2023 Volunteer Hours Census Questions and Answers


When do I report hours?

Hours are normally reported during January for the previous year.

How do I report my hours?

Most of your hours in organized activities will be recorded for you by a designated person in your Club, Organization, or Region. Additional time you work on your own should be reported by you using the on-line form on the FLT website, or to a designated person. Your contribution is important, so make sure that your hours are not missed or duplicated in someone else’s report.

Am I a Trail Sponsor or Trail Maintainer?

If you work with a sponsoring Club or Organization, or a sponsoring individual to complete trail maintenance, you are a Trail Maintainer. As a Trail Maintainer, you will report hours to your Sponsor or your Regional Trail Coordinator (RTC). For example, if you are a maintainer on the Conservation Branch Trail, you are considered a Trail Maintainer reporting to the Sponsor – the Foothills Trail Club.

If you are an individual who does not work with a sponsoring club or organization, are assigned your own section, and report to an RTC, then you are a Trail Sponsor. You will report your own hours using the online form or ask your RTC to do so.

If you’re not sure, ask your Regional Trail Coordinator for clarification or assistance.

Should I report my travel time?

Yes, please include your travel time in your hours. You might also be able to claim a deduction for the miles driven for charitable purposes on your tax return.

I worked on an organized work project; do I have to report those hours?

The Project Leader/Manager/Organizer will be responsible for reporting the hours and travel time so you should not report that again. This is true for Alley Cats, Roving Trail Crew projects, or other organized work days through the FLTC or other sponsoring organizations.

I am a Project Leader/Manager/Organizer of an Alley Cat project, Roving Trail Crew, or local work project; how do I report hours for my project(s)?

You are responsible for collecting registration and sign-in information for your project, recording hours of trail work and travel, and reporting this information either to a Sponsor, Club Chairperson, RTC, or directly to the on-line reporting form. Do not forget the time you and others spent on planning and supporting the project.

I’m a Club/Organization Trail Chairperson; what are my responsibilities?

You are responsible for collecting census data from your assigned section maintainers, project leaders, and independent volunteers. You can submit this information on the website in January for the previous year. You can also ask your RTC to make these submissions on your behalf. You can combine your projects or report projects in separate submissions. For hours reported to you by individual maintainers, you can combine them in a single submission. Work with your volunteers to ensure that hours are reported to you or directly to the website form so that hours are not missed or duplicated.

I am a Regional Trail Coordinator; what are my responsibilities?

You are responsible for submitting any hours reported to you onto the website form in January. You should also assist Sponsors, Trail Chairpersons, and other volunteers in your region, with their reporting. You should actively encourage Sponsors and/or Maintainers in your region to submit hours. If you need help in submitting reports, please contact a member of the Trail Management Team. Any help you can provide in reporting non-trail work hours will help in representing the total volunteer contribution to the Finger Lakes Trail and our partners.

What if I volunteer my time to benefit the Finger Lakes Trail in ways other than trail work?

Your contribution is greatly appreciated by the FLTC and is important to reporting the total volunteer contribution to our partner organizations, the landowners and agencies hosting the trail, and our financial supporters. We report non-trail work in several categories:

    • Administration (Admin)– Club, Organization, or FLTC Board and Committee work: meetings, office work, writing, editing, accounting, etc.
    • Interpretation and Outreach (Interp)– leading hikes, promotion, education, brochure development, etc.
    • General Resource Work (GRW)– GIS/GPS mapping, planning, land protection/acquisition
    • Training (Train)– Training you have received or conducted: construction, maintenance, safety, sawyer, etc.

Please report your work and travel time for these important functions. You can submit reports directly on the website form. Or you can submit your hours to your Club officer or committee chairperson. If your hours are being submitted by someone else, you should not report them yourself on the website form.

I lead hikes or volunteer to work on a trail event for the FLTC or my Club/Organization; what should I report?

Please make sure that your hours of work and travel are reported by you or the event organizer using one of the Administrative or Interpretation and Outreach categories (see previous question). As a hike leader, report your time and travel in planning, scouting, and leading the hike.

I’m a Board Member, Officer, and/or Committee Chairperson of the FLTC or for an affiliated Club or Organization; do I have to submit a report?

An important part of your contribution of time is the work you do for your organization. It is your responsibility to ensure that your hours are reported, and to assist other volunteers in reporting their time when you can.