Currently viewing the tag: "Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA)"

With help from the Civitan Club of Frederick and the Foundation for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the Catoctin Area Civitan Club presented the Catoctin Forest Alliance SUCCESS program a check for $9,500 to help build an inclusive trail outside of the Thurmont Regional Library.

The Thurmont Library Nature Trail Project is a collaboration between the Catoctin Forest Alliance, the Catoctin Area Civitan Club, the Civitan Club of Frederick, the Town of Thurmont, the Thurmont Regional Library, Thurmont Green Team, the Frederick County Public School Program called SUCCESS, and volunteers from the community.

The SUCCESS Youth Program is one of the programs of Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) that, for the past six years, has been working on projects for the Cunningham Falls State Park and Gambrill State Park, Catoctin Furnace Historical Site and the National Park, Catoctin Mountain Park. These youth are between the ages of 18-21 with a disability who are from the SUCCESS School, part of the Frederick County School System.

When asked by the library to establish an ADA trail, it fell into part of the overall objectives of the SUCCESS program. This trail is a win-win, where youth with disabilities are working on the trail for people with and without disabilities.

The part that ties all of this together is the help of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club. Six years ago, CFA received a grant from them through the Foundation for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Chesapeake District – Civitan International, Inc. to start the SUCCESS program. This program is operated every day that the youth are in school for the entire school year, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. It is run by volunteers, and receives assistance from the state and federal parks.

When it was decided that the trail at the library was workable, Jim Robbins from the Catoctin Forest Alliance came to Mary Dal-Favero of the Catoctin Area Civitan Club for assistance. She asked the Civitan Club of Frederick to join as they work closely with the SUCCESS School in Frederick. This support of the two clubs, who agreed to co-sponsor the grant for the trail, was the first step, along with the collaboration of the other groups mentioned above, to make this trail part of the trail system for the Town of Thurmont. It will tie together the ADA Trolley Trail with the Library Trail and future trails and picnic areas in the area behind the library.

If you have any questions about Civitan, please feel free to contact Mary Dal-Favero at 240-620-8630. If you would like to learn more about the Catoctin Forest Alliance SUCCESS program of the Trail system, please contact Jim Robbins at 301-693-9703.

The Camp Greentop Stable in Catoctin Mountain Park has fallen into disrepair. Built in 1980, the stable housed horses used by National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers to patrol trails and remote areas of Catoctin Mountain Park. As park visitation increased, park rangers were re-directed to other park missions, and the Catoctin Mountain Park Volunteer Horse Patrol became the “eyes and ears of the park.” In addition to patrol, the Horse Patrol maintained trails and cared for the horses and stables.

Volunteers and National Park Staff seized the opportunity to help others and maximize park resources, when Catoctin Mountain Park partnered with the League for People with Disabilities to establish the Camp Greentop Recreational Riding for the Disabled Program in 1981. As the first program of its kind in Frederick County, the project served hundreds of League campers each summer season. While the National Park Service Horse Program ended in the mid-1990s, the Camp Greentop Riding for the Disabled Program continued until 2016. Years of deferred maintenance had rendered the stable unsuitable for this use.

As Catoctin Mountain Park’s official Friends group, the Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) is partnering with the National Park Service to rebuild and restore the Camp Greentop Stable. It is hoped that the stable will be completed in time for the 2017 League for People with Disabilities summer camping season. A group of skilled craftsmen, associated with the Indiana Amish Anabaptist Service Program, have volunteered to replace the stable roof and siding. The CFA is seeking benefactors to fund or provide necessary materials. While time is short they are confident that park friends can help make this happen.

Cash donations, materials identified on the materials list, gift cards, and purchase discounts can make this stable project become reality. Please contact Debra Mills, CFA Director of Programming at to discuss material donations and purchase discounts. Cash donations can be made payable by check to Catoctin Forest Alliance and mailed to P.O. Box 411, Thurmont, MD 21788. Donations may also be made on-line at It is estimated that materials will cost approximately $10,000. There will be no labor costs, as the project will be completed by volunteer craftsmen.

An overview of the missions and programs of the Catoctin Forest Alliance can be found at the Catoctin Forest Alliance website at www., and on the Catoctin Forest Alliance Facebook Page.

The Catoctin Forest Alliance is the primary Friends group for Catoctin Mountain Park. The organizational mission is to protect the health of the Catoctin Forest, with special emphasis on citizen engagement and youth programs. Visit the CFA website at www.