Bureau of Land Management – Campbell Tract

trails dayyyThirty-five volunteers turned out to help the Bureau of Land Management with National Trails Day projects at the Campbell Creek Science Center. This year’s work included completing a variety of gardening and grounds maintenance projects around the Science Center: weeding, watering, and raking gravel from garden beds; weeding the river rock along the perimeter of the building; and aerating, fertilizing and reseeding Lynx, Raven, Mammoth and Weasel Fields. Volunteers also trimmed overhanging branches on trails around the Science Center; planted almost 40 spruce trees on both sides of the mushing bridge off Old Rondy Trail, and removed fences that were no longer needed for protection of re-vegetation areas. At the end of the work, the volunteers joined the Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center for a celebratory pizza lunch.

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The Bureau of Land Management Alaska is grateful for the hard work of all the volunteers, for the generosity of Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center in providing the pizza lunch, and for the generosity of REI, Eagle River Nature Center, Great Harvest Bread Company, Moose’s Tooth/Bear Tooth, and Phillips Cruises and Tours who all provided door prizes for our hardworking volunteers!

Chugach State Park – Middle Fork Trail

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The Middle Fork Trail near Anchorage is beginning to have a better, more sustainable route thanks to the hard work of 28 volunteers with Alaska Trails and Alaska Geographic’s Outdoor Club. The volunteers teamed up with Chugach State Park staff to do the work on National Trails Day, June 4.

“We are excited about the work these volunteers are doing,” said Chugach State Park’s Joe Hall, the lead staff on the project. “We hope to finish the big reroute next month and move on to other projects on the trail.”

The volunteers completed 200 feet of trail, which is a ton of work – almost literally. Volunteers removed tundra sod (saving it for use later to fill in the old trail), carried buckets of dirt, leveled the trail for good drainage and filled two bridge abutments. They also did some brushing and staged re-vegetation materials for next month’s volunteer work day, which will take place on Saturday, July 16.

The volunteers contributed over 160 hours to the trail maintenance project. That equals a value of more than $4,000 using the federal volunteer rate, which is an important factor as the state grapples with more and more budget uncertainty.

While the on-the-ground work is important, getting volunteers out on the trails has a less quantifiable but maybe more important aspect: Helping connect a committed group of stewards to the trails they use and love. “Everybody ended up having a job they could call their own. Folks seemed to really engage in the project and felt value in their work,” Hall said. “These volunteers are really kick-starting this project and we hope to have them back again this summer.”

The volunteers also seemed excited to give back and Alaska Trails is working hard to thank them and get them and others ready for more great work this summer.

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Special thanks to ConocoPhillips and the Alaska Conservation Foundation for their generous support of the Alaska Trail Volunteers program.

(Story adapted from the Alaska Trails June Newsletter)