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[RC] AERC Trail Volunteer Hours Reporting - Jim Holland

The AERC Trails Program has been a resounding success.  Many AERC members, not just Trail Masters are out there working with land managers, saddle clubs, etc. to improve and build trails, trailheads, and other facilities for all equestrians.  It is important for AERC to track the many hours our AERC members contribute to this effort.  We can use this information to lobby for legislation, apply for grants, justify appropriations, and many other purposes.  In addition, the database generated can be used in a wide variety of ways to track exactly what our volunteers do and where. The difficulty has always been how to collect this information.  Other organizations, such as the Forest Service and Back Country Horsemen also ask us to log work time, travel time, and travel hours for their records. 


We are pleased to announce that Technical Committee members Russ Humphrey and Mike Maul have provided an application on the AERC website to make this a simple process for AERC members. As we have said many times and still don’t say often enough, “Thanks, guys!”


OK…here’s how it works:


The directions for using and reaching the application are on the “Trails” pull down on the AERC website main screen. (www.aerc.org)   Put your mouse pointer on “Trails”, and choose the “Volunteer Hours Log” tab. 


OK….now that you know what to do, here’s how to enter your volunteer work.


Remember that you must be an AERC member and you must “Login” to your member page on the AERC website to get to the application. You won’t see it unless you do.  “Login” is under the last gray horse to the right on the directions screen and also on the website main menu screen.  Once you know how to use the application you can login to your member page without going through the directions page.  If you have never activated your member page, you will be prompted to do so.  Once you are logged in, you will have a menu bar with a green background.  Put your mouse on the “Volunteer” tab and choose “Volunteer Hours Reporting”.  You will then be presented with a welcome screen and a menu on the left.  Read the brief instructions and then click “Enter Hours”.  You are now on a summary page which shows all the entries you have made previously. (Initially, it will be blank) To enter a workday, click on “Add New Hours Record” in the center portion of the screen.


-          You can only enter ONE DAY AT A TIME.  If you work multiple days, you must enter a record for each day.

-          You can enter data, even for previous dates, simply by choosing the date on the calendar at the top

-          The first 3 files are pull downs…..the STATE field should be WHERE THE ACTIVITY TOOK PLACE.  For example, although I live in Georgia, if I work in Tennessee, the STATE field should be Tennessee.

-          You can enter information for other AERC members from your login by entering their member number in the “your AERC Member Nbr:” field.

-          Note that there are two “hours” fields.  “Work hours” is the time you worked that did not employ motorized equipment.  Work time using hand tools (loppers, pulaskis, rakes, etc.) are not “Equipment Hours”.  “Equipment Hours” are the hours you worked that day using motorized equipment such as chain saws, weed whackers, backhoes, etc.  The sum of these two fields should be the total hours worked that day.  The reason for the distinction is that “Equipment Hours” are more valuable monetarily than hand tool labor.

-          “Value of Materials” would include nails, bolts, screws, gas, oil, boards, etc.

-          Click “Done” when you are finished, which will record the day and return you to the activity summary.

-          There are required fields on the data entry page.  If you decide to abort without creating an entry, the easiest way is to click “Enter Hours” on the menu to the left. “Return to Summary Grid” will only work if you have data keyed in the required fields.  A future update will allow you to “quit” using this option.

-          At the Summary, click “Add New Hours” to enter another day.

-          Try to be as accurate as possible. You can edit your entries on the Summary page for two weeks.  After that, they are permanent.


I have requested that at least all the “hours” fields appear on the summary page as a high priority update.  This would allow you to print a record of your volunteer hours for use with other organizations.  We will continue to improve this summary page.  I would eventually like to have some basic search/print capability for members here.  I will be working with Jerry Fruth and Mike to determine what standard reports would be most appropriate to generate from the database.  In addition, we will eventually have the capability to export portions of the database to provide query capability for appropriate purposes.


I will be the liaison for any problems, issues, suggestions, or concerns regarding the application.  Please drop me a note if I can be of assistance.  Your feedback is solicited and appreciated.


Thanks for all you do for our trails!  In the words of Jerry Fruth_  “Remember, all you need is a horse and a trail”.


Jim, Sun of Dimanche+, and Mahada Magic


Richard T. "Jim" Holland

Three Creeks Farm

175 Hells Hollow Drive

Blue Ridge, Ga 30513

(706) 258-2830


Callsign KI4BEN