NY/NJ Trails Volunteer Projects Coordinator Cara Davenport sends us this report from AMC’s mid-Atlantic volunteer trails program:
On Saturday, June 17th at the AMC Mohican Outdoor Center, a group of volunteers arrived to participate in a trails stewardship event sponsored by REI and supported by NPS, New York – New Jersey Trail Conference, and AMC staff at Mohican. It was one of the first volunteer trail service days of 2017 at Mohican, and despite the threat of a storm and a brief sprinkling of rain in the morning, 70+ volunteers registered and headed out to their project sites that morning. One group, comprised of the DEWA Trail Stewards and the NY/NJ Trail Conference, worked at the Van Campens Glen Trail throughout the day. Three other projects took place on the Rattlesnake Swamp Trail at Mohican, a part of which intersects with the Appalachian Trail; one group spent the day working on corridor definition on 2.5 miles of the trail, another group performed water bar maintenance, and the third replaced a timber turnpike spanning one of the wet areas that give the trail its name. Around 1:30pm the tired and wet volunteers from the various projects made their way back for a hard-earned lunch in the Rec Hall.
The partnering of so many organizations and people to make this trail day happen was extremely encouraging. If it were not for REI, the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference and the National Park Service, there would have been significantly fewer volunteers and not nearly enough people to help lead in the field. Inter-organizational relationships are crucial to caring for trails in the NY/NJ/PA region. There is no end to the work that needs to be done and putting events like this together helps introduce the masses to trail stewardship and allows us to educate others about why it is so important. Some may return to do more trail work, others might become a member and some may never want to touch a pick mattock again after all of that hard work, but one thing is certain. Everyone that participated that day was able to leave Mohican Outdoor Center knowing that their contribution made a difference.
Thank you to all of the volunteers that participated in the event. Without your willingness to brave the rain and humidity, what was accomplished in a day may not have been accomplished all year.