Butterfly Garden on Northaven Trail (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Butterfly Garden on Northaven Trail (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

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Ever since the Northaven Trail was proposed, neighbors have rallied behind it. Friends of the Northaven Trail formed to take care of necessary evils on the trail, like weeding, while also creating a place for residents to gather.

“It’s a place to meet your neighbors and be able to connect to your community,” says Jeff Kitner, president of the 13-member Friends board, which also includes councilman Kleinman’s wife, Lisa Umholtz.

Bratt says when a group of citizens is interesting in assisting with park or trail maintenance, they can sign a one-year agreement with the city that will be renewed if all goes well. Friends of the Northaven Trail is one of the city’s most active volunteer groups, organizing regular work days to keep the trail pristine. They also host free community events like movie nights in addition to fundraisers, bringing in the dollars needed to enhance the trail. Those donations have funded dog bags and waste stations, and seed bombs of wildflowers that bring beauty to the trail. When local Girl Scouts wanted to build a butterfly garden and a Free Little Library on the trail, the Friends stepped in to assist.

“It’s all for the betterment of the trail,” Kitner says.

Friends also serves as a reporting party, ensuring the city knows about any safety issues that need to be addressed. That’s now included better crosswalk striping and signage at busy intersections, lighting and other amenities.

“It’s good on all fronts when you have active citizen engagement,” Kleinman says.

The Butterfly Garden and Little Free Library were two projects forged by the Friends of the Northaven Trail with community members, The group has also built respites and other enhancements along the path.

Get involved with Friends of the Northaven Trail at northaventrail.org.

Free Little Library on Northaven Trail (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)

Free Little Library on Northaven Trail (Photo by Danny Fulgencio)


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