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.
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!
You know how there are only two real seasons in the Midwest: Winter and Construction Season? Well, our scheduled walk for September will not take place at Standing Bear Lake because they have closed the trails just west of our Start Point. We’ll have to reschedule this walk for another year.
Our September 19th walk will start at the Subby Anzaldo/Columbus Park at 1329 S. 24th Street. Registration and walk from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m, please be off the trail by 2 p.m. From the Subby Anzaldo Columbus Park, this trail leads through the historic Field Club neighborhood, President Gerald Ford birthsite and Hanscom Park, Omaha’s first public park. The 10k trail extends this walk along a portion of the Field Club Trail. Bring a mask and maintain social distancing guidelines as you complete your registration. Fun Walkers pay $2 and Credit Walkers (book stampers) $3 – please use exact change or write a check to “NWFT” and have the payment sealed in an envelope. Dogs on leashes and strollers welcome; the trail to/from Columbus Park and through Hanscom Park is hilly.
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.
According to Merriam-Webster, a derecho is: “a large fast-moving complex of thunderstorms with powerful straight-line winds that cause widespread destruction.” The National Weather Service says that a long-lasting line of storms producing winds in excess of 58 mph and greater and leaving damage for 240 miles or more is a derecho. One of those occurred Monday morning, August 10th, popping up just west of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area just after sunrise and ravaging the landscape as far east as Indiana.
Four of the Iowa State Parks in our 20 Iowa Walks in 2020 program were affected by the derecho:
- Big Creek – no power, limited services, some trail closures
- Lake Macbride – closed
- Ledges – no power, limited services, modern toilets affected, trails open
- Palisades – Kepler – closed
Before heading to one of those four parks, contact it directly for an updated status. Use this link to navigate to the park of interest: Iowa’s State Parks