Terri Miyamoto – Albemarle County Resident 

Tell us about your volunteer activities.
I was nominated because I am with the Crozet Trails Crew. This is a great volunteer organization that works under the direction of Albemarle County Parks and Recreation to develop, maintain, and publicize trails in Crozet. It’s great fun to build a new trail, and when you get a dozen people together it can go very fast. In the summer, there’s a constant need for mowing and pruning. We have work days on Saturdays, plus mid-week days that tend to attract retired people. We are very anxious to develop the trails that are outlined in the Crozet Master Plan but we have to be patient and wait for the right-of-ways to be given to the county. I also use a GPS and map-building programs to make maps of our trails, which can be found on our web site. I try to keep up interest in the area by writing articles for our web site and the Crozet Gazette and maintaining our Facebook page.

I also work with other Charlottesville-area groups. I am on the board of the Newcomers Club of Greater Charlottesville, and produce their web site, newsletter and Facebook page. Newcomers has been very important for me as I become part of the Charlottesville community. I volunteer with Streamwatch, which involves wading out into local streams to collect, classify, and count the bugs that live there. This data helps us monitor water quality in local watersheds. I developed the web site for the Crozet Community Chorus, and lead a lectionary study group at my church.

What inspires you to volunteer?
My Catholic faith emphasizes community and acting for the common good. It saddens me to see how much less community life there is today than a generation or two ago. I am involved with community organizations because I see them as a way to preserve the neighborliness of American life. I want to live in a place that has a sense of community, where people join together to solve problems and make improvements. I volunteer in order to be among people who also care about the community and each other.

I know that, as an introvert, it would be easy for me to avoid the discomfort of going out to meet new people. So I have to consciously work at doing my part to be involved. I think that’s true for a lot of people, so maybe my being there is what someone else needs to give them the confidence to also join in. Community, one person at a time.

If your volunteer work could make one long-lasting change, what would you want it to be?
There would be a lot more inter-connectivity for biking and walking in the Charlottesville area. I traveled out west this summer, and biked in several cities with awesome infrastructure supporting biking as transportation, not just recreation. I wish we could have more off-road multi-use trails and protected bike lanes around here. I’d love to bike into Charlottesville for lunch.

What is a little-known fact about you?
I once went on a 30-day retreat, in silence. Fantastic experience (especially for an introvert!)

What brought you to Charlottesville/Albemarle County?  
My husband and I moved here two years ago from New Jersey, when we retired. We were looking for a place in the east, a college town, with plenty of interesting things to do and an “outdoors” kind of vibe. The Charlottesville area is perfect. Being close to Shenandoah National Park is an added bonus! From our home in Crozet, I can step outside my front door and see the Blue Ridge. Plus bike to four wineries and two breweries – what’s not to like?