With summer's arrival comes new plants in the ground at the entry of the paved section of the new Heartland Trail in Orrville. Volunteer Pat Warner, Master Gardener, helped to plan the layout and acquire the plants.

Also assisting was  Ray Kalchert.  For ease of maintenance, perennials were selected. There are daisies, day lilies, cone flowers, sedum, black eyed Susans, and coreopsis. A few annuals were planted and mulch was put down. Most of the plants came from volunteer gardens.    Thank you Pat and Ray!

L-R: Becky and Jim Jewell, Ted Short, Keith Workman, Don Noble, Tom Bahl, Phil and Laura Grimm and Jenni Reusser.
On June 1, 2002 the Wayne County Section of the Sippo Valley Trail was officially opened.

In commemoration of this 15 year anniversary, members and some spouses of the RTWC board met on May 30 for a short celebration ceremony.  Board members Keith Workman and Don Noble II, who were actively involved in making the trail a reality, shared memories.  The celebration was followed by a ride on the trail from Dalton to the Stark County Line.

As Keith Workman said,  "We knew we had to make it happen now or it might never get done."  Here are a few excerpts from Keith's written history.

"In 1997, Massillon agreed to lease the Wayne County portion of the trail to Dalton, for $1 for 99 years. RTWC approached Dalton Village Council, asking for permission to raise funds and build the Wayne County portion of the trail, at no cost to the Village. Dalton agreed to accept the proposal."

" The Board decided that RTWC needed to "prove" to the public and to the government officials that we were capable of doing what we set out to do. With the help of the Wayne County Commissioners, we received a Solid Waste District grant to deck the bridges with recycled plastic lumber. In 1998, we decked the four bridges, but did not install railings, choosing to wait until the paving was done, so the paving equipment could cross the bridges. Grants are not actually "grants" but "reimbursements" that are paid, after the work is satisfactorily completed. We would estimate what materials were needed for one bridge, order them, immediately announce a work day, deck one bridge, submit the bill to the Solid Waste District, receive reimbursement in one week and use it to pay our suppliers in the 30 day terms received when we had ordered the materials. With this strategy, we proved that we were a viably organization. "

Paving was done in  2000 and 2001.  " . On Saturday June 1, 2002 (National Trail Day) RTWC held the Grand Opening (dedication) of the RTWC section of the Sippo Valley Trail. In late fall 2002, the Village of Dalton, with an ODNR grant, was able to build a trail from behind Buckeye Feed to the Village Green Park and construct a rest room building.

Following the 15th Anniversary commemoration, board members road the trail and in particular checked out the horse paths around the bridges.  Here Tom Bahl and Keith Workman study the stream and the options for horse crossings.

Start 'em young!

Congratulations to RTWC Board Member Katie VanZile and her family on the recent birth of their daughter Briar. When she was less than two weeks old, the family took her for a stroll on the shady sections of the Sippo Valley Trail.  L-R;  Rion, Ben, Briar, Katie,  Aspen, and Evelyn.

Let's Talk Trails 
A True Trail Tale from Jim Jewell - My Helmet Saved Me
It was a Thursday and four of us gathered at the trailhead in Danville to ride to Mt. Vernon and back on the Kokosing  Gap Trail.

A light rain was in the forecast that day, but we hoped to get the ride in before it hit hard. Shortly out of Danville a light drizzle began and continued to Mt. Vernon. After a quick picnic lunch and a check of the radar we decided that a steady paced ride back was in order.North of Gambier it rained harder as we pressed on.

At a road crossing four miles from Danville I decided to do a rolling stop at the red sign. I wear shoes that clip to the pedals and unfastened the left one as usual and leaned left to put my foot down but still keep rolling.

As I checked the road to the right I felt my bike lean that direction with my right foot attached to the pedal. Unable to unclip my foot, I hit the asphalt with my right arm. My head also hit twice with a vengeance. The others stopped to check me and my bike. I was sore but it seemed that nothing was broken. I told my companions that I was glad I was wearing a helmet or who knows what could of happened!

The next day I told the experts at Orrville Cycling and Fittness about my tumble, no cracked helmet, and questioned if I needed a new one. They said both the manufacturers and trade magazines say that,  "the helmet did it's job and should be replaced."  I'm thankful for a new helmet and the lesson learned to come to a complete stop at crossings.

Rails-to-Trails of Wayne County Board Members
President: Don Noble II, Shreve   
Vice President: Ted Short, Wooster 
Secretary:  Katie VanZile, Orrville 
Treasurer: David L. Lehman, Orrville 



Tom Bahl, Shreve           Susan Baker, Creston     Pat Glessner, Sterling                        
Phil Grimm,  Kidron        Becky Jewell, Orrville      Jenni Reusser, Orrville

Keith Winkler, Sterling    Keith Workman, Orrville