Last year was an exciting and very active year for the Friends of the Little Miami State Park. Over the course of 2019, the Friends organization expended over $51,000 for trail maintenance, improvements, and special events and activities for the trail users.
For the organization’s primary activity of Trail Care and Maintenance, we expensed over $21,300. These funds supported multiple volunteer-staffed programs up and down the trail including:
Providing portable restrooms at 7 locations between Spring Valley to Miamiville to ensure year-round restroom availability.
Our year-round Trail Blowing program staffed by volunteers who drive our two trail blowers up and down the trail to remove leaves and tree debris from the trail.
Maintenance and repair of the trail surface, fences, and trail signage, and vegetation control. This includes purchase and maintenance of the tools and supplies used by our volunteers to work on and maintain the trail.
Our 2019 Trail Safety Program to improve safety at all road intersections up and down the trail.
Our Dead Tree Removal and Invasive Species Control programs.
And our Park Reforestation and Landscaping programs.
These programs are staffed and supported by an active group of volunteers who do a wonderful job of maintaining and repairing the trail. The Friends organization is proud to provide the volunteers the tools and supplies needed to support their efforts.
The Friends organization is always looking for opportunities to add to the park amenities to enhance the trail user’s experience. In 2019, FMSP expended over $21,800 on trail improvements. These improvements focused on two areas. At MM 45.2 and 45.5, we identified two locations where the river and culverts presented a potential danger for trail users. FLMSP arranged the purchase and installation of two fences in these locations to protect the users from falling off the edge of the trail and into the creeks. The second area has been a focused improvement of the amenities in the Village of Corwin at MM14. Here, working with the Village of Corwin and with funds from the Simeon Copple memorial fund, we added an information kiosk and a bike repair station with tools and an air pump. This adds to our collection of information kiosks up and down the trail. In addition, we began the planning for adding a picnic shelter at this location, scheduled for completion in 2020.
In addition to trail maintenance and improvements, FLMSP also manages activities intended to improve the trail user experience. The first of these is our trail usage monitoring program from which we develop estimates of the park usage. These data are used by ODNR and FLMSP to plan and manage trail activities and support our fundraising. Second is our Trail Sentinel program that sends our volunteers out on the trail to monitor safety and provide support to trail users. Third is our Volunteer Appreciation efforts to let all the volunteers know they are appreciated. Finally, in 2019 our biggest special event was the Little Miami State Park 40-year anniversary festival held over the weekend of September 28 & 29. Besides providing park patrons with festivals at three different venues as well as organized bike rides on the Little Miami Scenic Trail over both days, the festival activities netted over $2,000. On all these special activities, FMLSP expended just over $8,100.
Administration costs consist of expenses required in the running of a nonprofit which for 2019 came to $11,300 or 18% of our annual expenditures. These expenses included our our website, postage, legal filings, insurance, and fundraising and collection expenses. The Friends of the Little Miami State Park is a 100% volunteer organization with no paid staff.
We are proud to report that 82% of the funds we expended in 2019 went to programs that maintained and improved the Little Miami State Park and enhanced the park user experience.
To fund our activities supporting the Little Miami State Park, the Friends Organization maintains an active fundraising program. In 2019, FLMSP raised over $62,000. These funds came from three primary sources. The first is memberships and direct donations received from our incredible base of trail users. In 2019 we received over $26,000 in memberships and direct donations. Our second source of income comes from grants and funds from foundations, the business community, and adjoining government entities. Specifically, we receive grants from foundations and donor-advised charitable funds, employer and retail sales matching programs, and expenses shared and supported by the local villages where we do work. In 2019, we received over $27,800 from these sources. Finally, in 2019, we received $8,200 income from the Little Miami State Park 40-year Anniversary Festival, providing us a net margin of $2,000 to put into our trail work.
I wish to thank all of our donors and stakeholders for your support to the Friends of the Little Miami State Park and the work we do to make the Little Miami Scenic Trail and State Park an asset for all of the citizens of Ohio.
Treasurer, Friends of the Little Miami State Park
Trail Mail Quiz Answer: All of the items given were paid for by FLMSP in 2019.