Adopt A Mile Program
Each year, since February 2000, the Spring City Cycling Club adopts responsibility for the mile of roadway at the top of the Cecil Ashburn. We pick up litter on this section of road and are recognized by the City of Huntsville with signs marking the adopted mile.
For 2016: There are 3 sessions of 8 pledges each for a total of 24 pledges of which 3 are session leaders. The first 2 sessions are on Tuesday evenings (rain day Wednesday evenings) and the 3rd session is the first Saturday morning of November with rain day the first Sunday morning of November. The amount of time is 2 hours.
The project season begins Tuesday March 29th with 8 volunteer pledges to work. It’s a beautiful place, it is good company, and it is an adult Easter egg hunt. Some folks ride their bicycles there and afterwards we either order pizza or visit a local restaurant. SCCC officers have approved funding food. The March and July pickups will be evening sessions. Our November Saturday morning session remains as popular as ever for seeing the sights in the brisk fall air.
- Tuesday March 29th 5:30-7:30 PM, (rain Wednesday March 30th)
- sunset 7:04 PM daylight savings starts March 13th
- Tuesday July 26th 5:30-7:30 PM, (rain Wednesday July 27th)
- Saturday Nov. 5th 9-11 AM with lunch afterwards (rain Sunday Nov. 6th)
Group meal afterwards for each session; Up to $75 paid for by SCCC
Why Adopt a Mile for the club? SCCC adopted Cecil Ashburn as part of the City of Huntsville Operation Green Team program in 2000. Since the club has also participated in many other clean our city programs in the past, adopting a road section is aligned with the club’s historic civil values. Since the organization name is posted on signs at the beginning and ending of a section, the club effort provides a constant, visible source of public recognition. We have a visible relationship with city officials for whom beautification is important.
Why Cecil Ashburn? Cecil Ashburn is a city designated bike route and it is THE best cycling, most scenic east/west crossing in the county. SCCC members and other cyclists in Madison County worked hard to have this be the first local road smooth paved with 8-foot wide shoulders. At the time, this was not a given but a multi lettered, multi argued, multi head banging exercise for 2 years. Those shoulders are something this club won for itself and the county. We caused the Mayor and our council members to repeatedly go to the state DOT and get the job done. It is a beautiful stretch of road that is a pleasure to ride and provides the safest passage between the western and eastern sides of Madison County. It's a good place for this club to take a public stand.... and look around. We earned the view and the climb.
What commitments does the Adopt A Mile program require? We agree to 'keep it clean' for a year - whatever that means to us as a club. Trucks do not use this road. This road doesn't have unsupervised parking spots so we've been spared the loads of romantic night toys and glass bottles that other spots regularly get. The trash seems to be stuff flying outta pickup beds and fast food junk flying outta windows. We pick up 6-10 trash bags each session. In addition, the Huntsville Land Trust has acquired the property and parking lot at the top of the pass, so we now have partners with similar outdoor values. This has reduced the frequency of dumping home improvement debris.
What is our project structure? Each year January through mid March, the club officers approve the process of formulating a new annual project. That entails reviewing results from the previous year, consider club member willingness to renew the project for another year, design a new project, and enroll participants. Before we, the club and its officers, sign up for the job, we require a list of volunteers who select in advance one or more sessions to work. For 2016 we need 24 pledges, 8 pledges for each of three pickup sessions. We also need 2 additional session leaders. All volunteer slots must be spoken for before it becomes an official club project. Once that happens, the Huntsville Operation Green Team and the Huntsville Land Trust are notified that we are active for the current year.
What are the participant roles in the club project? The club has a project manager (or point of contact), session leaders, and participants. The project manager annually selects dates, writes articles, creates a participant spreadsheet, and a signup sheet for the project plus reports on progress to club, city, and club officers. Works with each participant to select dates, sends reminders, report results, and records alternative actions if participant becomes unable to play with us. Enrolls and trains other session leaders. Arrange city delivery and pickup of supplies and pickup of trash. The session leader acquires confirmation from that session’s pledges and selects the restaurant for the group dining. Brings supplies to the site, dispenses supplies, and instructs each participant during the session. The session leader takes photographs of the group and the haul, assesses the work and reports results to club officers and project manager. This report (and photos) is published in the club newsletter and the club website for the following month. It is also used by the City of Huntsville and the Land Trust.
What does a participant agree to do? January through mid March a participant selects one or more sessions that are desirable to work. No need to be shy. Throw your dart on the board. As the session date becomes near, if that time no longer works, say so straight out. When schedule conflicts show up, we’ll figure out how to work around them.
Show up for 2 hours of pickup session OR work on your own for 2 hours anytime during the week prior to a session. Wear long sleeve clothes and sturdy shoes. Bring water if hot temperatures. There may be some scrambling over the rock slopes. At least one person is needed to carry bags of trash to the Land Trust parking lot and pile it up. What works well is having 6 people plus two others. Park and meet at Land Trust parking lot. Starting from the parking lot, 2 people work down east and 2 people work down west from the parking lot. It seems to work well to have a scrambler that's comfortable covering the rocks. It works to stay until both east and west sides) are done. If very many people leave early or when 'their side is done' a couple of people risk being left with a boatload more work. Whenever possible, support the group until it is clear that group needs are satisfied.
Please contact me, the project manager
, if you think you could do one or more sessions sometime this year. (256-883-9982 or email@example.com
). I will initiate contact with the folks that signed up and discuss with each person what dates work for them.
One last thing. It frequently happens that participation in volunteer activities is well supported in the beginning and then wanes until the champion (often the project manager) tires of carrying the load. Therefore, the design of this project requires individual members to make a pledge up front and has the implicit agreement that if/when it becomes a struggle to enroll participants then the project manager is done and the project is also done. By consciously reviewing and renewing annually, the club official and members ACTIVELY decide what will and won’t be done over a reasonable time period. For 17 years, this seems to be working well and I deeply appreciate all the club members that have made this easy.