Source: Sherman Publications

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Ambassadors sought to represent Polly Ann Trail

by CJ Carnacchio

March 12, 2014

Trail Manager Pat Ball is looking for 20 to 30 volunteers who want to help promote and enhance the Polly Ann Trail experience.
Ambassadors are being sought to help represent, promote and enhance the Polly Ann Trail experience.

Trail Manager Patrick Ball is looking for 20 to 30 volunteers, age 18 and up, who use the trail at least twice a week, enjoy interacting with people and are willing to spread the word about its positive attributes, activities/events and surroundings.

"We'd love to have them whether they're walkers, bikers, runners, horseback people we're looking for a mix," he said.

These trail ambassadors would make themselves available to users by answering questions, providing information and giving directions.

Ball said the ambassadors could guide users to restrooms, bicycle repair shops, parks and local places to dine. In essence, these volunteers would help put a friendly face on the trail and serve as walking, talking information kiosks.

The ambassadors would also serve as the "eyes and ears" of the trail providing multiple lines of communication between users and Ball.

The Polly Ann Trail is a 14.2-mile non-motorized recreation path that runs through Addison, Oxford and Orion townships along with the villages of Leonard and Oxford.

Ball made it clear the ambassadors are not meant to become a security force for the trail.

"I'm not looking for policemen," he said.

Ball got the idea to institute an ambassador program from the one utilized by the well-known Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation (TART) Trails system in northern Michigan.

"You know me always stealing from somebody else," he said. "I just thought it was a nice fit (for the Polly Ann Trail).

"It's not overcomplicated. It's a just a matter of getting people who care and who are on (the trail) a lot, then giving them some knowledge, so when people ask questions, they can answer them."

Folks interested in becoming a trail ambassador are invited to attend a 6:45 p.m. Thursday, April 10 meeting at the Oxford Village offices (22 W. Burdick St.).

Ball promised it won't be an all-nighter.

He doesn't like long meetings and said this one will be "under 100 minutes."

Questions can be directed to Ball via e-mail at patmctm@gmail.com.

Local businesses interested in supporting the ambassador program are encouraged to contact the manager.