Building A Community - By Maureen Gaffney
“Community.” It is a work horse of a word, perhaps overused. It must shoulder collections large and small. The Cycling, The Legal, The Hispanic, The Environmental. Surely there is a Curling Community (that weird sport where they run a broom ahead of a disc-thingy on a bowling lane probably in Wisconsin). If we were Native American or perhaps German, there would be many more words for community.
And yet, community is precisely the word that swirls around the Napa Valley VINE TRAIL—both the concept and actual experience. By its very nature, the VINE TRAIL is about community. Connecting one to another—Vallejo to American Canyon, Napa to Yountville, St. Helena to Calistoga. Travel this corridor in a car and yes, you’ll see the beauty of the Valley. But you won’t meet that fellow cyclist who saves your day with a spare tube and a story. You won’t meet the farm worker delighting in the safe place to teach his kid to ride a tricycle, even more delighted to hear that this trail will connect the whole Valley someday soon.
Community is what it has taken to build the over 20 miles currently in place, and what it will take to finish the job. For all of the stresses and strains so robustly on display in American society today, it is heartening to see the people in the cities and towns hosting the vision of the VINE TRAIL rallying around the effort, making it known to their city councils, boards of supervisors, transportation authorities and each other that they believe in this common goal. And seeing those same elected officials out on the trail, chatting with friends and strangers, seems further confirmation that we’re on the right path.
So whatever “communities” you are a part of, with the possible exception of curling, you will likely find a connection on the Napa Valley VINE TRAIL.