Rich Propp 2019 Trail Steward of the Year

Ice Age Trail Alliance, Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Trail Steward of the Year

Rich Propp, 2019 Trail Steward of the Year: Crew Leader, boardwalk builder, trailmaintainer, and so much more…Photo by Cameron Gillie (

As written by Tim Malzhan, Director of Trail Operations for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, in his letter of nomination of behalf of Rich Propp:

Rich’s impact exceeds his extraordinary accomplishments – the hundreds of feet of boardwalk and dozens of bridges built in all terrain, in all conditions and in all areas of the state; the thousands of duff buckets carried and blowdowns cleared; the five or more miles of rugged Kettle Moraine trail where, in a three week gap between MSC projects, he single-handedly removed then carried for miles numerous, heavy, 6x6x8 round posts to be disposed of, then turned around and single-handedly carried in and set plumb, replacement trail signage posts; or, the countless hours behind a brush hog keeping trail segments in good and mowed condition, the hundreds of volunteer crews led across the state, or the countless ways in which he provides clear, insightful input whether it be local chapter, MSC or statewide issue that needs attention.

Rich is a leader by example.  He is a trail maintainer and go-to sawyer who is active with the Washington/Ozaukee County Chapter.  He is an exemplary IATA Crew Leader in Good Standing who, since 2009, has attended and contributed mightily to nearly every Mobile Skills Crew event. Rich can always be counted on to see a project through to completion and to lend a hand wherever and whenever needed.


  • Regularly mows and maintains about 8 miles of the Ice Age Trail in the Kettle Moraine State Forest, as well as, additional miles of trail throughout Washington County.
  • Is actively assisting staff in planning complex ‘how to’ elements to build a new 570-foot-long elevated boardwalk which, if not completed successfully and in a timely manner, may result in the closure of a mile of the Ice Age Trail in 2019.
  • Worked with a Slinger High School youth group to cut and shape thousands of board feet of lumber in preparation for the above.
  • Regular participates in Washington/Ozaukee County chapter meetings.
  • Served as a Crew Leader at 3 of the 4 (to-date) scheduled 2018 MSC events, and attended the entirety of IAT-U.
  • Regularly fact checks field conditions and facilitates agency/volunteer communications in a clear, concise, respectful manner.
  • Contributes to the Alliance financially as a Yellow Blaze Club member.
  • It is anticipated that Rich either has or will soon attain the lofty height of 10,000 hours of volunteer service.