December 2021

Saturday, December 4th, 4 to 6 p.m. – annual Lights Walk at the Urban Abbey, 1026 Jackson Street in Omaha’s Old Market.  Surface parking lots and parking meters are available in the area. Cost is $3 per walker. The Urban Abbey will have hot drinks for sale, while our club will provide complimentary cookies. Our host has asked us to support their mission with the YES Maternity Group Home by bringing diapers for sizes 3 and up. We’ll be offering “diaper shares” for a $5 donation.  Donations are not required, but as always, are greatly appreciated. Register online using this eRegistration LinkMASKS REQUIRED DURING CHECK-IN.

Monday, December 6th, 7 p.m. – monthly club meeting at Morning Star Lutheran Church, 331 S. 85th Avenue, Omaha, in the chapel.  After our speaker, a short business meeting will be conducted, including in-person voting for 2022 Club Officers and the 2021 Walker of the Year. MASKS REQUIRED.

–>Note about voting: The club tried a new (free) way to conduct on-line voting for 2022 Club Officers and the 2021 Walker of the Year. We’re learning that several club members may not have received the link to vote, due to their internet provider’s spam filters. If you are a club member and wish to vote on-line (rather than in-person at the club meeting on December 6th), first check your Spam Folders for the November 16th invitation to vote. If you can’t find it, contact netrailblazers@gmail.com and you’ll be sent the link to vote.

12/31/2021 – That’s when all club memberships expire. Look for your renewal notice, coming soon.

The 2022 Calendar of Walks and Events will be posted as soon as a couple of details get finalized.  Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 9 a.m. at the Westroads Mall is the first group walk of the year, so mark your calendars now!

 

Pies and Lights and a Newsletter!

Our annual Pie Walk is coming up THIS Saturday, November 6th, starting at 9 a.m. The start location is the APWU at 13th and William Streets in Omaha, but better parking is available just a block north in the church parking lot at 14th & Pine Streets. (Hint: don’t drive Pine between 13th and 14th, even if it is on the map!) Check-in/walk-in registrations end at noon. Cost is $3 per walker. Please consider bringing a pie to share; all leftovers will be donated to the men’s shelter in Council Bluffs.  Register online using this eRegistration Link

Our next staffed walking event is our annual Lights Walk on December 4th, this year starting from the Urban Abbey at 1026 Jackson Street in Omaha’s Old Market.  Check-in/walk-in registrations run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the cost is $3 per walker. The Urban Abbey will have hot drinks for sale, while our club will provide complimentary cookies. Our host has asked us to support their mission with the YES Maternity Group Home by bringing diapers for sizes 3 and up. We’ll be offering “diaper shares” for a $5 donation.  Donations are not required, but as always, are greatly appreciated. Register online using this eRegistration Link.

Read more about these walks in our latest newsletter! Be sure to read up on how voting will be handled this year for club officers and Walker of the Year and take a peek at the very full 2022 Walking Calendar (coming soon to a website near you). Newsletter link: November – December 2021 Newsletter

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.

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?

 

 

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!

Welcome to 2021!

Our New Year’s resolution for 2021? To offer great walks and to make new friends! Club membership in 2021 is FREE! Download the form and either email the completed form to netrailblazers@gmail.com or print it and send it to the address on the form.  

Our latest club newsletter can be downloaded here.  As always, club members get the full newsletter emailed directly to them.  This introduces our new club president, the implementation of our calendar year club dues structure and offers the chance for one lucky person to win a FREE registration to the AVA’s 2021 Biennial Convention, to be held in Madison, Wisconsin.

We’ll be announcing the 2020 Walker of the Year at our January 11th Zoom meeting (link sent to club members by hard-working past president Lee). In-person club meetings are still on hold at this time.

You did see our 2021 Walk Booklet, didn’t you? We’ve got 8 Traditional Events scheduled, starting in March. We have 10 Year Round Walks that you can do (almost) every day of the year and 3 Seasonal Walks starting April 1st (information on this page). One of them is only available via the Online Start Box, so if you don’t have an online account, now is the perfect time to create one and get familiar with the process. A tutorial is in the works to supplement the great “Help” sections available with each step of the process.  

We’re sending out a big THANK YOU! to the folks with the Lincoln Volkssport Club, which closed at the end of 2020. Their passion and commitment to great walks continues.  Our club has picked up the Lincoln Capital and Seward Year Round Walks, with the help of former LVC members. The Nebraska City walk has been turned into one of our new Seasonal Walks, but don’t worry – it closes after the Apple Jack Festival.  

If your 2021 resolution is to be more active, we want to be your partner.  And you can always do those Year Rounds in snowshoes.  ?