Club News

Mid-September 2021 News

Our club’s latest newsletter is now available! Click here to read it:  September – October 2021 newsletter  Of course, club members receive the full newsletter hot off the presses.  Here’s your chance to join – just follow the instructions on this page: “How to Become a Club Member”

Just in case you don’t get the newsletter read before 7 p.m. on Monday, September 13th – we’re having an in-person club meeting tonight!  Our meeting place is still at Morning Star Lutheran Church at 331 S. 85th Avenue in Omaha, but the room has been moved upstairs to the chapel. Our speaker tonight from the Papio-Missouri NRD will talk about local trails. He will be followed by a short business meeting.  Our meeting room host requires that masks be worn inside the church building, so please be prepared to mask up upon entry.

Late August 2021 News

Our club’s newsletter will be coming out soon, but here’s a sneak preview of some highlights:

  • Our next regular walk will be Saturday, September 11th at 8 a.m. at the children’s playground, Entrance 4, at Standing Bear Lake. This entrance is on N. 132nd Street, closer to Military than to Fort Street. In recognition of Patriot Day and the day’s commitment to service, we’re collecting food for Feeding America. Please be generous! No glass containers (they break during transportation) and please double-check expiration dates.
  • In-person club meetings have returned!  Our next meeting will be the Monday AFTER Labor Day, September 13th at 7 p.m.  We will still be meeting at Morning Star Lutheran Church at 331 S. 85th Avenue, but we will be UPSTAIRS in the Chapel area. The church is requiring all visitors to wear masks while inside. Our speaker will be a member of the Papio-Missouri NRD, speaking about area trails.  October’s meeting returns to the first Monday of the month, October 4th.
  • The October 2nd Midtown Omaha Walk at Ahmad’s Persian Restaurant, 4646 Dodge Street has a time change.  Check-in and walk-in registrations will be allowed from 11 a.m. until noon, with a finish time of 2 p.m. That way, you can enjoy a great lunch either before or after your walk! Save time by registering online at this eRegistration Link; just pay when you arrive.
  • The club’s Board has put together a set of Standing Rules – kind of like an operating manual for the club. Want to see it? It’s on this page, at the bottom.  
  • Speaking of operating – please consider offering an hour or so of your time at either the September or October walks. Club President Steve will be asking for volunteers by email and at the September club meeting. 

July News

Our most recent newsletter is now available. All of the details for our July and August club outings are in it, so you’ll want to read it right away!

Our “Weekday Walks” have been very popular. Our next walk is Monday, July 12th at 10 a.m. for a 5k out-and-back on the Wabash Trace in Council Bluffs, IA.  This walk is free, but the Wabash Trace does request a $2 per person payment in order to use the trail. Meet at the Iowa West Trailhead Park at the intersection of Harry Langdon Blvd. & E. S. Omaha Bridge Rd. Please arrive 15 minutes early so that everyone can get walking by 10 a.m.

Future weekday walks are dependent on volunteer availability to lead a walk, summer weather and vacation schedules.  Let us know at netrailblazers@gmail.com if you’d like to lead a walk and where. 

Reservations for a box lunch for the July 24th outing in Ashland, NE are due by July 15th. All the details are in the newsletter, so if you haven’t read it yet, do it now!

Box lunches will also be available for purchase for the August 14th outing at Chalco Hills in SW Omaha.  You did read about it in the newsletter, didn’t you?

 

 

May/June Weekday Walk Schedule

The club has four “Weekday Walks” coming up through the end of June. All are free, none qualify for AVA/IVV Credit (book stamping). Look for the yellow sign with the letters “AVA” in black. Come a bit earlier than the walk start time to sign a waiver.

All of these walks are an easy out and back walk on a paved trail; walk as far as you’d like in the hour we’ve planned for this event. Most people can walk 3 miles in an hour’s time. Strollers and leashed dogs welcome. 

These walks take place rain or shine, but we cancel in the event of lightning and/or severe weather.

  1. Thursday, May 27 at 5:30 p.m. – Field Club Trail Walk
  2. Thursday, June 10 at 10:00 a.m. – Iowa Riverfront Trail Walk
  3. Thursday, June 17 at 5:30 p.m. – Kerrey Bridge Walk (starting from the Iowa side) CANCELLED due to extreme heat
  4. Thursday, June 24 at 10:00 a.m. – Kerrey Bridge Walk (starting from the Iowa side)

Walk #1 starts from the Field Club Trailhead parking lot just east of the Douglas County Health Center, 42nd St. & Woolworth Ave., Omaha, NE. Parking lot has a brown sign that says “Field Club Trail”.

Walks #2 – 4 start from Tom Hanafan River’s Edge Park, just north of Harrah’s Casino in Council Bluffs, IA.
Directions: I-29 to Exit 53A, 9th Ave. West on 9th Ave. to Harrah’s Blvd. North on Harrah’s Blvd. to parking at the park. Meet at the end of the lot closest to the levee. 

Update to May 15th walk

Our May 15, 2021 walk is located at Mahoney State Park and was scheduled to coincide with their annual Free Park Entry Day.  Long story short, May 15th is NOT a free day and all vehicles must show an Annual Park Permit or purchase a One Day Permit.  The club apologizes for this situation.

Nebraska residents pay $6/vehicle.  Non-Nebraska residents pay $8/vehicle. You will pay this when entering the park.  This is in addition to the $3 fee for walking, payable to the club.

Take advantage of the great forecast for Saturday morning, well-planned trails and the lack of crowds.  Two routes have been laid out: an easy 5k and a more challenging 6k extension for the adventurous.  Join us, starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday! If you want to sleep in a little, registration is open until 11 a.m., but you do have to be off the trails by 2 p.m.

May 2021 newsletter and updates

Here’s the May-June 2021 club newsletter, edited for the web. Club members receive the full newsletter immediately upon publication. Membership for the remainder of 2021 is FREE, so download the application and mail it to the Post Office box or email it to netrailblazers@gmail.com.

Sandy has a lot to say in this newsletter, such as having more spur-of-the-moment walks, like the one she’s leading next week on Thursday, May 13th at 10 a.m. on one of our new Seasonal Walks – the Wabash Trace.  Meet 15 minutes early in the parking lot of the Iowa West Foundation Trailhead just down the street from the Tastee Treet at 13996 Wabash Ave in Council Bluffs. The parking lot is at the intersection of South Omaha Bridge Road and Harry Langdon Avenue. The Wabash Trace does ask for a $2 fee to be deposited into the fee box for each walker using the Trace.

Sandy isn’t collecting any money for this walk – if you’re a Credit Walker, be sure to stop in at the Tastee Treet after the walk to pay your $3 and get your book(s) stamped.

Or, register via the Online Start Box! Directions on how to use the Online Start Box are now on our website.  The Online Start Box is really handy when you want to do the Omaha Downtown and Hanscom Park walks – no more driving down to the physical start box and then driving back to the places where the walks start! And of course, the only way you can register for the Veterans and Libraries Walk is via the Online Start Box. 

Finally, club president Steve wants everyone to know that the Free Park Day Walk at Mahoney State Park on Saturday, May 15th is now offering 5k and 6k loops, an increase of 1 kilometer of walking. Also, the club will be collecting cash donations for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s Walk, Run and Roll event. There will be a donations box at the Start Table. Remember – if you register online, you’ll just check in, deposit your payment and take a map – in and out in 3 minutes or less!

Mid-March 2021 Updates

Our March-April 2021 Newsletter went out to members last week. What’s that, you say? How do I become a member and get all the news as it happens? Well, fear no more: until December 31, 2021, membership in the club is FREE! Fill out and send in this form without attaching a check and you’re all set.

The newsletter talks about “National Walking Week” which takes place from April 1st through April 7th, with April 7th being “National Walking Day”. We’ve got six, count them, 6 free walks for you! Since April 4th falls on Easter Sunday, we won’t be meeting to walk, but be sure to post any pictures of you (and family) walking that day on a special post on our Facebook page.  (It’s not up yet, but you’ll know it when you see it.)

Free walks means no AVA/IVV Credit, so leave your books at home. Two of the walks have fees imposed by the locale, so be aware of those fees before you come. Also, COVID-19 protocols are still in place – that means masks while registering and when within 6′ of someone outside of your household. Arrive 15 minutes early to take care of paperwork.

All of these are 5k walks, except Downtown Omaha, which is a 6k. Families and leashed dogs welcome and all trails are stroller friendly.

  • Thursday, April 1st, 5 p.m.  – Prairie Queen Recreation Area – meet in the SE parking lot closest to Werner Park on Lincoln Avenue.
  • Friday, April 2nd, 1 p.m. – Wabash Trace Trailhead at 4102 Harry Langdon Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA 51503. $2 per walker fee to Southwest Iowa Nature Trails Project, Inc.  Out-and-back walk.
  • Saturday, April 3rd, 10 a.m. – Downtown Omaha – meet at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street, in the Discovery Garden area.
  • Monday, April 5th, 5 p.m. – Walnut Creek Recreation Area – meet in the parking area near the playground.
  • Tuesday, April 6th, 4 p.m. – Lake Manawa Dream Playground – meet in the parking area. $5 vehicle entrance fee for out-of-state plates.
  • Wednesday, April 7th, 1 p.m. – Chalco Hills Recreation Area – meet in the south parking lot (Highway 370 Access).

With all this walking, you’ll be ready for our regular April 10th Bockfest 5k and 10k Walk, right? Details on our 2021 Walk Calendar page.

Late January 2021 updates

  1. We’re getting out to stretch our legs on Friday, January 29th at Prairie Queen Recreation Area by Werner Park! This is a FREE walk and is not eligible for AVV/IVV Credit, so leave your books and your money at home! Online registration is REQUIRED at https://forms.gle/ekcFfZxMcsaP8fAVA We’ll start walking promptly at 2 p.m. on a 5k group walk around the lake, so arrive a bit earlier to check-in. COVID-19 protocols are in effect: masks must be worn while gathering and whenever within 6′ of someone outside your household.  Take Hwy 370 to S. 126th Street, go past Werner Park to the Lincoln Road roundabout and then use the 3rd exit to go west one block to the parking lot from where we’ll be starting.  Please dress for the weather. Don’t count on the sidewalk around the lake being shoveled!
  2. We will NOT have our regular monthly club meeting on February 1st. No in-person club meetings have been scheduled at this time.
  3. We’ve had to make a change to our March 6th Soup Walk this year – it’s more like a “No Soup for You!” Walk. ? We won’t be able to share soup with each other, but that just means more for those people depending on local food banks for a meal, right? We’ve asked for chicken- or beef-based soups in the past, but we’re asking for 2 cans of hearty soups – think of meal substitutes – of any flavor. The local food banks that we’re supporting are the St. Columbkille/Tri-City Food Pantry and the New Visions Men’s Shelter in Council Bluffs. Start Point and times have not changed. See our 2021 Walk Calendar page for details.

Lee Frantz honored

We want to recognize our past president, Lee Frantz, for the AVA Meritorious Service Award he received during our January 11th Annual Meeting (via Zoom). That award is given for five years (or more) of outstanding service to the AVA. Lee’s accomplishments as Club President and as Trailmaster for the Nebraska Wander Freunde Trailblazers take quite a bit of space to list and are all the more remarkable when looking at the extreme events our club has experienced during his tenure, from our 2017 Eclipse Events through the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Lee credits his wife, Donna Campbell, for her shared enthusiasm of Volkssporting. Congratulations, Lee!