Although the D&L Trail benefits from partnerships with a wide swath of municipalities, government agencies, landowners, and businesses that often contribute their services to building and maintaining the trail, the bulk of trail maintenance comes through the volunteer work of the D&L Trail Tenders.
The Trail Tenders are individuals that come out weekend after weekend, year round to clear brush, clean up trash, eliminate invasive species, replant and reseed natives, expose historic locks, and educate trail users about the effort that goes into building and protecting the trail.
The Lehigh Valley Trail Tenders are an especially dedicated group. In 2008, volunteer hours amounted to a whopping 1,448, thanks to a devoted corps of Tenders that missed very few opportunities to work on the trail, regardless of weather or season. At September’s Trail Tenders’ picnic Jerry Weiner of Nazareth, Beth Masiado of Bethlehem, and Steve Szarko of Allentown received plaques recognizing each for their individual contribution of over 300 volunteer hours.
Some of the highlights from the past year include:
- Two locks cleared of undergrowth and exposed for the public to enjoy
- Construction of a nature trail and native plant test site near Sand Island
- Removal of debris from Lock 42
- Charlie Brown Clearing (Bethlehem) extended to Lock 43 for an improved view
- New mile markers and directional blades installed
- Worked closely with the Bethlehem Department of Parks to initiate controlled burns and arrange for removal of collected garbage and clippings
Outside of the Lehigh Valley, Tenders cleared brush from the high locks in Luzerne County, installed mile markers on the Black Diamond section, and cleaned up the Parryville lock.
All of these achievements will encourage community members to use the trail, but none would have been possible without the devotion of the Trail Tenders. To ensure that 2009 is just as successful, the Trail Tenders need your help. We can always use volunteers along all 165-miles of the D&L Trail. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please contact Dennis Scholl at [email protected] or 610-923-3548 (ext. 225).