Angela Roth, Conservancy Volunteer Writer
(Reprinted by permission of Inland NW Land Conservancy)
Armed with handheld, earth-moving tools, a group of community-minded volunteers met up at the Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve trailhead for the inaugural trail work day on Sunday, June 6.
This day was a long time coming. In the fall of 2020, Inland Northwest Land Conservancy purchased this 95-acre preserve. Seven months later, volunteers came together to start turning it into a great place to enjoy the outdoors.
Introductions and a safety talk started the day. Then, everyone settled in to work on the land. The volunteers broke into groups of two or three and chose different places to start. Based on skill sets and comfort levels, they set about the daunting task of turning rocky, rooted soil into an established trail.
Before the work party, Todd Dunfield, Community Conservation Manager for the Conservancy, had already staked out the proposed trail width and general location. Volunteers let the ground “speak to them” as they set about the tasks of clearing vegetation, digging out weeds and native plants, moving boulders, and excavating the land by hand. They aimed to establish a trail that is not too steep and prevents erosion. When complete, the trail both preserves the natural environment and allows hikers to enjoy their surroundings.
Although these volunteers came from different backgrounds and walks of life, and they all shared a common goal: to give back to and support the land they cherish.
Everyone has a different reason for giving back, but all share a commitment to leave this world better than they found it. On Sunday, they worked to make the Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve a place that every one can safely enjoy.
These hard-working folks gave hours of their time & energy, so thank them when you see them. Better yet, join our next work party!