by Natalia Dutt, AmeriCorps Member
Now that the sun is finally shining and summer is officially underway it means it is time to get back to work on the Thomas City Park beginner loop trail. After a successful fall season we are so excited to get this project completed this year. Zach Adams, the brains behind the trails, has been working tirelessly to get these routes completed and open to the public. We have been lucky these last few weeks to work alongside two volunteer groups to get some progress made on the trails. The first was a group of ten individuals who took time out of the Canaan Mountain Bike Festival to do some much needed maintenance on some of the older trails. For around three hours the volunteers hiked around the older loops and cleaned them up. From lopping low hanging branches to creating new drains to make sure the trails are free of standing water, the volunteers were a great help in taking on a job that usually is over looked at most riding locations. These volunteers graciously gave up their mornings to help maintain and take care of the trails that are so important to the Thomas community.
The next group was a group high school students in the youth conservation corps through Mobilize Green. 10 students and 3 leaders came out for a day that gave them the opportunity to work in the mud and learn all that it takes to build trails. They had the pleasure of seeing the sloppier side of trail building! These volunteers were able to do some finish work, which includes getting rid of all of the unnecessary roots and re-naturalizing the edges of the trail. Though the volunteers had to unfortunately call it quits earlier than we had hoped due to the rain the work they were able to accomplish in only a few hours, have saved us heaps of time.
These trails are utilized by locals and tourists alike and it is incredible to see them getting involved in the building process. It is only with a community effort that we can take on a project of this caliber. Whether these individuals are volunteering and helping with the trail, donating to the project, or just getting the word out about this project- they are helping in more ways than they may realize. We are so grateful to the volunteer groups who came out to help us with some much needed work on these trails. We are even more grateful for the individuals who have supported this project since it began almost two years ago. We would not have been able to get this far without all of your help and support! Be on the lookout in the coming months for updates on the finalized project!