Last week we were asked by President Sherwood to attend a meeting in Palmyra of an organization called "Palmyra Pathways". Their website is palmyrapathways.org . This organization is concerned with maintaining and improving the walking and biking trails along the Erie Canal in the Palmyra Township. President Sherwood was looking for some ways that we as temple missionaries could provide some service in the community.
In the past they have developed 3.2 miles of trails that are currently in use. They have distrubuted nine 55 gallon barrels along these trails for people to put trash in. There are two older gentlemen in the community who placed these barrels over 4 years ago and have been walking the trails once a week, collecting the bags for disposal and putting new bags in the barrels. What a great service they have given. One of these men feels he is getting too old and wants to "retire". In addition there are improvements to the trail that they will probably do. They want to extend the trail to some other wooded areas along the way. They are also interested in promoting the trails to attract tourism. Most of all the village is looking for someone to organize and run this whole effort. That is what the meeting was about.
We felt very good about taking on this barrel maintenance as a project we as missionaries can do. We will have 2 couples go together each week to walk the trails, pick up and dispose of the bags, and place new bags in the barrels. We are also going to encourage the local Bishop to see if he can't find a local member who would like to help run the organization. We don't feel that we short term missionaries were the right answer for that.
We have sinced called one of the missionaries to organize this project and are looking forward to taking our turn walking the trail. We have already walked it last week to locate the barrels and make a map. It is a very nice walk along the canal and through adjoining woods. If any of you would like to see, come on out, we will take you for a walk. It is not "15 miles on the Erie Canal" and you don't even need a mule. Click on the following link to walk the canal.Fifteen Miles On The Erie Canal