Helpful information for volunteers

Learn about trail design

The Ice Age Trail Alliance has published a rucksack load of informational booklets on trail building and maintenance, specific to the Ice Age Trail. You can find links to many of them here: Trail Design and Maintenance

These are PDF's, and clicking the link will download them for your own library. Toward the end are other references from the NPS, DNR, and USFS.

Record your volunteer hours!

If you are a trail adopter, mower, writer, chapter officer, or anyone who works at or attends other than at a formal “event”, you must keep a log of your volunteer hours and submit it quarterly to Libby Stupak. These records are important when it comes time to justify to funders the amount of volunteer impact their support provides. 

The IATA website (https://www.iceagetrail.org/volunteer/) explains record-keeping. You should record your hours on the Individual Hours Log form, which you can download from the web page:  Just go to https://www.iceagetrail.org, just click the big yellow VOLUNTEER button at the top of the page, and scroll down past the numbers to the “Get Involved” section where you can find the Volunteer Individual Log form or the first time volunteer’s Individual Volunteer Services Agreement Form.

Please send the completed form right away at the beginning of each new quarter (January, April, July, and October). Send the completed form to Libby Stupak, stupakls@hotmail.com.

Some volunteers print out a page and keep it handy to write down hours as they occur; later, they transfer the entries to the page on their computer so they can email it to Libby. Others use a notebook or a page on their smartphone. Whatever system works best for you, just be sure to use it and then submit the hours on the form on your computer using email. 

Note:  If you attended a chapter event, such as a meeting or trail improvement day, and signed in on a form at the event (or saw that it was recorded), you should not include it on your personal record document. 

Remember to mark your calendars and send them at the end of September, December, March, and June, and repeat every year.

Download Volunteer Hours Log Forms: Excel or Word

Trail Safe!

Pick and shovel crossed behind trees to form logo for Ice Age Trail safety program
A new safety initiative from the National Park Service offers participants online self-study videos that examine the objectives taught in the Park Service Operational Leadership training. It’s an approach that focuses on the mindset needed to work safely, not a cookbook on how to use a tool.

The series consists of 8 videos, with a total time of about 3 hours.

Take a look at the NPS IAT website and scroll down to the Trail Safe! feature to find the link. Start at the beginning and complete the Training Verification Roster back at the Trail Safe! home page, and you’ll receive a pin and other info from NPS. Also be sure to keep track of your time spent and report it to the chapter to be sure we capture your volunteer hours.

If you think the training presenter looks vaguely familiar, that’s because the series is presented by Dan Watson of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail National Park Service headquarters. Dan is planning to visit our chapter in the near future to talk about some current issues and will be more than delighted if you have questions for him that have arisen from watching the series. The series has now been adopted by many other trails and parks in the NPS system, so Dan’s a celebrity.

The training isn’t about how to open a saw, or how not to cut off your finger when closing a saw. Rather it is an approach to safety that analyzes human behavior.

What better way to stay engaged with your IAT volunteer needs than to learn some important skills right at home.

Questions about the series can be directed to Dan Watson.