The Trail Conference is now offering new digital learning and engagement opportunities. From live webinars to on-demand content, we're providing workshops and lectures to boost your skills and help keep everyone connected.
This is a new initiative that came as a response to COVID-19. We are working hard to put together more opportunities on a daily basis and appreciate your flexibility as we get this all up and running. Check back regularly for new videos and keep an eye on our events page for new live webinars!
Sincere thanks to our friends at Subaru Distributors Corp. for their generous support of Trail University, and for helping to make Trail U. course offerings possible.
Volunteer Skills Training
-Ecological Stewardship and Invasives Skills
General Skills Training
-The Ecosystem Around You
-Preparing for the Trail
-Making the Most of Your Legacy Series
-Making Trails and Navigation Possible
-Exploring the Region
-Trail Insider Series
Volunteer Skills Training
- Trail Maintenance Workshop Webinar
- Tool Maintenance and Repair
- Invasive Species for Trail Maintainers Workshop
- Graffiti Neutralizing and Removal Workshop
- Trail Layout and Design
- Trail Structures: Working with Native Stone
- Rigging for Trail Work
- Tool Maintenance and Repair
- Ask a Conservation Corps Member
Ecological Stewardship and Invasives Skills
Invasives Strike Force Training Resources and Webinars
Below is a series of training videos for Lower Hudson PRISM's Invasives Strike Force Survey Program. This citizen, or community, science program is designed to help with the mapping of high priority and/or emerging invasive species in the Lower Hudson Valley of New York and northern New Jersey. If you are interested in potentially becoming an Invasives Strike Force Surveyor, please contact our invasive species team by emailing us at [email protected] for the next steps.
For all volunteers who have been in touch with us and are ready for the next steps in training or you are simply looking for access to on-demand survey training resources, look no further than the next sections for help!
Invasives Strike Force Survey Resources
Invasives Strike Force Surveyor Training Workshop Webinar- Part 1 (Species ID)
Description: This video is the first of two required training videos for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM's Invasives Strike Force Survey Program. This required course helps Invasives Strike Force volunteers to identify four high priority invasive species (beech leaf disease, spotted lanternfly, tree of heaven and invasive jumping worms) as well as one emerging invasive plant that rotates depending on the month you begin surveying. For the month of August, that plant is Black and Pale Swallow-wort. As trained volunteers, you will then conduct monitoring along assigned trail sections that are convenient to your own home and according to a schedule that works for you!
Invasives Strike Force Surveyor Training Workshop Webinar- Part 2 (Survey Protocols)
Description: This video outlines the data collection and reporting protocols for the Invasives Strike Force Survey Program organized by the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM. This webinar is a combination of a live Powerpoint presentation and taped video demonstrations of the field survey, data recording and data reporting process. Once completed with this part of your training, you will officially be ready to take on an assignment and become an official ISF surveyor in 2022!
ISF Survey Species QuickID Guide : Key features and photos of all the species on the 2022 ISF Survey species list
ISF Survey Field Data Sheet : This is a .pdf of the data sheet you will need to take with you into the field if you have volunteered as an ISF Standard surveyor. Please take at least 5 copies of this document with you when you go out!
August's Rotating Invasive Plant: Black and Pale Swallow-wort (Field ID Video)
Returning Data Instructions
There are three major steps to follow.
1. Make sure you complete STEP 8 of the Training Video to upload all the "yellow boxes" to iMap once you are back in wifi range. You can find this instruction starting at minute 54:35 of the ISF Training Video- Part 2 . Your field iMap data points can't be viewed by us until they are uploaded in the manner I refer to above!!!! It sometimes takes a while/takes a few attempts to upload these results even at home so be patient. I recommend uploading 5 yellow boxes at a time! They tick off/get processed one at a time which looks like it keeps "thinking" but it is actually processing (just slowly). Plug in your phone when you start uploading and do something else while it uploads (make dinner, call a friend, whatever)! You'll know everything went through successfully when all of the yellow boxes have disappeared (which means they uploaded properly and are no longer in the queue to be uploaded).
2. We also need everyone to take time out to transfer their written field data into Excel format. Here is the link to the Excel file template you will need to fill out. Please download and fill out this spreadsheet to transfer over the field data into. We've filled in the first 24 survey rectangle slots in column A just so you know that each row is a new survey point. It's in the exact same format as the field data sheet essentially. Remember to count your travel to and from your survey site as part of your volunteer hours as well as count the time you spent inputting data and record the grand total in cell c3! Save the file in the format of SurveyorLastname_TrailName_2022. If I didn't give you an actual trail name in the assignment, just name it after the park and some other signifier such as blaze color or trail section name (e.g., FahnestockBlue or SouthMtnHemlockFallsTrail). We have records of what everyone did so it's easy for us to know exactly where you were.
3. Once the Excel spreadsheet is filled in, please email us at [email protected] to say you are done and have completed the above two steps with the Excel spreadsheet attached!
Invasive Species Spotlight and Field Identification Videos
Check out our new invasive species spotlight and field ID series! These short, ~5 minute videos highlight specific common, emerging and/or aquatic invasive species in our region. Each species spotlight video will feature information on the species' introduction history, ecology and impacts in addition to reasons for its invasion success and key ID features. For the species that are included in our Invasives Strike Force Survey program (and for other species featured in our monthly EcoQuest Challenge), we will also be releasing short field identification videos including how to tell it apart from other look-alikes!
Common Invasive Species
- New: Common reed (Phragmites) Species Spotlight (plus comparison with native Phragmites!- December 2020 EcoQuest Challenge called Learn How to Reed)
- New: Common buckthorn Field Identification (November 2020 EcoQuest Challenge Called The Buckthorn Stops Here)
- Sapphireberry Field Identification (also includes native blueberry and invasive porcelainberry ID for our August 2020 EcoQuest Challenge called Browsing for Blue)
- Tree of Heaven and Spotted Lanternfly Identification (July 2020 EcoQuest Challenge: Tracking Tree of Heaven and Spotting Spotted Lanternfly)
- Norway maple species spotlight and field ID
- Burning bush species spotlight and field ID
- Japanese knotweed species spotlight and field ID
- Autumn Olive Species Spotlight and Field Identification
- Multiflora Rose Species Spotlight and Field Identification
- Garlic mustard species spotlight and field identification
- Japanese barberry species spotlight and field identification
Emerging and Less Common Invasive Species
- New: Chinese Silvergrass Field Identification (October 2020 EcoQuest Challenge called Can't Miss Miscanthus)
- New: Beech Leaf Disease Field Identification (includes beech tree ID, in general, and other beech tree pathogen symptoms: September 2020 EcoQuest Challenge called Beech Leaf Investigation)
- New: Chinese Bushclover Field Identification
- Wisteria Field Identification
- Viburnum Field Identification (June 2020 EcoQuest Challenge focal: Vibing for Viburnums)
- Porcelainberry Field Identification (and comparison to native grapevines!)
- Siebold's viburnum species spotlight
- Linden viburnum species spotlight
- Slender false brome species spotlight
- Chocolate Vine Species Spotlight
- Chinese Bushclover Species Spotlight
- Jetbead Species Spotlight and Field Identification
- Sapphireberry Species Spotlight
- Scotch Broom Species Spotlight
- Castor aralia species spotlight
- Cutleaf blackberry species spotlight
- Japanese spiraea species spotlight
- Callery pear species spotlight and field identification (all in one)
Aquatic Invasive Species
- Fanwort species spotlight
- Brittle naiad species spotlight
- Water Chestnut Species Spotlight
- Curly-leaf pondweed Species Spotlight
- Eurasian Water Milfoil Species Spotlight
- Marsh dayflower species spotlight
- Alligatorweed species spotlight
Thank you to Subaru Distributors Corp. for their generous donation that helped make these trainings possible.
General Skills Training
- Connect with Nature Using Seek and iNaturalist!: A 5-Part Video Tutorial
- General Plant Identification and Invasive Plant Management Webinar
- Designing and Planting with Native Plants
- Wilderness Navigation Webinar
- Wake Up and Move with MovNat
- Avenza Maps App: To learn how to use the popular app that houses our digital maps, visit Avenza's online education center for upcoming and prerecorded webinars and tutorials
Making the Most of Your Legacy Series
- Part 1: Making the Most of My Legacy Series: Donor Advised Funds
- Part 2: Qualified Charitable Distribution and How to Manage your IRA Required Minimum Distributions for Taxes
- Part 3: Smart Beneficiary Selection for your IRAs, 401(k) plans, Life Insurance, and Annuities
- Part 4: Advanced Planning
- Part 5: Community Foundations and your Charitable Goals
- The Heart of Philanthropy: For the Love of Trails Webinar
Making Trails and Navigation Possible
- Trail Project Panel: Building the Floating Walkway in Wawayanda
- Old Trails, New Systems: Re-Imagining Existing Trail Networks
- Making the Maps: How the Trail Conference Creates Its Popular Trail Maps Webinar
- Trail Map "Dos and Donts": Best practices for designing trail maps
- Finding Less-Traveled Trails
- Lenape Trail History & Overview - The Trail Conference's Urban Trail
- The Morris Canal Greenway: More than Hiking – Exploring Industrial Archaeology and Historic Artifacts Webinar
- Hiking Westchester: A Sneak Peek into Walkable Westchester's 3rd Edition
- Managing High Use Trails: Why Trail Stewards are a Necessity in Creating Safe, Sustainable Trails
- New Loop Trails in Northern New Jersey
- Winter Hiking Tips to Plan, Prepare, Explore!
Keep checking our events calendar for new listings and to register!