Trail Ambassadors Assemble

A group of ambassadors gathered in Wheeling Tuesday to learn how they can make a difference on Heritage Trail.

Thirty-seven local residents have volunteered for the Wheeling Heritage Trail Ambassador Program, designed to make trail users feel more welcome and safe.

R. “Scat” Scatterday, manager and project engineer for Wheeling-Ohio County Rails to Trails, is excited about the number of volunteers enlisted. He expected about 20 would be interested in the program, but with nearly double that number, Scatterday said he is confident as many as 100 will eventually join.

“I am so happy with the turnout,” said Ryan Teufel, executive ambassador and owner of the new Mountain Mama’s Kayak and Bike Rentals. “It shows how much Wheeling residents care about their trail. Community involvement is a key role to a safer city.”

“Even though I feel like the trail is safe, it’s a comfort to know if you get in any trouble, there is someone to help you,” added ambassador Peggy Dailer.

“The motivation for each person seems to be that this is their city, their trail and this is a place where they want to have some ownership of the trail, its safety, condition and use,” Scatterday noted.

Tuesday’s meeting briefed the volunteers on the purpose of a trail ambassador, which is to be a goodwill representative of the trail and city and to observe and report conditions and activity on the trail, according to Scatterday. They also learned about the Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau, local history, observe and report procedures, their duties and other information regarding the position.

Volunteers who attended received two new tools as well – a fluorescent vest and a cell phone.