May 21, 2012

Good afternoon all,
 
I would like to take a moment to say how well this past weekend's trail improvement project went.  
I am very impressed with the Gunks Climbing Coalition's (GCC) ability to recruit and utilize volunteer 
labor from within their organization to accomplish such a substantial work project.  They didn't 
just sit back and complain about why things were not moving along faster with the climbing area 
expansion; they asked us what they could do to help and then showed up, in force, to do it. 
 
At our spring 2012 meeting with the GCC, we explained what we needed to do before we could move 
forward with the master plan recommendation to expand the Peter's Kill Climbing Area to include 
the Dicke Barre.  They have since helped to complete all the necessary cliff surveys and will be 
preparing a report and maps of the Dicke Barre, which we will submit to the region and Albany.  
GCC members have also helped us collect data to assess the existing baseline conditions of the 
area so long term monitoring will be more effective.  Additionally, we requested the GCC's help 
in improving access to the Dicke Barre Area, in case an emergency response is needed in the future.  
The Bull wheel trail to the Dicke Barre was once a service road, but over many years without 
regular maintenance, had reverted to more of a foot trail. 

The GCC was able to get expert help from the Access Fund, which sent two paid staff members to 
provide some trail building expertise.  The GCC also recruited volunteers, with much success, from 
the New Paltz Climbing Co-op and other climbers.  The bulk of the work was completed this past 
weekend with 23 volunteers working a 6 hour day on Saturday and 17 volunteers working a 3.5 hour day 
on Sunday.  We asked that the trail be repaired to a standard that would be passable for an ATV/UTV 
and they definitely exceeded that expectation.   In total, the GCC put in well over 200 volunteer hours 
to repair this trail!  
 
Having previous experience in parks where user groups have felt that complaining loudly and publicly 
is the only way to bring attention to their particular issues and demands, it is refreshing to work 
with groups like the GCC.  On top of all the sweat equity they have invested, the GCC has also donated 
a rescue litter and accessories costing over $1500.00. This group really put their money and muscle 
where their mouth was, and I am truly looking forward to working with them in the future.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jorge
 
Jorge Gomes
Park Manager 1
Minnewaska State Park Preserve
PO Box 893 New Paltz, NY 12561
Ph:   (845) 255 - 0752
Fax: (845) 255 - 3505