Celebrate National Trails Day

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By Jennifer Garcia

Los Alamos County Parks Division will sponsor a community trail maintenance workshop and kick off its new Adopt-A-Trail program on June 6, in celebration of National Trails Day.

National Trails Day is a celebration of trail systems across the nation and this year will mark the 17th year of nationwide trail user participation and awareness, improvement and enjoyment of trails.

The workshop is designed to provide the basics of safe use of tools, of trail design and of trail maintenance. Participants will learn how to divert water from a trail, prevent trail erosion, put native plant materials to use in trail protection and to construct trails that require little future maintenance.

The trail workshop will provide basic instruction on the kinds of conditions to look for on adopted trails.

There’s no fee for the workshop and youth groups as well as adult leaders and families are welcome to sign up regardless of children’s age. However, individuals should be at least 16 years old.

Volunteers need to attend a one-and-a-half hour training session, which will be held on June 6. Groups who wish to schedule training sessions can call Open Space Specialist Craig Martin.

“Many trail users around town are doing a little trail maintenance on the trails in their neighborhood,” he said. “This workshop is to encourage volunteers to make sure they do the job right.”

Volunteers interested in a longer-term project can sign up for the Adopt-A-Trail program. Under the program, volunteers will monitor the safety and appearance of any trail segment on the county network.

In addition, they inspect the adopted trail section once a month, pick up litter, clear waterbars, downed branches, or encroaching vegetation from the trail, report emergency situations to 911 or unsafe conditions or major trail damage to the Open Space Specialist and file quarterly trail condition reports.

“I’ll try to hold additional training sessions twice a year, so the next would be in September,” Martin said. “Otherwise, volunteers are expected to take a look at their adopted trail at least once per month and fill out a quarterly report so I know what they found or did.”

Participants should meet in the Nambè Room at Fuller Lodge at 9 a.m. on June 6.

A 90-minute classroom session will be followed by a field session on the Perimeter Trail near the Mitchell Trailhead at 11:15 a.m.

The class will conclude by 2 p.m.

Participants should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and sturdy shoes. Bring plenty of water, snacks and lunch, as well as work gloves. Tools will be provided.

All volunteers, regardless of experience, are encouraged to attend.

For information on the workshop or Adopt-A-Trail, contact Martin at 663-1776 or visit the trails home page under visitors, on the county website, www.losalamosnm.us.