

Grant Discussion: Jonah proposed to take the discussion off-line and catch up w/Dave Magill directly.

DMV Outdoor Alliance: Ernie, Steve, Dave, and Jonah rode w/Outdoor Alliance staff in December. Goal was to discuss possibility of uniting outdoor enthusiasts (hikers, climbers, kayakers, horse-back riders, trail runners, etc.) in the DC metro area to see if collaborating on common goals made sense, specifically, focusing on parklands, interfacing w/elected officials, multi-type sport epic events in the region, etc. Ernie: I did not envision MORE contributing funds, but instead, I thought MORE could be a member of the alliance. We don’t want MORE involved in PAC activities. Jonah: The Alliance gets involved in advocacy and lobbying. We could be affiliated, but not financially support. Greg: the concept is appealing and I would ask that additional details be provided to the Board so we can reach a conclusion regarding partnering with the Outdoor Alliance.

Item #8: Summer Festival (Carlos)

Date is June 10th. It will be a family friendly event. We have the venue reserved thanks to Russ Adams. It’s located on the west side of Clopper Lake, in Nuthatch Pavilion. Elaine Hess will be assisting. Action: Need to get this advertised on the website and FB page. Confirmed that we have an alcohol permit. Could we get a demo bike vendor for the summer festival?: Carlos is working this. Looking at Trek and Specialized to demo bikes. Propose we gather swag from vendors now. Dave Magill: there are two activities at Clopper Lake for the family: boat/kayak rides and a frisbee golf course. There is an entry fee to get into the park—we need to let MORE members know this. Do we still pay if we ride in? No. A potluck is a good way to go as the pavilions have electricity and grills. We could have a BBQ competition. Carlos: does our insurance need an additional rider? Ernie: We do not need an additional insurance rider for members and guests of members. Countdown is 89 days away!

Item #9: Women’s Clinic (Steve Dontigny)

Sunday May 7th is next women’s clinic at Lake Accotink. Looking at 100+ women to participate. Steve needs assistance w/rider check-in, registration, and other planning/implementation activities.

Item #10: Website update (Greg)

Greg is behind on his action from the January 2107 Board meeting. Intent is to work w/Martin Fernandez and Jason Ashmore to consider alternatives to the current website. Martin and Jason built the MORE website, Jason is the system administrator and Martin is the content manager. Some initial questions for consideration are: 1) Can we host it somewhere less expensive? 2) Can we edit what is on the website? Editing the website CONTENT is the key goal now. We have 10-15 people with admin rights and each person has their own vision on how/why/when the MORE website should be updated. Jason is excellent at controlling website cost and will continue serve as system administrator. Martin will work to help train administrative users to add content to our site. Action: Rob, Tom, and Carlos, et. al will work together to review the website and provide suggestions for improvements to Greg D. who will present the suggestions, options, and proposed priorities for improving the MORE website during a future Board meeting.

How could we use GIS tracks to map MORE territory via a MORE member? Martin has agreed to update the MORE “Where to Ride” section with heat and actual trail maps.

Item #11: Trailhead News (Tom)

Request has been sent out for Trailhead News content: 25th Gala, MORE Summer Festival, etc. Seeking help to pull content together for the spring Trailhead News.

Item #12: Track it Forward (Jonathon)

Plan is to continue using this system for liaisons and tracking volunteer hours. Until we have something better, we’ll continue w/Track-it-Forward.

Item #13: Membership (Ernie)

MORE is currently at 1,489 members. “Chapter 2.0” from IMBA is still a work in process. Ernie has had several discussions w/IMBA management and believes IMBA is listening.

Item #14: “Club Ride” (Ernie)

MORE 25th Anniversary T-shirts will be available on the “Club Ride’s” website w/some of the proceeds of the $30 T-shirt price going to MORE. “Tees for Trails” promotion on the website.

*The next MORE Board meeting with be April 10th at REI in Tysons Corner.

February Activity Reports

Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez

  1. Participate in Trails Committee meeting
  2. Survey of trail liaison needs for 2017 planning
  3. Monthly membership reminders to members and individual emails to renewing or joining members.
  4. Various teleconferences with IMBA; David Wiens, Bruce Alt, Antony Duncan
  5. Teleconference with trails committee and local leaders – update on IMBA chapter 2.0
  6. Grant invitation meeting with REI
  7. Grant applications with North Face and Patagonia
  8. Teleconference with UNSELF tracking program – IMBA’s FREE replacement for Track-it-Forward
  9. Teleconference with Outdoor Alliance, Access Fund, Outdoor Climbers to join advocacy forces
  10. Meeting with Boaters Association for participation in kids fishing contest with Steve Dontigny
  11. Work on locations for 2017 monthly board meetings

Steve Dontigny:

  1. Anacostia River Festival Kick-Off Meeting
  2. Dupont Call with M. Drajem
  3. PHTA Board Meeting-LoCo Trails discussion
  4. IMBA All Staff calls
  5. REI Co-op Grant Invitee Reception
  6. Capital Trails Coalition Monthly Meeting
  7. Trails Committee Call
  8. WABA Greg Mullings Call-DC Parks and Rec Bike Park proposals
  9. 4 Mile Run Working Group meeting
  10. MoCo Epic Budgeting and Permitting
  11. Development Master list building
  12. Grant writing and submission
  13. Beth Porter, NPS Outdoor Recreation Planner, discussions and strategy
  14. Dupont/ARF trail recon and repairs
  15. Women’s Clinic planning and permitting

Jeff Niner:

  1. Participated in Trails Committee meeting
  2. Sent Survey email out to Virginia MORE Trail Liaisons to determine trail liaison needs/priorities for 2017 planning
  3. Meeting with Wicked Wash Racing Team to encourage MORE membership/ volunteerism
  4. Teleconference with Trails Committee and local leaders – update on IMBA chapter 2.0 process.
  5. Ride/Meeting with GWNF Trail Liaisons to determine Lee District trail requirements
  6. Planning telecon with GWNF Trail Liaison
  7. Telecon with potential candidate for GNWF Trail Liaison replacement
  8. Discussion with Wakefield Trail Liaison (Tom Howe) re future skills park at Wakefield

Dave Magill:

  1. Reviewed 2017 RTP grant MOU’s, discussed with C. Alfano and D. Kalt, executed same on behalf of MORE
  2. Supported C. Alfano re NEPA review for the Brunswick Grant
  3. Organized meeting site and agenda for the Liaison’s meeting March 26
  4. Reviewed early draft 2017 MoCoEpic budget and plan with Steve D.
  5. Organized a Northwest Branch advocacy effort with five MORE members to support the newly opened trail
  6. Reviewed and supported MoCo Parks plans for an alternate trail connection from Black Hills to within two miles of Little Bennett
  7. Held informational call with expanded trails committee on changes at IMBA
  8. Held formal trails committee meeting – TC approved transferring $10k of the Grants Working Capital Fund to Patuxent for three permitting contracts
  9. Signed $10k of permitting contracts for the Patuxent project
  10. Helped resolve/document transfer of all remaining funds in the Patapsco Special Purpose Funds to Friends of PVSP.

Jonah Meyers:

  1. Attended/volunteered at Winter Party
  2. Fairland corridor clearing trail work day
  3. Teleconference with Outdoor Alliance, Access Fund, Outdoor Climbers to join advocacy forces
  4. Donations deposits and PayPal tracking
  5. Maryland RTP procedures call for Brunswick and Frederick 2017 grants
  6. Maryland RTP procurement for Patuxent 2015-6 grants

Aaron Richter:

  1. Winter party
  2. MOCO epic books
  3. Closed old credit cards
  4. Opened money market account
  5. Worked on closing 2016 books
  6. 2017 bookkeeping
  7. Filed MD and VA documents

Rob Lowe:

  1. Transition Meeting Attended Jan 2017
  2. Lead Rides (6) Regular, 1 weekend Ride
  3. Ad-hoc Puddle trail work at Wakefield
  4. Winter Party – Setup, Tear down, Clean-up
  5. Anniversary Party – Attended Calls, Reviews Materials, Searched for Locations
  6. 2x Executive Sessions with Ernie and Steve
  7. Outreach at Shops
  8. Team BikenetiCX Donation – $1500 Check (2017), + 2 Events in 2016 Raised near $800 Profits.

Greg Dwyer:

  1. Supported and attended the MORE Winter Meeting, posted meeting reminder on the MORE FB page.
  2.  Circulated to the Board for review, updated, and posted to the website (thanks Martin!) MORE’s Club Rules document, incorporating the new MD and VA/DC Trails Advocacy positions.
  3.  Met with owner of Shine Massage and Wellness of Riverdale, MD and received in-kind donation for future MORE event (Summer meeting recognition?).
  4.  Attended/participated in Fairland trail work day and posted two updates (before and after) to the MORE FB page regarding the workday.

Brad Hawk:

  1. Working on new system to track rides, ride leaders and sweeps in conjunction with posted rides on MORE calendar.
  2. Communication and support with Jo, Simona, Kathy and Anne for the MORE ladies Spring/Summer Event.
  3. Two trail workdays at Accotink clearing deadfall and closing rogue trails.
  4. Accotink stream clean up day. Removed garbage and debris.
  5. Posted Trail workdays, rides and events on Facebook page and MORE calendar.
  6. Winter Party / set-up

Jonathon Kidwell:

  1. Winter party
  2. Track it Forward data entry and close out for 2016
  3. Data entry and follow-ups for 2017 workdays
  4. Trails Committee call
  5. GWNF Ride with Ernie and Jeff

Tom Howe:

  1. Request for Trailhead Newsletter content
  2. Work with Ernie and Steve to understand CiviCRM
  3. Work with Ernie to help with monthly email reminders for renewals and thank you emails that are currently sent
  4. Complete any remaining transitioning from Jason Miller


Request for Expression of Interest – MoCo

Our friends at Montgomery National Capital Park and Planning Commission are seeking bids to provide Bike Rentals within Montgomery County Parks.

Please see attached document for details.

Submission deadline is February 13, 2017 at 11:00 AM.


January 2017 Annual MORE Board Meeting Minutes

Mid-Atlantic-Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) Annual Board Transition Meeting

Offices of Competitive Power Ventures

8403 Colesville Road

Silver Spring, MD



Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez, President
  2. Rob Lowe, Vice-President
  3. Aaron Richter, Treasurer
  4. Greg Dwyer, Operations Director
  5. Dave Magill, MD Advocacy Director
  6. Jeff Niner, VA Advocacy Director
  7. Carlos Alfaro, Activities Director
  8. Tom Howe, Membership Director

MORE Staff and Members

  1. Steve DonTigny, Executive Director
  2. Jonah Meyers, Vice-Treasurer
  3. Jonathan Kidwell, Trail Boss

Item #1: Introductions

Current and new Board members introduced themselves, discussed their backgrounds, and talked about their roles vis-à-vis MORE.

Item #2: Trails Discussion

Ernie & Steve DonTigny met w/REI representatives on Friday, January 6th to discuss current and future interactions between MORE and REI. Ernie suggests setting up a meeting of the trails committee to focus on future projects with REI and other large donors. REI’s grant funding to MORE was also discussed. MORE has had some true success and some mixed success in 2016. The problem areas have been: 1) Patapsco signage; 2) Loch Raven approvals; and 3) Fort DuPont. We need to show success and “untie” funds. REI wants regular feedback regarding the projects they fund.

What does the Trails Advocacy Position Entail? (Dave Magill): The trails/advocacy job in a nutshell is: 1) getting approved trail access; 2) raising funds and getting funds for MORE; 3) organizing both build and maintenance activities; and 4) working closely with the liaisons. The Trail Boss is responsible for interacting w/the multiple MORE trail liaisons. Specifically he/she is responsible for: 1) supplying tools to trail liaisons for workdays; 2) organizing and/or scheduling workdays; 3) recruiting and maintaining liaisons for parks; and 4) tracking volunteer hours. Why is tracking hours so important?—our volunteer corps and their hours give MORE a huge advantage and credibility when speaking w/local land managers, policy makers, and donors/funders and is used to support our matching grant process. It’s also important so that we can annually recognize members who volunteer for MORE. MORE recognizes the volunteer “pay rate” as $23/hour; this is substantial “money” when we show we have had over 6000 volunteer hours in a year. The Trail Boss also interfaces w/IMBA on trail issues, trainings, and local land-use issues.

Trail Liaisons and Co-liaisons: Trail liaisons and co-liaisons have responsibility for their park(s): fundraising, interfacing w/the local land manger, organizing rides and trail workdays, and interfacing w/MORE volunteers, staff, and the MORE Board

Trail Workday and Hand-tool budget: 2017 budget for workday costs hand-tools is $8,000. MORE supports limited food provision, typically breakfast, for trail workdays. The Board supports the liaisons and Trail Boss to the best extent possible, but we also encourage liaisons to find local lunch sponsors

Special Purpose Funds: these funds are dedicated and restricted to specific trails, parks, or events. The liaisons and their parks/projects are often self-funded. MORE tries to empower the local liaisons and their teams to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Annual Trail Liaison Meeting (Dave Magill and Jonathan Kidwell): The annual trail liaison meeting in March 2017 will be important for new Board members to attend, especially the MD and VA advocacy directors. This meeting is intended to share lessons learned, discuss current and future projects, and collectively recognize the outstanding work of our liaisons and volunteers.

Monthly Board Meetings: MORE board meetings are organized around an agenda, last two hours, and are held on a monthly basis (the second Monday of the month). The expectation is the MD and VA advocacy directors will provide updates on their activities for board discussion.

What are the critical elements to understand to be successful at the advocacy position?  Do: 1) build community around trails; 2) enable and support trail liaisons in building trials; 3) help recruit volunteers to support trail liaisons; 4) help trail liaisons raise funds to support trails; 5) integrate and celebrate liaison advocacy and trail building successes; and 6) provide training for volunteer trail builders. Don’t: 1) no illegal trail building; 2) no illegal events (races, club parties, etc.); 3) no illegal night riding or illegal riding in general; 4) important to know the rules and regulations for using power tools at each park; and 5) know how to request and purchase tools for trail work from the Board.

Re-routing of existing trails: rule of thumb is if one is re-routing more than 10 yards of trail, then interact w/the local land manager as this becomes a bigger project. Know the difference between big and small projects at the parks. Of course, this depends on the relationship with the land manager and trail liaison.

Brush management: MORE is seeing more and more need for both brush mowers and the use of blade and string trimmers. The purchase of these types of power tools stretches the budget. Liaisons should be interfacing w/the Trail Boss and advocacy directors when a large purchase is under consideration. MORE has two Brush Hogs currently located in storage at Seneca State Park and one CanyCom rock and gravel mover located in a trail liaison’s garage.

Other trail and park clubs and support of multi-use trails: MORE supports the multi-use, natural surface community in the WDC area. We want to partner with all trail users. MORE is having increased success w/the multi-use community b/c we build and maintain trails—MORE is a respected organization in the region b/c we achieve positive, sustainable results for the communities in which we work.  We are primarily a MTN Bike club, but we support all human-powered trail use. The Board supports MORE member involvement in “friends of” groups for specific regional parks and recreation areas, specifically by participating on their boards and interacting w/club members to advance MORE’s goals and objectives.

Community issues (Jonathon Kidwell): How do our newer liaisons and newer parks build rapport and create successful interactions w/the local community? What does it mean to build a community around a park? The Patapsco Park liaison community is an excellent example.

Action Item (Jonathan): MORE has encouraged liaisons to build community, but it hasn’t told them how to do this. Suggest this item be put on the liaison annual meeting/dinner agenda. Each local “social community” builds and maintains trails and organizes the work and community outreach at parks.

Bike Parks/Gravity Trails/Pump Tracks/Expansion of Non-Traditional Trails:

What is MORE’s involvement w/these type of projects? Bike parks are growing in interest and are expanding in the region, however they are very labor and cost intensive. The per/mile cost of supporting a natural mile of trail is considerably less than the per/mile cost of supporting a mile of bike park/pump track trail.

Ernie: These “non-traditional” uses serve as a gateway to future memberships and increased involvement in MORE and its “traditional” projects.

Bull-Run Occoquan Trail (BROT) access was built on the success, popularity, and use of Fountainhead.

Trails and Trail Liaisons Budget : MORE operates on an approved annual budget process. Each Board member has a specific budget and can approve his/her own projects. The Trail Boss has the largest budget (~$8K). A trails committee was formed to focus on priorities and for the disbursement of trail-specific, restricted funds. The Most Accountable Person (MAP) and the trail liaison collaborate to approve expenditures. MORE board members serve as Most Accountable Persons (MAP)s to provide accountability for project funds.

  1. General Trail Fund—a special purpose fund, but not dedicated to a specific park or project.
  2. Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grants—essentially, grant monies coming from gas tax revenue for use by individual states. MORE succeeded in getting two $30K grants in MD in 2016. Advocacy Directors work w/ liaisons to develop ideas and proposals for grants that are then prioritized. In VA, the minimum RTP grant is $100K (MORE would match 20% of the VA RTP grant). Those RTP requests are for single projects; we can’t package multiple parks in VA for a bigger RTP grant. We also can’t propose that the funding be applied in phases—the RTP grants fund specific projects over specific timelines (usually no more than three years). RTP grant monies can’t fund trail design, marketing, or fundraising—the funds must focus on actual trail building. In MD, the general limit for grants is below $40Kand 10% of the MD RTP grant can go to design, permitting and other costs (new trail development).

Item #3: 2017 Events of Note (Rob Lowe)

  1. Winter Membership Meeting (Party), February 4th, Silver Spring, MD, 6-9PM.
  2. Annual Trail Liaison Meeting, March 2107 (specific date/time/location TBD) Montgomery County (MoCo), MD
  3. Summer Festival, June 10th, MoCo (Seneca Creek State Park)
  4. 25th Gala: Location TBD. Tentative Date is 29 July, 2017
  5. Patapsco Trail Fest September 15-17, MD
  6. MORE Fall Camping Trip: September 22-24, 2107, West Virginia.
  7. MoCo Epic: 7-8 October, 2017. MoCo, MD.
  8. Thinking of reinventing the NoVa Epic – dependent on volunteers

Item #4: 2106 vs. 2107 Financials (Aaron Richter)

2016 was a good year regarding donations and memberships.

During the last six weeks of 2016, MORE received approximately $10K in general fundraising. How often does MORE want to push for donations from members? Semi-annually? Focus on a spring donation and on end-of-the-year calls for financial support. Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) donations: None in 2017 b/c MORE did not submit its 2017 application in time. MORE will be back in the CFC Catalogue of Giving 2018.


MORE-IMBA Financial Relationship: IMBA cost-sharing and funding of MORE staff. The Chapter Charter Agreement notes three main items between MORE and IMBA: 1) having an executive-director; 2) getting under the IMBA liability insurance umbrellas; 3) and increasing MORE’s size as a result of its association w/IMBA. We need to grow our membership and we need to grow our grants and funding. We are event driven and that’s when most members renew memberships and when we onboard new members. We need to advertise auto-renewal memberships. Membership revenue is currently split 60/40 between IMBA and MORE respectively. IMBA is considering changing the revenue split based on chapter input and will make a decision early part of 2018.

2017 Budget: The 2017 MORE operating budget was approved in early January 2107.

The average outlay of budgetary expenses per member is $100. Memberships are $35/year. MORE needs to communicate this important fact to current and potential members. Members need to know MORE spends more per member than members pay in dues. Discussion ensued about using membership revenue to fund social activities and raise donations to build trails with matching funds and volunteer work or materials.

Greg D: How do we want to handle recognizing in-kind donations, and do we want to do this in our communications with potential donors and sponsors? A: We could do this, but it may add to our accounting burden and it may not be fully accurate as in-kind donations value is based on what the particular donor has determined.   Ernie: We are asking for donations and should accommodate in-kind donations and asks as long as they are reasonable.

Donors and Sponsorships (Steve DonTigny & Jonah): A MORE committee has been established consisting of: Steve DonTigny, Jonah Meyers, Dave Farraro, Ryan Delany, and Ernie Rodriguez. The committee is looking for one additional member. We are looking to establish a database w/current donors. Focusing on specific sectors such as the Healthcare Industry (doctors, specialists, etc.), real-estate agents, builders, lenders, non-profits, foundations, charitable trusts, non-government grants, companies in the mid-Atlantic area, and outdoor apparel industries and manufacturers. Tom Niner: What about corporate political action committees and matching dollars to employees? Steve: this is the kind of information we need to communicate to members—that they can join their organization’s Employee Political Action Committee (EPAC) and donate to MORE this way. The MORE Donors Committee wants to work w/an apparel organization for the 25th anniversary jersey, on socks, and other items.

Potential Fundraising Events Include: 25th Anniversary Gala (July), Happy Hours, Tap Take-Overs, Board members leading rides on weekends for current and potential donors, Women’s Rides & Events, sMORE’s rides. Need to focus on these underrepresented groups, i.e. women in MORE.

Sponsoring workdays at parks: DC Brau may be willing to sponsor a workday at Fort Dupont Park. Greg D. is following up.

MD RTP Grants Working Capital (Dave): We need to look at increasing the working capital fund (aka backstopping funds) to support MD RTP Grants. We have $100k in grants available for Patuxent and another $60K elsewhere and will need to spend funds up front and be reimbursed by MD State Highway Administration after work is completed. This will be an ongoing challenge for MORE.

Restricted Funds Review (Dave): Reviewed ongoing projects in MD and VA. Board passed a motion to close the Trail Tread and Black Hill funds as they are completed. Liaisons will continue to have access to additional tools as needed.

Item #5: Improving and/or updating the MORE website

Greg has lead for this. Work w/Martin Fernandez and then through Jason Ashmore to consider alternatives. Martin and Jason built the MORE website, Jason is the system administrator and Martin is the content manager. Can we host it somewhere less expensive? Can we edit what is on the website? Editing the website CONTENT is the key goal now. We have 10-15 people with admin rights and each person has their own vision on how/why/when the MORE website should be updated. Jason is excellent at controlling website cost and will continue serve as system administrator. Martin will work to help train administrative users to add content to our site.

Action: Rob, Tom, and Carlos, et. al will work together to review the website and provide suggestions for improvements to Greg D. who will present the suggestions, options, and proposed priorities for improving the MORE website during a future Board meeting.

Item #6: Update on IMBA and collaboration(s) with other trail user groups (Ernie)

Major changes in and to IMBA are immanent in 2017. IMBA runs the essential “back office” operations for MORE. The IMBA associate regional directors not directly funded by a local IMBA chapter were let go. Let’s consider increasing our collaboration with other trail user groups in the local community—we can do this w/out cost to the organization by literally showing up to common events and by supporting common projects.

Ride event coordinator: Brad Hawk—Brad is responsible for regional ride leaders, getting rides on the calendar, Patapsco After Dark, tracking rides lead/swept, etc.

Item #7: February Winter Member Meeting (Party) – All

Ernie: Russ Adams has the lead and will be distributing the agenda and plan for the February member meeting to the Board.

Family Rides, sMOREs: Some of the sMORE’s groups are on winter hiatus. A few groups are active like Todd B. who is now leading sMORE’s in MoCo year round.

Women’s Program: We have great women leaders growing or ride offerings, skills, events and members.

Action Item: We need to make sure we advertise the Winter Meeting Pot Luck in all of our social media!

Gears and Beers: It’s a FB group, not “Meet-Up” group. A community w/in a community, mainly supporting Lake Fairfax Park.

Mountain Bike Meetup – MORE’s Meet-Up group can be found under “Mountain Bike Meet-Up” on the Meet-Up website.

MVD Meetup – has been great at advertising rides, workdays and supporting MORE.

Prospect of Montgomery County, MD becoming an IMBA Ride Center: Could the DC area become an IMBA Ride center? Certainly worth considering.

Action Item: Ernie will work with Dave and Casey Anderson (MoCo Park and Planning) to begin the studying the process for MoCo to be designated as an IMBA Ride Center.

Item #8: Influence among other organizations and Strategic Direction (Ernie) What and how much influence does MORE have in its collaborators network: hikers, road bikers, kayakers, horse community, other trail users? Where do we see the organization five years from now? Ernie’s vision: 5K members, serving as a model organization for other regional and national mountain biking groups to copy, to become self-sufficient in funding and staffing, keeping MORE primarily a volunteer organization with a minimal paid staff, becoming the enabler of multi-use trails in the region, producing regional events and celebrations, and being part of a strong IMBA.

Item #9: Volunteers (Ernie)

Marketing: Jason Miller did an outstanding job on developing the “Who is MORE?” campaign. Trailhead News was successful in 2016 and we should continue distributing Trailhead News in 2017. The dedication of Dave Farraro and Jason Miller in editing the communications was outstanding and that made it successful.


























1,500 Members

MORE celebrates becoming 1,500 members strong.

As we grow as a community of mountain biking enthusiasts we build a brand, voice, and attract others to have fun in the dirt.

MORE is an inclusive community of people who enjoy the outdoors, riding bikes, building trails and sharing the social experience.  Our members demonstrate passion and volunteer spirit by leading rides, hosting events, and building and maintaining 600 miles of trails in over 50 DC, MD and VA parks.

Our numbers help us be heard, enabling advocacy for trails for all users, including hikers, equestrians, runners, dog walkers and mountain bikers.  Together we build communities around trails and establishing opportunities to give back financially or in building and maintaining trails.

MORE invites you to come out and ride your bike in a park near you or share the experience with a friend.

“Riding Bikes and Building Trails since 1992”

Join or renew your membership today to make sure we continue to have a strong advocacy voice.

October 2016 Board Meeting Minutes + Activity Reports

MORE Board Meeting

10 October 2016

Location:  7979 Old Georgetown Rd, Suite 1100

Bethesda, MD  20814



Board Members Present

  1. Ernie Rodriguez
  2. Aaron Richter
  3. Dave Magill
  4. Jason Miller
  5. Rob Lowe (Phone)


More STAFF and Members

  1. Steve Don-Tigney
  2. Jonah Meyers
  3. Johnathan Kidwell (Phone)



Item 1:  Financials

  • Need to reconcile spreadsheet regarding new members and renewals from MOCO Epic and Patapsco Trailfest.
    • ACTION -Steve D to reconcile spreadsheets – Complete, 108 MoCo, 143 PTF, 16 Fall Camping Trip
  • Trek Stache Raffle brought in $2,030 for South Germantown and Rockburn Bike Parks
  • Need to balance accounts for Patapsco
  • Paypal is difficult for Treasurer and staff to reconcile.
    • Paypal is easy for users to use.
    • ACTION -Jonah and Aaron will research different options (including our existing square account)
  • MORE is not included in CFC for calendar year 2017 donations
    • MORE needs to work on Holiday giving / donation campaign in lieu of CFC for 2017
    • Ernie R to reapply in December for calendar year 2018


Item 2:  Monthly membership update (Ernie):

  • MORE is currently around 1100 members (1300 if you count sponsorships / partnerships).
    • Does not include Fall Camping Trip / Patapsco / MOCO renewals. Estimated to be 267 memberships
  • We had a good campaign with IMBA for renewals / lapsed memberships


Item 3:  Approval of Restricted Fund (Grant Working Capital Fund)

  • Trails Conservancy $40,000 loan proceeds will be placed in this fund based upon agreement with Single Track Futures Foundation 2015
  • Expected total of $160,000 in Maryland RTP grants in the pipeline
  • MORE needs to put money up front for these grants projects and get reimbursed later.
  • ***VOTE*** Create Grants Working Capital Restricted Fund with an initial balance of $40,000. Motion Passed – All in Favor


Item 4:  REI OptOutside:

  • MORE will participate in REI’s OptOutside campaign for 2016 (Black Friday)
  • ACTION – Ernie and Brad will organize rides to share with REI


Item 5:  Board Reorganization: 

  • Discussion: The responsibilities for MD and VA advocacy is too much for one person
  • ***VOTE*** Create VA Advocacy Director –  Scope includes all advocacy trail matters to include advocacy, construction, maintenance, and grants.
    • Motion Passed – All in Favor
  • ***VOTE*** Eliminate Trails Director position and create MD Advocacy Director – Effective Board Transition Meeting (January 2017)
    • Motion Passed All in Favor


Item 6:  Board of Director 2016 Elections:

  • Nomination Period runs November 1-25
  • Election Period is November 28 – December 5
  • Positions up for Election are:
    • Member Representative
    • Activities Director
    • Virginia Advocacy Director
    • Maryland Advocacy Director
  • ACTION – Steve DonTigney to identify volunteer to run elections
    • Brad Hawk will run elections



Item 7:  Winter Party / Annual Membership Meeting

  • Russ is heading up planning for Winter Party.
  • Russ will lead a call with board before the next meeting to discuss plans for party
  • Winter Party is February 4, 2017 at the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center


Item 8:  MORE 25th Anniversary:

  • 2017 is the 25th Anniversary of MORE.
  • Jason is working on 25th Anniversary logo. Will be reaching out to membership for help in designing it.
  • BOD will be developing numerous events throughout 2017 celebrating 25 years


Item 9:  Trail Updates:

  • Lake Fairfax Bike Park –Grand Opening held on October 8, 2017. Good attendance and covered by local media.
  • Bacon Ridge – Received conditional approval from Scenic Rivers Land Trust for Phase 2 (Four additional miles)
  • Loch Raven – Informational meeting held on October 12. Currently still have access issues with private landowners.  MORE and the City of Baltimore are still acting under the previous agreement and are anticipating renewing it.
  • Frederick Watershed – Continuing to work with Frederick DPW on proposed Trail Map and Work Plan.
  • MOCO – Planning Board approved an updated Trails Master Plan. Officially designates an additional 50 miles to be built out over the next 2-3 years, including 2 loops in Eastern Montgomery County.
  • Monacacy Natural Resources Area (near Sugarloaf Mtn) – Kathleen Mihm (New MORE Trail Liaison) toured the park with DNR management and are developing a plan to open existing trails and create new trails (Total 10 miles)
  • Little Bennett – Parks department added another mile (built by the county) to the Tobacco Farm Trail
  • Cabin John Park – A mile of new trail has been built and opened north of Tuckerman



Item 10:  MOCO Epic Recap:

  • Great Day/ Full recap will be in trailhead news.  Casey Andersen, Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, stated that he wants to make Montgomery County the best place on the East Coast for Mountain Biking.



Board Member Activity Reports:




  • Membership
    • Messages to lapsed memberships – August and September
    • Messages to expiring members – October
    • Thank you for joining/renewing members
    • Research membership status (discounts) for Patapsco and MoCo events
  • Attendance
    • Patapsco Trails Festival
    • Fall Camping Trip
  • Advocacy
    • Prince William County trails planning and volunteer recruitment meeting
    • Arlington County parkland user meeting
    • Grant application for Mount Vernon – 495 Express Lanes
    • Lake Fairfax Pump Track – completion and ribbon cutting
  • Other
    • Order MORE socks with Jason Stoner
    • Work with Aaron, Kevin Adams and Bob Compton on financials

Jason M.:

  • Prepared September Trailhead News


Jonah M.:

  • Attended MORE Fall Camping trip
  • Attended Patapsco Trail Fest
  • Volunteered at MoCo Epic
  • Solicited maps, photos and text for website from MORE liaisons


Dave M.:

  • Mostly MOCO Epic Related –
  • Organized trail survey and final repairs on trails
  • Attended final workday on Cool Spring Run trail
  • Organized course markers along with Tom Newton
  • Marked 7 miles of trail
  • Command Center phone on Ride Day – fixed bad marking, shuttled food to aid stations running out, organized pick ups for riders who could not finish, etc
  • Demarking and helping to take down the Mothership
  • Huge team effort expertly run by Todd Bauer, Bob Caverly and James Corbett with about 75 volunteers in all; thanks to all who helped out and thanks to all who signed up and came out for a great day!


Aaron R.

  • Attended RVA Fall Line Trailfest
  • Meet with Bob Compton, Kevin Adams, and Ernie Rodriguez regardning Tax return questions
  • Completed balance sheet for CPA and taxes
  • Prepared books and mailed checks

Jonathan K.:

  • Updated website with upcoming work days
  • Helped onboard new trail liaisons
  • Distributed surplus hoes to trail liaisons
  • Volunteered for MOCO Epic


Steve D-T.:

  • Lake Fairfax Pump Track Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
  • PHTA Board Meeting
    • trail connections, Ft. Belvoir access, Leesburg Rt. 15 road project/Trail proposal
    • PHTA Trail new trail evaluation
    • CCT trail Laurel Crest Trail extension
  • 4 Mile Run Park Planning Meeting
    • Pump Track proposal presentation
  • Capital Trails Coalition- Sept. Meeting
    • Press event, ART opening, capital funding
  • Little River Turnpike Bicycle Study Meeting
    • County planning for routes through Annandale East/West corridor
  • Prince William County MTBer Happy Hour
    • user group Meet and Greet


MORE Board of Directors Elections are Coming

The MORE Board of Directors Annual Elections are coming soon.  The positions up for elections are:

  • Member Representativeunknown
  • Activities Director
  • Virginia Advocacy Director
  • Maryland Advocacy Director

The nomination Period is November 1-25

Voting will take place November 28-December 5

If you would like more information about the positions reach out to any of the existing board members or

If you are interested in nominating yourself for a position, please email

Position Descriptions:

Member Representative – Represents all members from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The Members Representative is responsible for building and leading a team of regionally selected membership representatives with the purpose of providing feedback to the BOD. The Members Representative chairs standing members committee. The Members Representative shall have all of the responsibilities and powers of other members of the Board.

Activities Director – Oversees critical volunteer, youth, ride, and event activities of MORE. Manages MORE’s social and youth program activities and the MORE-organized rides program, which is to address the needs of all ages and ability types. Coordinates and publishes the youth programs, event, and ride schedules. The Activities Director chairs the standing activities committee and shall have all of the responsibilities and powers of other members of the Board.

Virginia Advocacy Director – Oversees advocacy, trail building and maintenance efforts in Northern Virginia in support of the MORE vision and mission statements, including the complete life cycle of all trail projects from funding through maintenance via formalized processes as directed by the BOD. Serves as the primary contact for negotiations with land management agencies. The Advocacy Director is responsible for MORE’s advocacy, trail building and maintenance efforts including, but not limited to, the coordination and execution of official trail access initiatives; trail projects; and the trail liaison program, to include maintaining the work day calendar and coordinating the trail maintenance activities of MORE. The Advocacy Director is also responsible for trail planning activities, grant application and/or grant administration functions, and contracting with and scheduling vendors to perform trail construction when applicable.

Maryland Advocacy Director – Oversees advocacy, trail building and maintenance efforts in Maryland in support of the MORE vision and mission statements, including the complete life cycle of all trail projects from funding through maintenance via formalized processes as directed by the BOD. Serves as the primary contact for negotiations with land management agencies. The Advocacy Director is responsible for MORE’s advocacy, trail building and maintenance efforts including, but not limited to, the coordination and execution of official trail access initiatives; trail projects; and the trail liaison program, to include maintaining the work day calendar and coordinating the trail maintenance activities of MORE. The Advocacy Director is also responsible for trail planning activities, grant application and/or grant administration functions, and contracting with and scheduling vendors to perform trail construction when applicable.


Excellent Recognition for MORE

MORE and several other trail volunteer groups were formally thanked by the Montgomery County Council for our volunteer work on natural trails. Volunteers logged 6000 hours of trailwork on county trails in 2015 and many of them were by MORE members.  MORE members Dave Scull, Joe Fritsch, Rick Meyer and Dave Magill attended a breakfast and a proclamation ceremony at the County Council building in Rockville.  Parks and Planning Board chairman Casey Anderson said “many groups come before the county council to ask for new facilities or programs in the county.  Only the natural trail volunteer groups also say “and we will build them and maintain them for the county for free!””.



The County Council also approved $350,000 per year for the next six years in the county’s capital budget for natural trail construction and maintenance.  The county has three full time trail builders and three trail building machines.  And the first major new machine built trail in MoCo was just opened, Black Hills West!

May 2016 MORE BoD’s Meeting Minutes

MORE Board Meeting: Monday, May 9, 2016

Location: REI Tyson’s Corner

Time: 7-9PM

Board Members Present:

  1. Ernie Rodriguez
  2. Rob Lowe
  3. Aaron Richter
  4. Russ Adams
  5. Jason Miller
  6. Greg Dwyer

MORE Staff/Members Present:

  1. Steve DonTingny
  2. Jonah Meyer
  3. Jonathan Kidwell
  4. Brad Hawk

Introduction of MORE Executive Director

  • Steve DonTigny is MORE’s new Executive Director. Steve has background with Non-Profit Membership Development, Fulfillment and Customer Service.
  • Committed to growing membership and involvement in the organization. See Bio on MORE website.

Review of NOVA Reimbursement

  • Trails committee will be anticipating a grant request for Lake Fairfax project.

 CiviCRM Training Update

  • MORE Board Members have been offered training to learn Civi CRM, the platform used for accessing and utilizing the membership database. Greg, Jason, and Jonah indicated interest in receiving the training.


  • Ernie is working with Jason Ashmore to update all member, staff, and BOD email addresses.

Activities Update

  • Russ Adams is working on possible MORE summer “Gathering” at Shenandoah State Park. There will not be a singularly MORE sponsored summer picnic.
  • MORE will participate in Emmittsburg’s Community Heritage Day on June 25th–Russ and Brad will follow up on next steps.
  • Bryce will follow up on a summer day-out at a local VA ski resort/bike park.
  • Activity Reports will be posted along/in the monthly meeting minutes. Greg & Russ to coordinate on this.

MORE 2016 Jerseys

  • 70 items ordered.  Will be shipped May 26th and delivered late May. Jason Miller will work on setting up Happy Hour events & locations for distribution to members.

Membership / Communication

  • BOD and Executive Director unanimously agreed on the need to improve email and communication to/for members. Changes to Facebook needed. Brad Hawk will create Facebook group (in addition to the MORE Organization Facebook Group), with assistance from Greg Dwyer.
  • MORE’s Constant Contact groups will need to be updated.

Fulfillment Update

  • Ernie to order additional sMORE’s and MORE stickers.  Should be available to distribute at Tour de Fat (21 May 2016).
  • BOD agreed on need to distribute Swag to members. Ernie will send out surveys.
  • New PLB (Parking Lot Beer) Cups needed: Jason and Rob will work on this.
  • General membership give-a-ways: Ernie to send to Surveys
  • Donor recognition & gifts: Ernie to send Surveys (see meeting item on Sponsorship)

MD Trails Update

  • Patuxent: Walk through coming up next week, but no final approval as of yet.
  • Loch Raven (Purple Trail): Loch Raven committee is working on getting Right of Way access.  Need to follow up with local community about current status before end of June so we are in compliance w/the current list of proposals. Waiting on Final letter of approval from DPW to start Phase 2.

Virginia Trails Update

  • Working on National Trails Day June 4 event at Occoquan Regional Park
  • Lake Fairfax Pump Track final approval pending – Waiting on Rough Grading Plan (sewer line)
  • Lake Accotink – Meeting on Master Plan this Monday (May 16th)
  • Prince William Forest – Committee has put together a draft plan to convert some existing trails to mountain bike trails
  • June 11 is the ribbon cutting, trail work and official opening of the Fountainhead to Bull Run Marina trail

Ride Coordinator

  • Working on getting rides organized on weekends in addition to currently organized weeknight rides
  • Many Board members have committed to leading weekend rides
  • Working with REI to outdoor school rides added to MORE Calendar: Brad Hawk has action and Jonah Meyer will assist.

Upcoming events

  • Dirtfest 2016: 19-22 May at Raystown Lake in PA. Ernie and Steve will attend
  • REI College Park Women Bike Night Out May 18 – Jo and Holly will serve as point of contact for MORE
  • Bike to Work Day: 20 May
  • Tour De Fat, Washington D.C.: 21 May

Trail Status Update

  • Web and Twitter: Rob Lowe is investigating automatic updates to members.

Quarterly MORE Newsletter

  • Jason Miller and Greg Dwyer will collaborate with Steve DonTingny to manage member communications. 


  • Jonah Meyer has put together initial sponsorship package. BOD will review and comment for discussion at April Board meeting.
  • Need to update who MORE is and what our goals/objectives are. BOD will send input to Jonah for coordination.
  • Board members will send Jonah any comments on Sponsorship Packages.
  • Steve DonTingny is responsible for Fundraising with assistance from BoD’s.


MORE BOD/Staff Activities Report for April 2016:

President – Ernest Rodriguez

  • CFC thank you’s
  • Membership renewal thank you’s
  • Working with Larry Cautilli on Property assessment for private land owner in Alexandria
  • Working on updating Distribution list
  • Following up on:
    • Tour-de-Fat social media postings
    • NOVA Trail Fest – June 4
    • REI Women’s Bike Night Out – College Park May 18
  • Membership trends
  • SWAG – stickers ordered for MORE and sMORE’s
  • Need additional SWAG
  • Discuss Patapsco Trail Fest membership incentive (discount)
  • DirtFest attendance

Vice President – Rob Lowe

  • Outreach at rides, shops, and at trails/workdays and social events (Meetup).
  • Review of trail info continues for soon/future updates.
  • Ride leadership.
  • Beginner Rider Clinic planning continued
  • Working on updating Distribution list

Treasurer – Aaron Richter

Operations – Greg Dwyer

Trails Director – Dave Magill

  • Continued working with trailboss to get tools ordered and delivered.  $1670 RTP grant paperwork done and all items ordered.
  • Working with Chris Garrett and Jim McNeely to assess inquiry from American Chestnut Land Trust in Calvert County to possibly build and maintain trails on their land. Unfortunately most of their lands are designated Wildlands so not open to bikes
  • MoCo trail priorities and new trail alignments for reroutes and new trail for the Epic, with trail building staff and Rick Meyer
  • Continued work with Austin Steo and Aaron on collecting $40k loan.  $37.7 should be received within 2-3 weeks.
  • Working with Eric Crawford to get all approvals in place to allow use of the Patapsco Reinvestment Funds as working capital for TrailFest.

Member Representative  – Jason Miller

Activities Director – Russ Adams