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Theme: Giving Back to the Parks

The Edgewood Preserve Docent Training Program

Docents: Sharing Nature with the Bay Area Community

Meeting the Land at Fairfield Osborne Preserve

Other Features

A Brief History of Bay Area Parks and Open Space
   Pt. 2: From the 1960s through the Present Day

Names on the Land
   Pt. 2, Santa Cruz County

Education Stations "Smooth" the Trails

"Dish" Argument Continues on New Terrain

Sudden Oak Death: New Victims


Letter from the Trail Center

Park News

Trail Center Notes

Upcoming Events

The Trail Companion

Winter 2001

Trail Center Notes

Trail Construction and Maintenance

While many of our workdays in 2000 were spent maintaining and repairing trails, we completed two major reroutes - Castle Rock Trail and Acorn Trail. We held three large workdays, a campout, and worked with over 250 volunteers over the year. With projects in five parks and preserves, Trail Center volunteers constructed and improved several miles of trail last year. Great job, volunteers!

Portola Redwoods State Park, Nov. 17

We returned to Portola on a beautiful (and chilly!) day in November to continue the tread maintenance and brushing on Slate Creek Trail started in August - and fix one major problem. The trail crosses a swale half a mile before reaching the trail camp; since slope is quite gentle, water tends to flows very slowly and makes the crossing boggy all winter and well into spring. Dave Swartz, a longtime Portola volunteer, said that he had tried to address the problem some years ago without much success. We had hoped to do something in August, but ran out of time. Now we had fifteen volunteers and two wheelbarrows full of geotextile and rebar to try a solution recommended for just this situation - a turnpike. If you hike in the Sierra, you have undoubtedly walked on one of these structures as you crossed a sodden meadow. A turnpike in trail lingo consists of a frame typically made of native materials such as logs or rocks, with soil over geotextile (filter cloth) in the middle. The aim is to distribute the weight of hikers and other trail users so their feet won't pound the unstable soil. We built our turnpike in two sections - a total of 55 feet - with sloping ditches on the upper side and an opening in the middle to let the water pass through. Although we don't often use logs for walls or barriers, redwood resists rot well and we had no trouble finding more than enough 4 in. diameter logs. Our biggest challenge was to fill in the centers with enough soil to create a crowned surface that would drain well. Most of the crew spent the day digging from borrow pits near either end and trundling heavy loads down the trail. Despite the short time we had after the two and half mile walk in, we managed to move nearly 3 cubic yards of dirt to complete the turnpike.

Thank you, Portola Volunteers! Matt Albee, Mae Chia, Peter Corsius, Dave Croker, Chris Dowdy, Bob Ferrill, Annoop Ghanwani, Thorsten Graeve, Scott Heeschen, Anna Lawrence, Tim Oren, Pat Oren, Geoffrey Skinner, Dave Swartz, Katrina Swartz.

Jasper Ridge, Stanford University

October 21 marked Community Impact Day 2000, with a big turnout at Jasper Ridge.

Paul Childs at Jasper Ridge
Paul Childs repairing Mapache Trail at Jasper Ridge.
Photo by Geoffrey Skinner
CI brought a hardworking group of Accuson employees and active Trail Center volunteer and UC Berkeley student Alex Fabrikant brought the EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science students); together with a number of Trail Center regulars, the group totaled nearly 50 for the day.
      We split into three groups, with one group building the boardwalk across a marshy area above Searsville Lake, the second raising a section of the Mapache Trail above high water mark, and the third cleaning up and repairing the remainder of Mapache. The boardwalk crew worked hard to fit planks onto a steel framework, drilling holes through both with a template, then hand tightening bolts to keep them in place. Despite a very noisy generator and a broken drill (ably repaired in the field by one of the Accuson volunteers), the crew managed to complete a significant portion of walkway. Preserve workers later finished the remainder, but without our contribution, they would not have made it before rain. The new boardwalk allows all-weather, ADA-compliant access to the area south of Searsville.

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