2012-07-19 / News

Conservation panel discusses trail guide

Panel would like to include new trails, put guide online
BY MARGO SULLIVAN

The Conservation Commission will go to work on designing a new trail guide, the panel decided at its July 12 meeting.

Supplies of the current edition have almost been exhausted, according to Chairwoman Carol Trocki. Trocki and Commissioner Ted Smayda reported they recently checked the Town Hall’s supply room and found the inventory is down to the last box. The trail guides, which cost $1, are being distributed at local businesses.

Smayda said customers have bought about 225 guides since Jan. 1. “The hot spot is the Cumberland Farms,” he said. Smayda told the commission that he has been struggling to keep up with demand there.

Commissioners recently deposited $76 into the trail guide account, and the balance now stands at $2,324. Smayda also told the panel that other businesses have received requests for a map of Jamestown with a calendar of events.

“Jamestown Liquor,” he said, “keeps getting requests for a map.”

Smayda said Jamestown probably could benefit from a touristinformation kiosk, but added that would be outside the Conservation Commission’s role.

The commissioners did discuss the requests for a map and decided the Chamber of Commerce would probably be the right organization to produce that type of guide to ongoing events.

Smayda also noted some businesses, such as Grapes & Gourmet, have reported an “increasing use of debit cards” at the register. This trend might be one reason why the trail guide sales have “tapered off” at some stores, Smayda said, and suggested the panel should probably take debit card use into consideration when they design the “next generation of trail guides.”

“We are needing to update the trail guide,” said Trocki. She expressed hope that the last box will suffice for this summer. Smayda confirmed the supply should last through this summer.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Michael Brown said he would like to see the new guide available online. He also suggested the panel should work on writing a request for proposal and go out to bid for the project. To save money, he added, the commissioners might consider advertising for an intern to do the web design.

Trocki said the trail advisory committee has grant money to fund such projects.

However, Brown wanted to know how the dollar payment could be collected online. Trocki said the online trail guide could be offered for free. She added that the only reason that the commission charges $1 is to discourage the same people from taking multiple copies.

“The other thing is, there’s so much free stuff out there,” Smayda said, mentioning the clutter of brochures and flyers at the East Side Deli. The idea was to set the trail guide apart.

Trocki said experience has shown the trail guides will “get pushed aside for other things” at store counters if the commissioners fail to keep the supply stocked and in “prime real estate.”

She asked the commissioners to take the time until the next meeting to “all get a little smarter on trail guides” and come up with some plans.

Trocki said she has located the GPS files for the old trail guide. However, the art is missing, but Trocki said she prefers to recreate all the art anyway.

“That might be best,” she said. “It’s a fresh start.” Besides, Trocki said, some of the trails have changed since the current map was created. Plus, some new trails need to be added to the map. Trocki said the town’s engineering department has the GPS equipment and may be able to send interns out to “re- GPS places where a trail has been added or changed.”

Brown suggested one solution might be to overlay the trail guide on Google Maps.

In other business, the new kayak rack on Maple Avenue has won the approval of the Conservation Commission.

The Harbor Commission previously decided to add a second rack to meet the kayakers’ demand. According to Kim Devlin, harbor clerk, there was a waiting list for kayak space. She estimated a second rack could pay for itself within two years based on fees the kayakers would pay to use the rack.

The conservation commissioners had been asked for advice about where to place the rack. Commissioner Patrick Driscoll had told the harbor panel previously the conservation board would be supportive of an additional rack, but would like to offer suggestions on siting.

George Souza, liaison to the Harbor Commission, presented a photograph of the new kayak rack sitting in its proposed location along Maple Avenue.

“So the question is, where to put it?” Trocki said, summarizing the gist of the correspondence, which the conservation panel received from the harbor commissioners.

“It’s taking up a little turnaround area,” Souza explained. He passed around the photograph of the new kayak rack for the commissioners to study.

“It’s not down on the beach,” Trocki said. “It’s on the uphill side. My recommendation would be, it looks great.” She asked for a motion to instruct Souza to relay the Conservation Commission’s comments back to the Harbor Commission.

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