May 2023 Board of Directors Meeting Minutes and Activity Reports

MORE – Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
May 8, 2023

Virtually present at meeting

Ernie Rodriguez – President

Jali Fernando – Executive Secretary

Neil Blake – Treasurer

David Beugelmans - Secretary

Tom Howe - VA Advocacy Director

Kathy Mihm – Ride Programs Director

Dave Magill - MD Advocacy Director

Nate Frey – Communications Director


No present

Rob Lowe – Membership Director


  • Financial Updates (Neil)
    • $2.9k net general decrease
    • $10.8k revenues
      • $6.6k memberships
      • $1k interest income
      • $1.3k general donations
      • $1.9k clinics
  • $13.7k expenses
      • $6.6k executive director
      • $6k insurance
      • $0.8k IT
  • $50.6k net restricted decrease
  • $1.1 restricted revenues
      • 0.7k Windy Ridge
      • 0.2k Frederick
  • $51.7 restricted expenses
      • $21.5k James Long
      • $20k Waterworks
      • $6.9k Wakefield deposit
      • $1.6k Frederick cleanup
      • $1.1k Gunpowder falls
  • Membership Update (Rob)
  • Trails
    • Virginia (Tom)
      • Vernon District Park, need to schedule a trimming day. We will get that squared away and reinvigorated.
      • At Meadowood, they are having a trailwork day to coincide with national trails days. Working on refresh on agreement with BLM. Working to coordinate another liaison.
      • No updates for Fountainhead.
      • At Laurel Hill, it is all very well trimmed, and everything is cut back.
      • At Wakefield, there is an Eagle Scout project this weekend. Ironwood is doing work in late spring and early summer to rehab Phase 2.
      • At Lake Fairfax was the Rails to Trails EX2 race.
      • At Lake Accotink, no update. Some volunteers cleared overgrown trails.
      • At James Long, completed work, but there was a $3k overage. Will need to go to the trails committee. This happened because the county asked Ironwood to do it after mobilized. Their key next step is to raise the funds to cover the overage.
      • At Andy Geist, Gregg is frustrated trying to get park management to engaged. They approved new trail, but they are moving slowly.
      • No updates for southern Prince William. No updates for Locust Shade or Forest Greens around golf course.
      • One update for Andrew Leech, they are piloting a sMOREs ride, every other Tuesday.
    • Maryland (Dave)
      • Very busy time right now. RTP grant applications are due May 15.
        • We are working on 4 applications. Later in the agenda we will talk about Southern Maryland Mountain Bikers and request for financial support in the form of a loan.
        • As far as our grants go, they include about $30k at Waterworks for flow trail and we are resubmitting a portion of the Patuxent Phase II grant that was not covered by the award we got from the state of Maryland from the bond bill.
        • In addition, working with a small group on submitting for design work for a 50 foot plus bridge for the Seneca Bluffs Trail.
        • Montgomery may ask for MORE to submit grant for a whole series of boardwalks.
        • These would all be good projects. The bridge for Seneca Bluffs is very large and we are just submitting for design work. Need to determine what kind of bridge to build and fact that it’s in a floodplain. Sets us up to do through the next Maryland bond bill.
      • Patuxent funding of $100k from Maryland Bond Bill with no matching requirement. If we do well on this, we can get more of these. Folks at Maryland DNR are unhappy with RTP as it related to bridges because they treat all bridges like highway bridges, which is difficult for us to do.
      • We got our final permit for the sidewalk under Clopper Road. We have done site visits with 5 contractors, which had good ideas. Bids are due on Friday. Think unless we get an unpleasant surprise due to cost, should be able to get this done and open it in time for the MoCo Epic. People were out tonight to do some early trailwork on one area that needed work.
      • Have been recruiting liaisons for Cabin John and Jug Bay.
      • Work is underway at River’s Edge. We have a $40k grant there for 1.5 miles of trail and 2 bridges. We will be coming back to trails committee soon with a request for money to cover 2 more downhill flow trail lines out of GTF or O’Sullivan Fund. We have a contractor out there who is willing to stay and do that work.
      • As far as the use of West MoCo Trail Funds, have reached out and created a committee to manage the money to talk about three different, meaningful projects. One is another brush mower, which could also be used in other areas. This was supported and have ordered one. The sidewalk cost, which is supported. The response to the bridge at Seneca Bluffs is that it benefits hikers more than bikers and shouldn’t we get commitments from hiking community to share the cost. We have reached out. Dave M. has talked to Dan Hudson about applying for a grant even without a commitment from the hiking community.
      • Hashawa is doing a fundraiser ride in June and we have been supporting them on that. They have been making steady process in showing the land manager that they follow the rules and there is a community behind them. We have been doing some promotion of that.
    • Events (Clay)
      • No huge updates.
      • Haven’t been able to as much this year as previous years, but things are clearing up.
      • Next up we have the summer picnic. Looking around at various parks. Trying to find some place new. Still looking, but have a backup for Seneca Creek State Park again.
      • In the next couple weeks will try to decide if he should finalize that.
      • Think everyone enjoyed the winter membership in Silver Spring. They have a new schedule so it has been complicated. Have been trying to submit the application for February 24, which is a Saturday two weeks after super bowl Sunday.
      • Sent an email to Sharon and Phil about camping. Just trying to see if they need anything.
      • Haven’t had a chance to plan anything else.
    • Ride Program Update (Kathy)
      • As mentioned before, trying to get in touch with rider leaders to make a connection to see how the rides are being organized and run. Trying not to be intrusive.
      • Sent an email around over the weekend asking if anyone was interested in first aid training for ride leaders. A couple people responded saying they are interested.
      • Found vendor to provide first aid. Trying to figure out how to split costs.
      • Has gotten in touch with a few SMOREs riders to get some rides underway.
      • Prince William County at Andrew Leech is also now doing sMOREs.
      • Also had a guy that lives in DC and working with him to figure out what we can do.
      • Also have 4 or 5 new ride leaders in the Maryland area. These are adults that are interested in leading rides that want to go at a slower pace. For all these people, have had them do background check and talked to them on the phone and done rides with them.
      • We’ve had four Hillary clinics and are planning two new co-ed ones. They filled up very fast. We have many more we can offer before we start having less interest.
      • Ride leader email we sent around a few days ago, we encouraged ride leaders to encourage membership in rides when appropriate.
    • Admin
      • Discuss/approve support letter to SMMB (Dave)
        • Those around last year remember that SMMB found themselves without the funds to deal with an RTP grant where they needed to pay something and get reimbursed. They approached us and the board approved loan. This worked out well. Dave M. lent 80% of the money and the chairman and treasurer put the rest of the funds in. Was able to confirm that the project was done and approved and just waiting on payment. It was a very low risk situation for us to make the loan and it worked out fine.
        • They want to apply for another RTP grant to build more loop trails. They still don’t have anything like our grants working capital fund and they are looking at a $75k project. This means they will need to pay bill for about $35 or 40k. They asked if we’d be willing to support them with a letter of support that says we would make a loan again to them.
        • Will say there is a little more risk than before because MORE would need to make the loan before SHA has approved the work. Assuming they get a credible trail contractor, it should be fine. It’s mostly bench cutting of 1.5 miles of trail. They want to strengthen their proposal by having a letter of support from MORE.
        • Dave M wants to put in words saying it is not a binding commitment to make a loan because don’t want SHA to come after MORE.
        • Dave M is requesting support from the board that puts us in line to do this again.
        • There is some repayment risk because if SHA declines payment of grant, there is risk that SMMB may not repay.
        • Ernie: Willing to discuss with IMBA to see if they will do this instead of MORE.
        • General agreement for Dave to send revised letter and indicate we will help this time but want them to eventually become self-sufficient.
      • Trailforks on MORE Website (Kathy)
        • Was trying to get something together on rider resources. Looking to add something on the webpage so people could see Facebook pages and where to get information.
        • Then looked at individual trail pages, some don’t have links, some do. It’s inconsistent.
        • General agreement to do training to update all trail pages.
      • Annual Report Update (Ernie)
        • Was really trying to get us moving on this, which is why this is on the agenda.
        • Have a competitive nature. IMBA already put out their annual report and wanted to put ours out before them.
        • We need to get it out. Will connect with Nate.
      • Recreational Use Statute Lobbying (David B.)
        • Will pursue this.
      • Ernie: Is anyone aware of tops that need to be replaced on any of the easy ups?
        • Clay: Interested in getting at least one sMOREs easy up. We had several flags in the shed at South Germantown Bike Park. But we have plenty of flags.
        • Agreement to purchase red first aid easy up top.


 Activity Reports

  • President – Ernest (Ernie) Rodriguez
    • Visit to introduce Jali - Montgomery Parks
    • Visit to introduce Jali - Patapsco Valley State Park
    • VA/DC Trail Liaison Meeting
    • Membership committee meeting
    • Help with Liaison Tool Survey
    • Meeting with Sarah Myers - Deep Creek Adventure Bureau
    • Apply for grants
    • Liability insurance renewal and securing Certificate of Insurance for additional insured
    • Send you "Thank you" donor notes 
    • Meeting with US Forest Service working on strategic direction for forest
    • Arlington Trails strategic meeting 
    • Website maintenance and updates
    • Provide Golden Volunteer Training
    • Provide Trailforks training
    • Provide documentation for Fairfax County Park Authority award application



  • Jali Fernando – Executive Director
  • Weekly newsletter
  • (Almost) daily social media posts and monitoring
  • Spring Membership Drive communications
  • Advocacy support for MoCo operating budget, Baltimore MTB trails, and Western Maryland Annual Work Plans
  • Spoke at Baltimore County meeting on 4/27
  • MoCo Epic preparations: remaining permits, sponsorship packages, review of participant feedback, contacted past sponsors
  • Secured in-kind sponsorship from Guayaki Yerba Mate and coordinated distribution to trail liaisons and ride leaders
  • Set up MORE table at the Wild Reels Film Festival in Greenbelt on 4/29
  • Set up MORE skills clinics on Shopify
  • Wrote Adaptive MTB and Women's MTB Day blogs


  • Secretary – David Beugelmans
    • Coordinated board meeting and finalized minutes


  • MD Advocacy Director – Dave Magill
    • Assist in preparation of up to 4 RTP grant applications for MORE by May 15
    • Price out tools for MORE tool order, request budget increase to cover the requested tools
    • Work with SMMB on possible support letter from MORE for SMMB’s RTP grant application
    • Working with John McGrath, hold site visits and answer questions for bid requests to build sidewalk under Clopper Road.  Meet with park mgmt. to prepare for multiple workdays to upgrade all 3 miles of the Greenway trail to opened to bikes
    • Review Frederick pump track draft MOU for Dan Green
    • Working with Ted Diss, develop ideas for a possible 50+ foot bridge over dry Seneca Creek on the Seneca Bluffs trail
    • Amend Patuxent Phase 2 MOU, prep for bids for parking lot refurbishment
    • Assist in getting bridge designs for Windy Ridge park
    • Publicize the award from the State of MD of $100k for Patuxent trails
    • Work on recruiting liaisons for Cabin John and Jug Bay


  • VA Advocacy Director – Tom Howe
    • Monthly VA / DC Liaison Meeting
    • Wakefield Trail Work Prep and Trail Work Day


  • Membership Director – Rob Lowe
  • Standard Membership Processing for Month of April 2023.
  • Membership Committee Meeting (3-Apr-2023).


  • Ride Program Director – Kathy Mihm
    • Prepare MORE Ride Leader communication email 
    • MORE Membership write up and meeting
    • Set up sMORE's ride in PWC, Wakefield, AACo
    • Set up MORE rides in MoCo 
    • Recruit new ride leaders
    • Prepare MORE and sMORE's ride leader guidelines
    • Set up multiple rides Golden/Meetup; lots of communications with ride leaders
    • Organize and attend MORE skills clinic with HillsMTB Skills, obtain MoCo Permits
    • Order and distribute MORE trailhead signage
    • Oder MORE Postcards
    • Update email distribution lists for ride leaders and groups
    • Prepare Rider Resources document
    • Compile social media sources for MORE info/trail/locals
    • Prepare Women's MTB Day activities
    • Women's MTB Day - intermediate skills clinic and ride lead
    • MORE Beginner skills clinic at SGBP
    • Obtain information about first aid classes
    • MoCo Epic preliminary planning
    • MORE Sponsor planning



  • Communications Director – Nate Frey
    • [*]


  • Treasurer – Neil Blake



  • Activities Director – Clay Deming
    • Working on securing Winter Meeting venue for 2024
    • Looking  at options for Summer Picnic
    • Starting to reach out for Moco Epic family day


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