Over the past year, we have completed a variety of trail infrastructure and improvement projects that were made possible by honorarium or memorial donations. This type of gift allows you to make an impact twice – once to recognize or remember a loved one, celebrate a milestone, or promote your business and second to enhance the outdoor experiences available in our community.
Many donors utilize these opportunities as a remembrance for someone who was passionate about nature. However, naming opportunities can also make unique and memorable gifts for holidays, anniversaries, or to mark a significant milestone or celebration. They also offer businesses a chance to publicly share their support of the Land Trust mission.
Wagon Trail Bridge
In March 2023 as it warmed up and the trees turned bright green, a group of volunteers hiked in six steel support beams and lumber over a quarter of a mile to prepare for the construction of a new 102-foot bridge crossing Fagan Creek along Wagon Trail on Monte Sano Nature Preserve. The bridge was funded by a memorial gift in memory of Emily Daisy Crabtree. This project took around 240 volunteer hours to complete but the result was a much more accessible and safer creek crossing for trail users with the added benefit of protecting the plant life below. As part of this project, a small section of Wildflower Trail was also rerouted using sustainable trail building techniques that will ensure it lasts despite weathering and heavy traffic.
*DYK: Bridges help address a variety of concerns beyond keeping hikers’ feet dry and preventing slipping hazards. Trail traffic in the streambed can stir up sediment, displace rocks and soil, and increase erosion. Simply elevating the tread path over the stream or creek with a bridge can protect the streambed (along with the plants and animals that live there) while also providing a safer experience for users.
During the bridge build on Wagon Trail another trail improvement was taking place nearby. There was one section of Monte Sano Nature Preserve‘s Wildflower Trail that has always been particularly challenging because a large boulder created a significant obstacle for many hikers. To improve access to this area for visitors of all skill levels, a boardwalk was constructed with funding given in memory of Matthew B. Kelly. In the process, volunteers removed tons of invasive honeysuckle and created an observation platform to highlight the surrounding natural features.
Visitors to Blevins Gap Nature Preserve’s Fanning Trailhead after a recent rain will know that the area tends to get very wet and the trail was frequently washed out. A few years ago, we constructed a short section of boardwalk around the information kiosk. However, it needed an addition to completely avoid the problem areas. With a donation from frequent trail user Jim Call, we were able to replace an old bridge at the trail entrance and install an 85-foot boardwalk extension.
*DYK: When appropriate, a boardwalk can limit erosion due to trail usage, enhance the user experience, and protect spaces and species from constant disruption (especially from hikers going off trail to bypass muddy areas).
Interested in making an honorarium or memorial gift?
- You can simply make a donation to support the Land Trust’s mission and indicate that you’d like your gift to be made in honor or memory. This can be done online or by check with a note indicating your wishes. For honorarium gifts, we’re happy to notify the honoree of your gift if you choose.
- Naming opportunities provide a visible and public recognition of your gift by funding a specific project or amenity on a Land Trust nature preserve. A variety of naming opportunities are available to meet different giving levels. Our standard opportunities include bird houses, interpretive signage, benches, picnic tables, and more. You can also select from a handful of special projects on our 2024 Project Wish List.
For more information or to discuss additional opportunities, contact Hallie Porter, Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-534-5263.