Friends of the Little Miami State Park

September 2013
Friends of the Little Miami State Park is a non-profit group of volunteers dedicated to restoring and maintaining safety on the park's scenic trail. Working under the sanction of the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, the Friends provide almost all maintenance on the trail. We depend on your support and invite you to join us in serving our community.
In This Issue
Tukandu: Remarkable Bicyclists
Brushoff in Miamiville
A Plant with History
Kings H.S. Students' Service Day
Paul Leiter Work Party
Grandin Rd. Map
Help Wanted
Next Meeting
Tukandu: Remarkable Bicyclists
by Gary Standafernull

It is not unusual to see tandem bicycles on the Little Miami Scenic Trial, and these bikes and riders may seem perfectly normal. Unless, however, the tandem riders are members of a bicycling group known as Tukandu. Indeed there is something remarkable about these bikers because one cyclist on each of the Tukandu bikes is either blind or visually impaired. These tandem bicyclists ride distances of up to 50 miles along the Little Miami Scenic Trail on a given Saturday morning. Each bike has a sighted front rider designated as the "captain" and a visually impaired back rider designated as the "stoker."  


Ever tried to stand on one foot with your eyes closed? Then imagine the difficulty of maintaining balance while riding a bicycle as a visually impaired or blind person. It is amazing what accomplished riders these visually impaired riders really are. And let's not forget the skilled captains, good to expert riders, who must at all times maintain excellent communication with the stoker by letting them know of upcoming crossings and stops, hikers, bumps in the trail, and any obstacle that would require special handling of the tandem bicycle.


nullThe concept or mission of the group, "to enable visually impaired people to enjoy the camaraderie and physical challenge of cycling while partnering with others on tandem bicycles," was conceived in 1999 by team member and past president Terry Davis. Using an initial grant from the Kroger Company, the group purchased four tandem bicycles and Tukandu was off and riding. Since then, through the purchase of other tandems by the group and by other donations, the fleet has expanded to 16 tandem bicycles and one recumbent bike.


Captains and stokers come from all parts of the greater Cincinnati area including Northern Kentucky. Tukandu captains provide transportation for the visually impaired stokers from their homes to Loveland's Nisbet Park. As with most non-profit groups, Tukandu is in need of volunteers. With a core group of 6 to 10 captains the group could always use more captains to ride the tandem bikes and to provide transportation for the stokers. There is also a need for a volunteer bicycle mechanic to assist in maintaining the fleet of bicycles which are graciously housed in the garage of a nearby business at no charge to the group. If you are interested in joining Tukandu, have questions, or would like to contribute funds, please visit their Web site at They would welcome your interest and any volunteer work you may be willing to offer.


Brushoff in Miamiville


After several months of lying on the trail berm in Miamiville, a large pile of brush has been removed thanks to Miami Township Services. Last spring Bill Schwinn's Adopt-a-Trail team worked diligently to trim branches and underbrush in the trail access area. Usually brush is thrown into the woods away from the trail to decompose naturally, nullbut this location offered no appropriate area for disposal. Bill's Adopt-a-Trail team will soon be planting grass seed to green up the berm where the brush had been lying. Thank you, Miami Township Services!
A Plant with History


                     by Kathy Maurer


This white flowered plant that is common along the trail now is White Snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum).  It is similar to another plant, Boneset, but the leaves on snakeroot have stalks, whereas those of boneset connect directly to the stem.  All parts of snakeroot are poisonous and early settlers recognized a disease called milk sickness which affected their livestock.  Because the poison in the plants is highly fat soluble, milk from cows that had ingested this plant also poisoned the settlers themselves.  Abraham Lincoln's mother died of milk sickness, and this was apparently the reason the family moved to Illinois from Kentucky.  A little bit of history along our trail.


Kings High School Students' Service Day


On September 11 of each year, seniors from Kings High School participate in a National Day of Service by volunteering to do various types of community service. This year two groups of 8 students each, as part of their commitment, volunteered to work on the Little Miami Scenic Trail. One group worked on the Grandin Road to South Lebanon trail segment and the other group worked on the South Lebanon to Stubbs Mill Road trail segment. The student volunteers trimmed brush, picked up litter, and cleared culverts. FLMSP trail adopters Kathy Maurer, Maxine Fischer, and Gary Standafer supervised the student work. 


Using shovels and wheelbarrows, the students cleared drains from two culverts that were completely covered by soil and debris, as well as a sizable area around the drains. The culverts will now run fast and clear preventing overflow of water and erosion of the trail. An estimated four tons of soil and debris--not counting the mud on the students' clothes--were removed from the two blocked drains. Thank you, students, for a job very well done! MORE PHOTOS

Paul Leiter's Prince of Peace Work Party       


Seventeen hardworking Prince of Peace Lutheran Church volunteers met Sept. 8 at Paul Leiter's memorial bench for a prayer and then set off to push back the berm between Second St. and Center St. in Miamiville. Thanks to all for the hard work!
A Brighter Map
The old Trail Mileage map at Grandin Rd. (near the Peters Cartridge factory) has a bright new life thanks to Queen City Polymer, who supplied and cut the acrylic at reduced cost, and Evan Slater, who renovated the sign with weatherproof materials. Thank you, Evan and Queen City Polymer!

The Friends is a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation and enhancement of the Little Miami State Park. We assist the Ohio Department of Natural Resources with development planning, routine maintenance, capital improvements, and safety concerns.   
FLMSP in the  Enquirer

Sept. 1, 2013


After three bikers injured themselves in separate incidents in 2008 on wooden bridges on the Little Miami Scenic Trail - one that resulted in temporary paralysis - Simeon Copple decided something needed to be done to make the trail safer. . . .

Read full article at
Greene County Trail Closings:
  Paving work continues on the northern portion of the Little Miami Scenic Trail, with some sections closed. The section between Hedges Rd. and Xenia Station is now open, but closings between Church St. (Xenia) and Yellow Springs continue for another two weeks or so. Detours on surface streets are marked; please obey them. For updates, contact Greene Cty. Parks & Trails, 937.562.6440.
Miranda's, Morrow:
Plan your stop at Miranda's, a favorite for ice cream along the trail in Morrow, for Wednesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. The shop is now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Cycling Safety

When approaching oncoming cyclists, please ride SINGLE FILE for safety and courtesy. When passing a slower trail user from behind, call out "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT" as a warning. All cyclists must follow these rules to keep our trail safe and enjoyable for all users. Thank you!



Reply to this newsletter or to  volunteer or to learn more about these service opportunities.

Pull-behind Debris Blower Operators: Requires a medium-duty pickup truck or SUV with a 2" ball or 2" compatible receiver. Training will be provided.


Grant Committee Chairperson:

Lead our grant-seeking effort including research, planning, writing, and program &

financial reporting. Manage and nurture relationships with grantors and identify grant opportunities for our grant writer.


Co-adopters: Partner with a current trail adopter on a section of trail near you, and give back to the trail you enjoy. Co-adopter especially needed in the South Lebanon area.


Give of yourself to the trail and the community--learn about a variety of volunteer opportunities here. 


Food, Fuel, Friends
You can help support and maintain the Little Miami trail at no cost to you! If you already have a Kroger Plus card, register it here and designate "Friends of the Little Miami State Park" (NPO#82685) as your nonprofit organization. If you don't have a card, get one at the customer service desk of any Kroger store.
You will still earn all your fuel points, and FLMSP will receive a donation from Kroger every time you shop!
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   Monthly FLMSP Meeting
Sunday, Sept. 22
4:00 p.m.
All are welcome at the open meeting.