November 17, 2011

Please join our google group to stay up-to-date with the latest trail building news!

Upcoming workdays!

November 26
December 10----Planned start of trail construction work!
January 28 
**March 10--Big workday!  Lunch will be served afterwards. 

October 13, 2011

To clarify a few things about the upcoming workday:

*We will not be clear-cutting anything!  Only honeysuckle will be targeted. We may do some corridor work, but it should be mostly clearing honeysuckle and maybe lopping a branch or two.  ABSOLUTELY NO cutting of GOOD NATIVE TREES will be done. The reason for the bigger saws is that some of the honeysuckle is massive and handsaws just won't do it.

Also a quick note about trail building...there is an initial environmental impact when trails are first constructed.  However, we use no power tools (other than the occasional chainsaw or weedeater), ABSOLUTELY NO CHEMICALS (for trail building...honeysuckle is another story), and once the trail is cut in, we let nature take back over the outlying areas. I design the trails to minimize erosion, vegetation/tree loss, and to be fun for hikers and riders both. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know.

More good news:

From the Pitch...

Roanoke Park is "Best Comeback"!!!

Eric Rogers, neighbor, is best advocate for creating BikeWalkKC!!!

Volker Bikes, 39th and Bell, is named best bike shop!!!



October 12, 2011

Hello folks!

First, I have started a Google Group for people to stay up to date on the latest trail info.  Please join here!!!

Second, the first BIG workday for trails in Roanoke Park will be on Saturday October 29 at 9:00 am. We will do no actual trail work, just assist in the honeysuckle eradication for now. Hopefully we can get together with some of the neighborhood honeysuckle warriors and knock a bunch out on the west side of the cobbles. Details are:

Saturday October 29
9:00 am-Noon(ish)
Roanoke-Westport Community Center Parking Lot
Trail Work Day-Honeysuckle Eradication Day

Also, the trails master plan is being reviewed for me by a couple people right now. Once I get their notes back it should be very soon and we can publish it and begin swinging pulaskis :)

This is a great time to come out and see what Roanoke will have to offer us as a trail system. Lots of very cool terrain packed into that park! After working for a bit I'll lead us on a walkthrough of the currently in-design trails.

PLEASE BRING HANDSAWS, CHAINSAWS, LOPPERS, BOW SAWS, AXES, ETC!!!! I only have 2-3 extra crappy handsaws. If you want good tools, please bring them. Remember, we are basically going in and removing trees/brush. Bow saw is my weapon of choice.

Hope to see you there!
--Brett Shoffner


October 6, 2011

The finishing edits are being put in the trail master plan.  More trail has been scouted and flagged.  More honeysuckle is being hacked out!  Now all that is needed is final city approval and we will start swinging tools and have a short section of trail hopefully open by the end of this year.

Look for more announcements soon and see you at the park picnic October 23!


August 7, 2011

Just returned from an eight week stint working on the Ozark Trail.  I learned a ton!  Being on trail everyday 8-10 hours a day will give you some good stuff to take from.

The Memorandium of Understanding (MOU) with Earthriders Trails Association (ERTA) and KC Parks should be admended soon to include Roanoke Park as an official ERTA maintained trail system.  Once this happens we can start to build :)

I'll be finishing up the master plan this week.  I needed GIS access and haven't had it the past 8 weeks in the national forest, but got a ton of research and reading done.  It should be pretty sweet once I finish up.

Be looking for more BIG announcements coming soon!


June 15, 2011

The trail master plan is coming along quite nicely.  It will be quite detailed and comprehensive, so expect it around the end of summer-ish.  That is when we will also begin to officially build some real trail! 

Right now I am stationed down in Potosi, Missouri doing construction and maintenance on the Ozark Trail and will be here the rest of the month.  I am gaining tons of building experience in extememly rocky soil (similar to what most of the Roanoke build will be) and also gaining valuable knowledge about funding, volunteer coordination, and United States Forest Service standards, etc.  I know this will come in handy in the future at our little system.

If you do go out an cut honeysuckle make sure to take plenty of water and regular breaks, it's hot out there!  Keeping hydrated and your body temp relatively cool will help you tremendously and leave you feeling good after a hard day's work!


May 26, 2011

Hello all:

Trail plan map here, more to come soon!

May 19, 2011

Hi everyone.  I am busy at work trying to get the Trails Master Plan done up so that we can break ground within the next couple of months.  Here is a rough plan of where trails will potentially be constructed...

(please see above)

Continue fighting the honeysuckle as of right now!  More to come soon.

May 2, 2011

Hello folks.  Exciting news, the Park Master Plan has been approved by the City's Parks Board.  Now it is time to start getting some trail layouts finalized and ready for some official walk throughs before we start breaking dirt.  I went out and tackled more honeysuckle this past weekend.  I really hate that stuff.  Two solid hours of lopping and dragging brush though and some more rocky bluffs were starting to poke through.  Next time, I'm putting a handsaw in my pack too...those three inch loppers couldn't handle some of the enormous trunks of the dreaded honeysuckle, easily the biggest individual honeysuckle plants I've ever seen.  These babies had to be at least 15 feet tall with trunk bases of 8+ inches.  Not good for our native species.

Speaking of honeysuckle.  You may have noticed that some of the "stumps" (called staubs) are being cut off near waist level.  This is for later removal by hand.  By only cutting part way to the ground, the staub can be used for leverage when later digging out  and removing the entire plant.  This is a far more effective way than cutting to ground level then using chemicals that only work sometimes (I am not a big fan of Tordon or other unnecessary biocides).  You can see how well Tordon works if you go back and look at what has already been cut last year.  Almost every honeysuckle bush is re-sprouting.  Within the trail corridor area (+/- 10 feet on either side of the orange flagging tape) PLEASE, cut the staubs off at waist height so that we can remove the plant entirely.  Not only do ground cut staubs regrow, they are a potentially dangerous hazard should someone fall on one.  Impalement by honeysuckle is not fun.  So for your safety and better eradication, please cut staubs to waist height within the +/- 10 foot area on either side of the orange tape.  These plants are extremely shallow rooted, and it doesn't take much to pop them out of the ground, especially if you have a lever to work with.

Finally for today, I have broken the park down into Phases for future Trail development.  We are currently eradicating honeysuckle in Phase 1-A with trail ground breaking hopefully occuring sometime this summer.  Until then, I hope to see you Saturday mornings fighting the honeysuclke battle of Roanoke Park.


April 24, 2011

Hello all.  My name is Brett Shoffner and I will be the ERTA Trail Manager for Roanoke Park.  Some of you may have noticed a few orange flags in the woods along the west side of the cobbles.  Please be advised that this is absolutely NOT for tree removal or anything similar, rather, they are sight guides for where hiking/nature/biking trails may eventually be developed.  We are still in the early process of initial trail planning and design and would love your input.  I have been sneaking in doing some recon work the past few Saturday mornings during the honeysuckle cutting activities.  Come say hello, I look forward to meeting you!  I'll be the one who rode the bike there and will most likely be in a t-shirt and shorts. 

April 18, 2011

The vision for Roanoke Park includes trails, to allow our children to explore the hillsides, to hike and explore nature and to trail run or mountain bike. Shared use trails to use how you like.

An agreement has been reached between the Parks Department, the neighborhood associations engaged in the larger Park restoration effort, and Earth Riders Trails Association to help establish shared use singletrack trails within Roanoke Park. Earth Riders Trails Association (ERTA) is the volunteer organization responsible for most of the singletrack trails in the Kansas City area. They have formal relationships with land managers, including the Parks Departments of Kansas City, Jackson County and Johnson County among others. To learn more about ERTA, visit

The experience of ERTA created trails in Swope Park has been dramatic. In what had been a lonely stretch of Oldham Road where few felt safe to park or venture into the woods, mountain bikers and hikers now share the trails. The presence of active users like mountain bikers has made the area feel safer and it's now common to see dog walkers, hiking scout groups and bird watchers.

The conceptual master plan includes an indication of trails but the exact routing will be determined through the expert advice of ERTA's experienced trail builders, with Parks Department approval. ERTA hopes to make a starter loop at Roanoke a reality within a year!

More details about workdays and general trail information will be made available in the near future, be ready!

Big thanks to Brian Duff for all his work behind the scenes on this project. Brian is a former Coleman Highlands Association prez and a damn fine mountain biker.