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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. 😉
Relax – it’s almost time to vote for our 2020 Walker of the Year and our 2021 Club Officers. A proposed set of amendments to the bylaws concerning club dues is also on the ballot. Because our bylaws require us to give 14 days’ notice to club members before voting on an amendment, voting won’t begin until November 25th. Our club president emailed the details to all current club members this morning, which are also attached here for your review.
Club members will be sent an email with a link to vote online for all three items: 2021 Club Officers; 2020 Walker of the Year; Proposed Amendments to the Bylaws. (Club members with another adult in the household will be sent a second email.) If you don’t vote online, the club will have to mail you a ballot, to conform with our bylaws stating that a majority of club members have to approve an amendment to the bylaws. That costs money (and a bunch of time) to do, so remember: Your Vote Counts!
There’s a newsletter, of course, but there are some important things you need to know about November.
- The November 7th Pie Walk in Ashland is CANCELLED.
- The December 5th Lights Walk in downtown Omaha has been MOVED to Nebraska’s Christmas City: Seward, Nebraska. Register online at Christmas City eRegistration and arrive at Living Word Lutheran Church, 1300 West Hillcrest Drive, Seward, NE 68434 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The cost is $2 for Fun Walkers and $3 for Credit Walkers (book stampers) payable by exact change or a check (made out to NWFT) placed in an envelope when you check in. After your 5k or 10k walk, stay for a tour of Nebraska’s largest Christmas lights display. Starting at 6 p.m. you can drive through the Magical Christmas Lights of Seward at the fairgrounds. Cost is $20 per vehicle (not payable to us). See https://magicallightsofseward.com/ for all the details.
- Voting for Club Officers and 2020’s Walker of the Year will take place during November. Details are in the newsletter, although the start of voting may be delayed because of some technical difficulties.
- The December 7th club meeting is CANCELLED.
- Finally, membership during 2021 is FREE! Club membership allows you to get all this news delivered to your inbox as it happens, receive the full newsletter as soon as it comes out, and the opportunity to vote for club officers and Walker of the Year. Here’s a link to the membership form, so that you can take advantage of this great opportunity. The full details on how the free membership works are . . . you guessed it! . . . in the newsletter.
The long-term weather forecast for October is warmer and drier than normal, so that means a great walking forecast. Here’s a rundown (or should that be walkdown?) of October walking events.
- Sunday, October 4th – Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, IA 51542. Check in is from 9 a.m. to noon. The trail is rated 3B (pretty hilly and dirt under your feet), so be sure to come early enough to be off the trail by 3 p.m. Hiking sticks are strongly recommended. In addition to the $3 walk fee (exact change or check made out to NWFT), each vehicle load of people needs to bring $3 in exact change to feed the kiosk as an entry fee to the Nature Center. eRegister by 9 p.m. Saturday or fill out a Start Card at the check in table. COVID-19 protocols are in place and must be followed.
- Monday, October 5th – NO CLUB MEETING.
- Thursday, October 15th – End date of 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 program. Flat, hilly or in-between, there’s a walk waiting for you! Early October is the perfect time to enjoy these parks, with no crowds, few bugs and the best weather for getting in a quick 5k or 10k.
- Saturday, October 17th – Walk for Wildlife (sponsored by Iowa’s Walking Club). Jester Park Nature Center, 12130 NW 128th St, Granger, IA 50109. Register at the Outdoor Recreation Center building between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (Since they can’t get into the building to set up before 10:30 a.m., give them a few minutes to set up, please!)
- Saturday, October 24th – Wyuka Cemetery Walk (sponsored by Lincoln Volkssport Club). City Impact Building, 1035 N 33rd St, Lincoln, NE 68503. Register between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., be off the trail by 1 p.m. Historically, this is a pretty flat trail, so you should be able to make good time on the trail. This walk is FREE to all walkers. This is the final walk for the Lincoln Volkssport Club and this walk is their gift to the walking community. Let’s show them some love and come out in droves!
Walk has moved! See latest post (September 9, 2020). Our next walk will be September 19th at Omaha’s Standing Bear Lake, Entrance 4 (N. 132nd Street, between Fort and Military – closer to Military) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. We’ll be offering a 6k around the lake and a 10k that adds some hills in the Saddlebrook neighborhood to the west of the lake. Please register online at: eRegistration Link . Pay when you arrive: $2 for Fun Walkers, $3 for Credit Walkers (book stampers). Group Walk at 8:30 a.m. We will be observing COVID-19 protocols, so bring your mask and pen and an envelope containing payment (exact change or check made out to “NWFT”).
Our latest newsletter, containing 2021’s tentative schedule and plenty of insights from President Lee and Coordinating Committee Chair Sandy, is available here: September – October 2020 newsletter As always, club members get the full newsletter directly in their inboxes, hot off the press! Be sure to send in your “Walker of the Year” nominations to newsletter editor Julie, whose email address is listed in the full newsletter.
The Board of the Trailblazers, with guidance from our parent walking club, the AVA, has adopted a set of COVID-19 protocols for our walks. Highlights include using masks when checking in, asking for pre-registration via our eRegistrations page and only accepting exact change placed in an envelope for our walks.
You can read the full set of protocols here: COVID-19 Protocols
eRegistration for our September 19th walk at Standing Bear Lake is available here: eRegistration Page
Unfortunately, we cannot have a September 14th club meeting, for all sorts of logistical reasons. We are looking at options for October.
If you’re not a club member, you probably didn’t see our July – August newsletter. If you did see it, you might not know that our Westroads Year Round Event has reopened! Good news – all of those year round events will be available next year, with a few surprises. Bad news – our 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 program is coming to an end October 15, 2020. Good news – there’s still two more months of great walking weather to get them all done!
More bad news – we won’t be having any Group Walks in Iowa State Parks as planned for August 29th, October 2nd nor October 3rd. But our partner in these walks, the Greater Des Moines Volkssport Association, is planning a Group Walk of Stephens State Forest on September 26th at 10 a.m.
Bad news/Good news – our friends to the north, the Prairie Wanders Volkssport Club, have had to postpone their multi-event walking weekend from September 11 – 13, 2020 to September 10 – 12, 2021.
Our September 19, 2020 walk at Standing Bear Lake, Entrance 4 (between Fort and Military on 132nd Street) is still on, but the breakfast portion of the walk has been cancelled. Arrive anytime from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. to register and to walk. Masks are required for the registration, but are not needed once you start walking. Please bring $2 exact change in an envelope for each Fun Walker and/or $3 for each Credit Walker (book stamper). Bring your own pen to sign in. No need to rush this walk – you have until 2 p.m. to get back – and yes, we do check to make sure that the same number of people that start out are the same number of people that come back. ?
June 1st Club Meeting: CANCELED
June 6th Group Walks: CANCELED
Our next scheduled event is the Group Walk of the Waubonsie State Park 5k and 10k trails at 8:00 a.m., followed by Lake of Three Fires at 1 p.m. We’ll remind you as the time comes closer, never fear!
It’s hard to keep track of everything that’s changing, isn’t it! Our crack reporter and newsletter editor Julie put together another great newsletter – and in the last couple of days, we’ve got more news and updates to pass along to you.
First, the newsletter: NWFT May-June 2020 newsletter
You can download it here: NWFT May – June 2020 newsletter
Now for the updates:
- Our May 9th Traditional Walk, rescheduled from April, is CANCELED.
- No decision has been made at this time about our June 1st Club Meeting.
- 20 Iowa Parks in 2020 seasonal walking program has OPENED as of May 1st. All facilities are not open at the parks until at least May 15th, although one or two toilets may be available. Try to be flexible if you want to walk before the 15th and do follow all Iowa social distancing guidelines.
- Speaking of the Iowa Parks program, Lake Anita State Park’s POC Jill reports that the Start Box is temporarily located inside the Park Office, until the campgrounds open on May 15th.
- Still speaking of the Iowa Parks program, the June 6th Group Walks at Lewis and Clark and Stone State Parks have been CANCELED. These are fantastic walks that you can do on your own, but not with a group at this time. Maybe in the fall?
- Omaha Hanscom Park YRE has REOPENED.
- Omaha Westroads Mall YRE is still CLOSED.
- A New Seasonal Walk, with Little Free Library!, has been ADDED in Southeastern Council Bluffs, courtesy of Sandy Spaulding. Info at: AVA website listing