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AMBA Trail Building Volunteer FAQs

Thanks for donating your time to help build our trail network in St. John’s! Trail building is an important part of developing and sustaining our network. While the ten points below outline the guidelines that should be followed, and they are something all organizers take seriously, trail building is a lot of fun. It allows you a greater sense of appreciation when you help build a trail that you can then ride and enjoy for years to come. We look forward to seeing you on build days! 

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help you get started with trail building.
  • What to Wear
    Because we are working with tools, rocks, logs and more, it’s best to wear sturdy boots, ideally steel toed. Your footwear should be as grippy as possible. Please bring work gloves, but if you don’t have any, AMBA has some to provide. It’s always best to wear protective eyewear. You can purchase low cost safety options at various hardware stores. If you will be using power tools, you should also bring hearing protection. For this time of year, always wear layers of clothing so that you can adjust to the conditions (a waterproof or water-resistant shell is also a good idea). During the colder months, we strongly encourage waterproof and insulated boots, in addition to extra work gloves (in case they get wet). For the ride home, you may want to bring something to change into since you may have some mud on you.
  • When to Arrive
    Please try your best to be punctual with arrival. Tasks are divided out by lead trail builders and it’s always best to know what skillsets or interests people have at the outset when dividing tasks. If you are unable to show up at the designated start time, please let us know… a quick Facebook message will do! Trail building events and times are posted by AMBA and in the St. John’s Trail Builders group pages.
  • Tools
    AMBA has purchased many tools to be used by volunteers; however, you might have tools that would be useful. You should label your own tools. Please pay attention to Facebook invites and posts as lead trail builders will post special requests and you might have something on hand that would be helpful. Chainsaws, gas brush cutters and loppers are always in demand. Notify the lead trail builder(s) of any damaged tools immediately.
  • Food and Water
    Please bring your own snacks and water. We recommend bringing everything you’ll want to consume throughout the day.
  • Leave No Trace
    We pack in and pack out all belongings and garbage. If you find garbage that’s not yours, pick it up and pack it out.
  • Work Instructions
    Lead trail builders are assigned at the beginning of each project or build day. Please be mindful and respectful of their instructions. These individuals are experienced in trail building so it’s critical that you follow their instructions throughout the build day. If you are uncertain about a task you’ve been given, please ask questions before you start working. Feel free to discuss ideas you might have with the lead trail builders. They may be good ones!
  • Safety Rules
    There may be others walking or working close to you on the trails. Be aware of your surroundings when using tools to prevent injury. Swinging picks, using chainsaws, etc. present serious hazards to the operator and those around them. If you are uncertain on how to use certain tools, ask the lead trail builders. Be careful of your footing if you are close to a cliff or edge. Don’t work on a task that’s beyond your physical ability. Communicate within your group if you need help with a task, like digging out or moving a large rock. If you are unsure of a task that’s been assigned, please seek guidance from a lead builder. You’ll also notice that on most trail days there are dogs helping with the build, so please be mindful of their whereabouts when using tools, particularly those that require a range of movement such as picks and shovels.
  • Effective Work
    Because all trail building work is completed by volunteers, we ask that the time spent during trail days be focused and efficient.
  • First Aid
    If you injure yourself, please report it to the lead trail builder immediately. If someone is seriously injured or unconscious, call 9-1-1 immediately and ensure the person is kept in a safe and warm position until help arrives. In most cases, you should not move a person that has been injured away from the scene of the accident while waiting for medical personnel to arrive. If the victim is in danger or if the overall situation looks risky and you know that you’ll be able to move the person without harming yourself, it may be necessary to get the person out of harm’s way. The victim should be moved to the closest location that could be considered safe and you should ask them to cooperate if they are still conscious. If a designated First Aider identifies themselves and takes charge of the situation, listen to their instructions and provide help as it is requested.
  • Risk and Liability
    Trail building is physically demanding work. Participation is voluntary and AMBA is not liable in any way for any injuries sustained or damage to personal belongings/tools during trail building.
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