Photo Albums: Djerassi Work Day
On Saturday, October 21st, twenty one volunteers improved the trails at the Djerassi Art Property. This was day two of a crew leader training that began on October 14th, and took place at a unique property located on the west side of Skyline Blvd off of Bear Gulch Road West. It was a beautiful cloudless day, with cool temperatures and sunshine throughout. A recent rain on Thursday considerably improved the workability of the soil from the previous Saturday. Staging was accomplished at the “Old Barn,” which is a picturesque building in the middle of the property, located down a long steep hill.
Four areas, each a spur trail to various art objects created by resident artists over the years, were targeted. The Trail Boss for the day was Dave Taylor.
In site A, the “Roots to Crown” area, Dave Croker was the Crew Leader mentor and he was assisted by Crew Leader Trainees, Lisa Jewett, Eva Franko, and Karl Mosgofian. Volunteers included Claudia Jones and Duc Le. This particular project combined the laying out of an alternative trail, the cutting of the trail, and all the associated tasks with creating a finished product, including brushing and tread work. The decommissioning of the old trail was also required. The result was a considerably safer and more user friendly trail that led one down to a piece of art (a covered stump), an albino redwood, and a spectacular redwood burl on a fallen tree. Before it was completed, this project required the additional assistance of a number of other volunteers so that it could be completed the same day. Their efforts at the end of the day after hiking back to the trailer were much appreciated and enabled closure to this specific trail project.
Site B was the “Nash Charred Sculptures,” “the City of Salt,” and the deconstructed redwood bench area. Larry Stites and Aaron Hieber acted as the Crew Leader Mentors for the sole trainee, Tim Moore. This effort required the construction of two new entrance ramps that provided more inviting and safer entrances to the art work located above and below the road. This required benching and tread work and the removal of a large number of dead redwood spires. One volunteer, Gerard Shuba, assisted in his effort. Particularly noteworthy was that today’s efforts earned Gerard his “green hat” for participating in four Trail Center work days.
Site C was the brushing leading to the “Pixilated Redwood” site and the “Nettle Meadow.” Helen Shaughnessy took the lead in this effort under the mentorship of Hank Magnuski. Frank Hubinsky provided volunteer support. This project involved debris removal, brushing, and the straightening of the trail to make it more visible and walkable. The result was a more inviting and aesthetically pleasing approach to the pixelated redwood area art piece, the trail along the stream, and the trail leading up to the observation bench.
Site D included the switchbacks and trail improvements in the “Pixelated Redwood” area. Under the mentorship of Judd Volino, Xulia Suero, George Willis and Lianna Jewett supervised three volunteers from the Glenwood Correctional Camp and crew leader trainees not in a supervisory role. This effort primarily involved expanding a switchback to make it longer and hence more user friendly, and putting in drains to help protect the steep trail from erosion. The trail was cleaned up to make it more visible. The clay steps were left in place. The crew also brushed the imposing redwood branches under which a wood bench sits and evened out the platform to allow the bench to sit flat again.
A last effort involving Judd Volino and Aaron Hieber, included the removal of a large tree branch growing across the trail and some other brush near the Nash “Nest” area. This was done as volunteers were leaving the area. Of concern was the safety hazard presented by a significantly leaning redwood tree, but fortunately, it decided to fall another day.
The day’s efforts were helped by Kevin Kelsey of Djerassi and his wonder dog, Kuma. Kevin used his Off Road Vehicle to facilitate the transport of the Trail Boss and others and to carry tools up the hills to the trailer at the end of the day. He also provided interested volunteers with a map showing the location of some of the various art pieces on the property.
Special thanks to Eva Franko and Judd Volino for their coordination with Felicia Herron from Djerassi to make this training day a success and to ensure that things went smoothly. Judd and Eva also helped considerably in ferrying volunteers from the entrance gate to the Artists Barn. Aaron Hieber handled check in duties. Larry Stites performed his usual stellar job with snacks and drinks. Finally, a shout out thank you to Hank Magnuski and Dave Croker who received the initial contact from Djerassi, followed up with Felicia, and made two scouting trips to the property.
Submitted by Dave Taylor, Day Supervisor