River Trail users show they care for attraction

Where will you see joggers, bicyclists, walkers, moms with strollers, people in wheelchairs, tourists, and dog walkers all within a half hour or less? On Marietta’s beautiful River Trail.

During the last two weeks of June, some 48 volunteers counted the number of trail users over 84 different half hour periods. The count, sponsored by the Marietta Rowing and Cycling Club, has enabled us to estimate monthly usage of the trail. The best estimate, based upon our sampling technique, is around 9,800 uses per month. In a city of about 16,000 this is a high number indeed and reflects the contribution the trail makes to the health and pleasure of community members. The information gained will be passed on to the city planners for inclusion in the next grant application for trail extension.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the usage count. Without you, and you all know who you are, it wouldn’t have happened. And thanks to Marietta Adventure Company which served as the pickup and dropoff location for the data sheets.

Currently, there are 12 different organizations that have volunteered to assume the title “Friend of the River Trail” and to help with trail maintenance in their adopted segment. However, my feeling after participating in the usage count, is that everyone using the trail is a friend of the trail. I watched dog walkers picking up after their pets, walkers tossing empty bottles they had picked up into the trash containers, and volunteers removing overhanging tree branches from the trail. Clearly, we have all assumed ownership of this wonderful resource.

Judy Lewis