By Norah Gastelum
Several events this past year helped solidify our commitment to a key line in CVTA’s Mission Statement: “… a recreational trail system for future generations to enjoy.” In completing the Strategic Plan Update, we reflected on how to continue our work toward this goal. Then, at the same time, we were approached by two amazing young people who represent this new generation of trail users.
First, Audry Keasling, a student from Douglas High School in Minden, began volunteering regularly to build trail with us on the new section of the Clear Creek Trail connecting to Spooner Summit. Her enthusiasm and interest led her to become the Carson Valley Trails Association’s first Youth Board Member. She hopes to bring opportunities to the next generation of trail users and help the board to have a fresh perspective while developing the next generation of organizational leaders. In addition to her volunteer work with CVTA, Audry continues to be an outstanding mountain biker, trail runner and community member.
Additional inspiration came when we were surprised and honored with a $1,000 donation from another teen, Jared Marchegger. Jared, a cross-country runner and graduate of Sierra Lutheran High School, earned the title of Gatorade Player of the Year for Nevada in 2018. Gatorade gave him the opportunity to give back to his community by providing money for a local nonprofit of his choice. With his donation Jared said, “The trails your group has built have been a large part of my life, and have inspired me to keep running in the beautiful Carson Valley area. I run Clear Creek Trail all the time and it is one of my favorite trails ever!”
When we think of Jared and Audry, or when we meet a family hiking out on the trails, we are further encouraged to continue the work of the Carson Valley Trails Association. Having youth who are connected to the trails and the experiences they offer will help protect and ensure public access to these amazing places.
Carson Valley Trails Association, President