The Northern Allegheny Mountain Bicycling Association has joined select company after trail development work in Warren County.
NAMBA received the Friend of Hatch Run Award from the Warren County Conservation District on Feb. 18.
The award is intended to publicly recognize NAMBA for its efforts to improve the area and help the conservation district, according to District Manager Heather Wilcox.
Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry
Friends of the forest
Allegheny Cyclery co-owners Josh Ellis, left, and Aaron Spencer display the awards the Northern Allegheny Mountain Bike Association (NAMBA) received for local efforts to improve trails at the Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area. From left are commendations from the Pennsylvania Senate and Pennsylvania House, and a plaque naming NAMBA as “Friend of Hatch Run.”
"They did a lot of work with us the last couple years on making new trails and fixing old trails," she said. "We would not have been able to do this without outside people helping us. It just would not be possible."
The construction and maintenance project involved existing trails on the 350-acre Hatch Run Conservation Demonstration Area in Glade Township.
The work, over the last two years, added about one mile to the total of some five miles of trails. That new trail is in the northeastern section of the demonstration area.
NAMBA received a plaque, accepted by Josh Ellis of Allegheny Cyclery, that will be placed at the Cyclery.
The conservation district had a sign made that will hang at the HRCDA information kiosk as a public recognition.
Not many groups have a Friend of Hatch Run Award.
"It's an award we've given out only one or two other times to groups, organizations, and people who've gone above and beyond to help us with projects at Hatch Run," Wilcox said.
District Technician Greg Kolenda said the project carried almost no cost to the conservation district - a few of his work hours. The project was almost entirely completed by about a dozen NAMBA volunteers including Ellis and Aaron Spencer.
"It feels great to be recognized, although we aren't doing It for the recognition," Ellis Spencer said. "We are just excited to be able to help out by maintaining and building trails that get folks active... give them something to do, to get out and explore."
"Hatch Run is an amazing property close to town, it has an amazing history and provides for a lot of different scenery, wildlife, and vegetation," he said. "We are glad to have a positive working relationship with the Conservation District, as well as have the opportunity to introduce ourselves and show people what we are doing."
He said the project is an example of what the group can offer as partners with Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways and the Allegheny National Forest on the proposed Jakes Rocks Trail Project.