Valley Land Trust and Armstrong Rails to Trails Association are pleased to announce the proposed merger of the two organizations into one…Armstrong Trails.  Both organizations have been working hard to work out the details to share with you.  By combining our forces, we can better utilize our volunteers and resources for the betterment of the Armstrong Trail.

Armstrong Trails will have a Section 501(c)(3) designation.  All organizational activities will be determined and overseen by the Armstrong Trails Board of Directors.  Armstrong Trails will not a membership organization (like ARTA).  Anyone donating to the trail and trail projects will be “Friends of Armstrong Trails”.

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As always, volunteers are an integral part of all trails organizations and will be needed for trail projects and maintenance.  There will be 2 committees, under the direction of the board, responsible for directing these activities.  The Historical and Interpretation Committee will continue the work of historical restorations along the trail, continue to work with scout projects, and other trail related projects.  The Fundraising and Events committee will oversee trail events and all fundraising endeavors.  If you are interested in serving on a committee, please let us know.

The current ARTA Board of Directors has designated which projects will continue to be funded by existing ARTA funds with separate accountings being established for these projects.  These projects include, but are not limited to:  historical restoration, scout projects, and trail promotion.   The memorial bench/tables project will continue.  Current Volunteer Grant projects will continue until completion – picnic area at Phillipston and gates/bollards.

Current ARTA members will have the opportunity to show their support of this merger by voting in favor of the merger at the ARTA Annual Meeting on Monday October 14, 2019.

By becoming one organization, operating costs decrease and former ARTA members will be able to spend all of their volunteer time working on the projects which are of interest to them.  Moving forward Armstrong Trails will continue to provide a valuable resource for the public to enjoy the beauty of our area.

AVLT/ARTA Proposed Merger

Frequently Asked Questions

The proposed merger of AVLT and ARTA into Armstrong Trails, which has been approved by both the AVLT and ARTA Boards of Directors, will be voted on by the ARTA membership at the annual meeting in October.  With ARTA approval, we will enter a period of transition, and already people are working hard to make sure the goal of working together for the betterment of the Armstrong Trail will be achieved.  There are many questions that have already been asked and there will be many more which will arise.

The following are some of the questions that have been asked and the response that is based on the merger document and the bylaws of the new Armstrong Trails.  As stated before, this is a work in progress as we enter the transition period.

Will Armstrong Trails retain a charitable organization status

Yes, Armstrong Trails will have a Section 501(c)(3) designation

Who will oversee and determine all activities of Armstrong Trails?

“All organizational activities will be determined and overseen by the Armstrong Trails Board of Directors.” 

          Will ARTA have representation on the Armstrong Trails Board of Directors?

“ARTA shall nominate up to two of their current Board members and further shall solicit nominations from their entire membership until October 11, 2019 to be considered as potential Board members of Armstrong Trails.  ARTA Board members and other members seeking to be considered for an Armstrong Trails board position may either submit their Letter of Interest to ARTA or to the AVLT Board of Directors. The Allegheny Valley Land Trust Board will interview the prospective candidates and select from those nominations received, up to 2 individuals, who shall be elected as Board members of Armstrong Trails effective January 1, 2020, in accordance with the attached Armstrong Trails bylaws. These board members shall be appointed to an initial 1-year and 2-year term

Will Armstrong Trails have members?

No, Armstrong Trails will not be a membership organization (like ARTA currently is).  When ARTA is dissolved, ARTA memberships will no longer exist.

How would I make a donation to Armstrong Trails?

Donations are always welcome and can be made directly to Armstrong Trails, using the form on the website, or by mailing in the form in the ARTA map.  A bank account and PO Box will be maintained until all maps have been exhausted.  Donors will be part of the Friends of the Armstrong Trails.

How do I volunteer?

Volunteers are an integral part of all trails organizations and will be needed to assist Armstrong Trails with trail projects, fundraising, events, and maintenance. There will continue to be many ways to volunteer including helping with work days & serving on committees.  Simply use the CONTACT US link on the website, the link under Volunteer Opportunities or  contact anyone involved with Armstrong Trails to volunteer.

How will committees work?

Armstrong Trails will have two standing Committees:  “Historical and Interpretation” and “Fund Raising and Events.”  These two committees shall be chaired by a current Board member, but shall include non Board representatives.  Volunteers will be needed and encouraged to participate in committees and committee activities and projects.

What current ARTA projects and programs will continue?

The ARTA Board has identified historical restoration, scout projects and promotion of the trail as projects they want to continue.  Memorial benches/tables program will continue as will the website and facebook page.  Current Volunteer Grants – bollards and gates, and the picnic area at Phillipston – will continue until completion.

Will there be a new website and facebook page?

Current ARTA website will be retooled as Armstrong Trails and a new Armstrong Trails face book page will be created.

How will ARTA’s current assets be distributed upon the dissolution of ARTA?

The ARTA Board of Directors will determine how the assets will be distributed among the projects ARTA  has  designated and which will be continuing through the committees.  Separate accountings will be established for these projects and funds.

If approved, when will the merger take place?

        January 1, 2020

What is the mission statement of Armstrong Trails?

“Armstrong Trails will protect and convert railroad corridors into trails for public use, thereby providing opportunities for commuters and outdoor recreational activities.  Our projects will maintain the integrity of these corridors for future transportation use while acting as an economic stimulus for the area communities.”