Volunteers are the backbone of the LHT — clearing trails, installing signage, stenciling paved areas, and keeping an eye out for the many maintenance issues that our heavily-travelled trails need addressed. We owe a lot to these folks, and we wanted to share their LHT stories. If you want to join one of our volunteer teams, shoot us an email — we’d love to have you!
Meet Terry Del Casale – a retired engineer, avid cyclist, Lawrenceville resident, and one of the LHT’s star volunteers.
LHT: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Terry: My name is Terry Del Casale, I live in Lawrenceville. I have an engineering degree from the College of New Jersey, and I’ve spent 35 years in the Aerospace Industry and in the Enterprise Software space, where I helped sell complex technology solutions to corporations across the country. I’m recently retired, along with my wife Adrienne. We’re spending our time hiking, walking, and exploring all things locally New Jersey. All the things we didn’t have time to do while working!
LHT: How long have you been volunteering on the LHT? What inspired you to lend a hand?
Courtesy of Terry Del Casale
Terry: I’ve been volunteering about six years for the LHT. I was inspired to help as an avid “hybrid” cyclist (riding both road and trails with my hybrid model bike) and walker of the LHT. I used to ride the LHT daily, putting in ten miles a day — I really get a fantastic workout from the LHT and hilly streets here in town! My wife and I also love walking the LHT, especially the Pole Farm area, where we enjoy spotting hawks, migrating birds, fox, deer, and the numerous wildlife here. While cycling one summer morning a few years ago, I once spotting a very large racer snake crossing the LHT! Volunteering is the best “give back” I can provide, with all the enjoyment the Trail and local parks have provided to me!
Courtesy of Terry Del Casale
LHT: What kinds of projects have you worked on?
Terry: Numerous. But first, I’d like to tip my hat to Kurt Vollherbst, our maintenance team lead [and LHT board member]. Kurt is simply the best trail maintenance leader the LHT could ask for. I’ve learned so much from him, especially how to mount signs in cement! He taught me (and many others) how to do road stenciling, proper sign-mounting, and trail clearing. I once helped Kurt “trail-blaze” the connector section of the LHT from Maidenhead Meadows (Princeton Pike) to the Brearley House. That was a lot of hard work! I’ve installed many dozens of LHT signs in the area and repaired or replaced them as needed. I’ve been one of the maintenance leads here for the Lawrenceville section for many years. Most importantly though, I always try to provide healthy feedback on the condition of the LHT, and where it needs improvement, especially with drainage.
LHT: Do you do work on other trails or in other parks? Where and what type of work?
Terry: Not really. The LHT has been my primary focus and passion, since it’s right here in my neighborhood! I would welcome the chance to help volunteer in other parks, however.
LHT: How did you discover the LHT? What are your favorite segments?
Terry: Well, we’ve been residents here for 24 years, so I discovered it during its initial development, making local headlines in the paper. My favorite segments are the Pole Farm (named after the former towering AT&T antenna poles that lined the area back in the 1950s and 60s, allowing for the first overseas Telephone calls). As a side note, the displays and signage near the Cold Soil Road entrance in this area are a must see. Being a former electrical engineer, I still marvel at how this area was so instrumental in the pioneering of this key phone transmission technology!
LHT: Do you have advice for other folks who have thought about getting involved with the LHT?
Terry: Well, if you use the LHT a lot, consider volunteering. Kurt and the great team here can always use an extra set of hands to help keep this treasure of a trail in top form. It’s a highly rewarding experience.