One of the marvels of the Waskahegan Trail was how we were able to get permission from so many private individuals to build trails on their land.
It was slow at first. In the late 60’s, there was much excitement and enthusiasm for the trail as a Canadian centennial project. But it was hard getting up the nerve to approach landowners.
Until Stan Skirrow got involved.
And everything took off. As Stan relates in the Waskahegan Trail Guidebook, “It was found that farm people didn’t get into a dreadful fit when you made a request of them. It was found that for every NO, there are many YESes and that there are many fine chats and cups of coffee. Farm people, after all, are special.”
Stan insisted that all agreements be verbal, and that permission could be withdrawn at any time.
He also built long term friendships with landowners and their families. He visited them regularly, and even attended their funerals. In short, Stan built momentum for the trail.
As a result, their generosity and trust has continued over the years, even as land has been divided and sold.
Today, when land changes hands, it’s almost always a positive situation. One landowner told us, “When we bought this property we were thrilled to discover that we were part of the Waskahegan Trail network.”
The Permissions Director works with Trail Maintenance and other volunteers to address landowner concerns and find solutions, such as signage and rerouting.
Landowners get in touch with us either through our website’s Contact page or by posting a message on our Facebook page. For us to get in touch with them, we keep records of land descriptions and owner information. But when land changes hands, we don’t always know about it. Usually a land title search or a visit is all it takes to discover a new landowner and update our records.
Duties of the Permissions Director
- Be a single point of contact for landowners having questions or concerns.
- Keep records of landowners and site descriptions up to date.
- Mail the guidebook and welcome letter to new landowners.
- Visit a landowner—accompanied by another member—if required.
- Coordinate the annual landowner newsletter.
- Report to board meetings.
About the Board
The board meets on the third Thursday of most months via Zoom. Why not visit the next board meeting?
If you have any questions about the duties of the Permissions Director, acting Permissions Director JoAnne Burek will be happy to talk to you.
Read about other board positions:
Trail Maintenance Coordinator
Introduction to Board Postions
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