Bob Ross has been a life member, volunteer, and avid hiker of the Trail Conference for over 50 years!
We asked Bob to describe his 50-year connection with the Trail Conference:
I got involved with the Trail Conference in the 1960s and had the pleasure of a friendship with Bill Hoeferlin, who created maps that were the predecessors to the Trail Conference’s award-winning trail map enterprise.
I have always cherished the work of the Trail Conference because they create the trails I love. It has been a miracle to live in various locations across this vast metropolis and still be able to enjoy the solitude of open space where I can appreciate the beauty and diversity that nature has to offer.
It’s easy to take for granted that access to open space will always be available, but without the Trail Conference, I know that the trail system would crumble into disrepair. Across the region, the Trail Conference provides a quality of life that millions have enjoyed decade after decade.
The need for well-trained volunteers has outstripped the Trail Conference’s office space in Mahwah, NJ, which is far too small to accommodate a regular curriculum of volunteer training workshops. In fact, the current space is insufficient even for regular staff and office volunteers. That is why we are renovating the 1891 Darlington Schoolhouse in Mahwah into the new Trail Conference headquarters and state-of-the-art training center.