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Newsletter #18

Friends of Oak Hill Newsletter #18


Most of you are moving on from skis to bikes or running shoes, but while the wax is still warm on your base, we encourage you to sign up for volunteer opportunities so that we can start planning for next year.  Aside from trail maintenance work, including a “work day festival” in the fall, please consider whether you would join our motley crew of snowmakers or Oak Hill greeters/ambassadors next winter.  If you let us know your interest level in the linked volunteer form, we’ll reach out to you later in the year and let you know what opportunities are available.  You don’t need to commit to any particular amount of time or number of days, but we’d like to start a list now so that we can plan over the summer.


Meanwhile, Aricca Van Citters, our resident survey guru, has compiled the results from over 190 responses to our post-season survey.  As you will see from the summary chart below, the community found the new Oak Hill experience to be overwhelmingly positive.  Areas for improvement are noted, including the extension of snowmaking to a somewhat easier trail loop, resurfacing of the parking lot, better signage, and toilet facilities.  Work on all of these areas is underway or in planning.


Speaking (or writing) of ongoing work, Dartmouth has engaged a contractor to resurface the parking lot, and work has already begun!  Construction will soon begin on the equipment shed to house and protect our grooming and maintenance equipment.  Contract negotiations are almost complete for the solar facility that is designed to offset 100% of our anticipated electricity usage.  Installation of the solar array is expected to begin later in the summer, and we hope it will be complete prior to the start of the ski season.  The same is true for construction of the warming hut. Poles for the trail lighting system are already on site.  Lighting installation will be scheduled in coordination with other work.


Aside from the construction work noted above, the trails need some love, care and repair after the early season rain damage.  That work has already commenced and will be ongoing this summer.  Repair work on the campground areas leftover from last season is also underway to ensure completion before Storrs Pond officially opens.  While working on the trails, we are planning an easier trail connecting the north and south loops, and hope to extend snowmaking coverage on that route.  Many of you have let us know that an easier trail option is an important priority and we’re working on it.


There is a lot going on, and we hope season 2 will be even better than season 1.  The survey results illustrate that more than 70% of respondents used the trails at least once a week, which confirms our hope that the new trails will be well-used by the community.


As always, if you have questions or suggestions, please let us know!



The Oak Hill Outdoor Center Team







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