The La Benite Trail Volunteers don’t actually exist. Well, not formally, at least. The several hundred volunteers that came together to create one of the most unique trails in Kansas City didn’t do so because of any particular affiliation. They just wanted to contribute to a great project. Oh, and Bill and Carolyn Haman asked.
Bill Haman has directed the trail effort since the City of Sugar Creek received a grant from the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission. “This was a very difficult project since most of the area was covered with thick underbrush and grape vines,” says Bill. “In some of the areas we actually had to crawl just to get through.” Clearing and grading the trail took five weekends, spread out over two years, and the whole project took four years from conception to completion.
While the City of Sugar Creek, Jackson County Parks and Recreation and MDC provided land and some assistance, it was the volunteers and support of local businesses that made the trail possible. “As a result of the huge amount of volunteer labor donated for the project we were able to apply the entire L&C grant money toward the signs, benches and other park improvements,” says Bill.
Volunteers continue to maintain and improve the trail, and newcomers are always welcome. No paperwork, dues or matching T-shirts required.
There are nearly 6 million people in Missouri, so it is no wonder that it takes more than our few Department staff to handle the public’s outdoor education needs. It takes volunteers and partnerships to reach out and make a difference in our state.
Hunter and Bowhunter Education volunteers are among the largest single group of dedicated individuals who ensure our hunting heritage continues. They help develop hunters that are knowledgeable, responsible and involved — hunters who understand the importance of complying with hunting laws and behaving ethically. These instructors are motivated to pass on their knowledge and experience to a new generation and are proud of their nationally recognized efforts.
Each instructor starts off by becoming a graduate of Hunter Education or Bowhunter Education. Then, through a class instructor or by calling a regional office, they are referred to their region’s Outdoor Skill Specialist (OSS). The OSS will discuss becoming an instructor with the individual, send an application and notify them when the next training class is held. Once certified, the instructor teams up with other instructors to conduct training.
Instructors not only earn the admiration of their students and make our outdoors a safer place, but qualify for service and incentive awards for their efforts. To get more information, or to sign up to become an instructor, contact your regional office. — Tony Legg, hunter education/shooting range coordinator
Editor In Chief - Ara Clark
Managing Editor - Nichole LeClair
Art Director - Cliff White
Writer/Editor - Tom Cwynar
Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Jim Low
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Designer - Stephanie Thurber
Artist - Dave Besenger
Artist - Mark Raithel
Circulation - Laura Scheuler