It’s commonly known that volunteers are the lifeblood of many community organisations. I’ve rapidly come to appreciate the broad scope of activities essential to getting people out walking on the Heysen Trail.
So thank you to all our volunteers for your tireless efforts helping to develop, maintain and promote this wonderful trail – no mean feat when you consider it’s 1200km … not just a walk in the park.
There are many different ways that volunteers contribute to the Friends of the Heysen Trail:
- Monday to Friday the office is buzzing with enthusiasm – most importantly answering phone and walk-in inquiries, assisting with walk registrations, keeping the correspondence up to date and a myriad of administrative activites;
- Walking – every single weekend dozens of leaders are taking new and not-so-new members out and about on End-Ends, day and introductory short walks. It takes a lot of hidden preparatory work and energy doing pre-walks, checking trail status, coordinating transport, keeping a group informed and then merrily navigating the correct track;
- Maintenance – none of us would be walking so easily if the quiet achievers delivering the trail development & maintenance didn’t exist: on your next walk give a little thought to the section leaders and teams that ensure the markers are in place, vegetation is cleared etc. Remember, if you do see an issue along your track, to take a photo/location/details and pass it on to your walk leader or the office;
- Greening – not all the trees spring up of their own accord, but rather another busy team has planted, watered and nurtured hundreds of trees along parts of the Heysen Trail which boosts the environment and amenity for the rest of us;
- The Trailwalker Magazine keeps our members informed but also acts as signature promotion for the Heysen and to encourage members to keep walking and contributing;
- Marketing and promotion is also a challenging task carried out by several volunteers, including our prolific facebook/social media and website material – not to underestimate the important benefit of our on-line facility – the Friends have a website that is truly the envy of other organisations;
- Finances – where would be without the number-focused people who ensure that the dollars add up so that the Friends meet its requirements for record-keeping and auditing.
The list is not exhaustive and there always seems to be people ready to step in when needed such as the recent Hiking Expo – staffing the stall, handing out material, leading the come-and-try walks and clean up.
Thanks to everyone who volunteers their time in whatever capacity – it all makes a difference.