Trail Maintenance and Wetlands Restoration Projects Completed
The Trail Maintenance Project began on May 11 and continued through May 13. We were able to clear several trails of fallen trees as well as take out many hazardous trees. Hazard trees were defined as ones that were dead and leaning toward the trail.
The work continued for three days and the volunteers were divided into three groups and assigned a trail to work on. The trails that were completed included South Mountain, Abrigo, San Antonio Mountain, Redondo Border, Cerro Seco, Alamo Canyon and Los Indios. The crews included the following people: Sam Beard, Jim Lunn, Dan and Pat Benton, Jim Counce, Darlene Crane, Dan DeVall, Bill Savage, Jim Loner, Larry Moore, Bill White, Jack Crane, Bob Nordstrom, Dale Counce, Peggy Gautier, Bill Geoghegan, Tamara Howard.
This was a very extensive project covering about twenty miles of trails in preparation for the spring opening of the Valles Caldera National Preserve on May 21.
San Antonio Creek Wetlands Restoration Project
The first of our three weekend volunteer work projects planned for this summer on the creek in the Valles Caldera National Preserve began on Friday, May 20 and continued through to Monday, May 23. The Preserve permitted us to camp out at the cabin located in the far northwest area of the Preserve to accomplish the work. The volunteers included the following people: Marty Peale, Hal Dyer and Elektra Badash and their two boys, Bruce Wedda, Scott Gilmore, Sam Beard, Jim and Dale Counce, Frank Moran, Virginie Pointeau, Avery Anderson, Karen Menetrey and her two children, Jack and Darlene Crane and Barbara Johnson. We were guided by our two wetlands experts, Van Clothier and Craig Sponholtz. Darlene aided by others served up breakfast and dinner Saturday and breakfast Sunday.
By moving soil and transplanting sod in several locations, we were able to plug an animal-made ditch and old road that are eroding the stream bank and draining the wetlands. We were able to redirect this flow to low-lying areas on the terrace of the creek. The sod and underlying soil was hand dug by shovel from several narrow trenches in a drying area of the wetland. The sod capping the plugs will root again and stabilize the plugs. The narrow trenches are now filling with water and recreating a lost wetland, allowing for the growth of native vegetation, creating better habitat. The plugs will raise the water table of the wetland and reestablish sheet flow exiting the wetland to a natural swale, which will become another wetland. This was definitely worthwhile work.
As you can tell the work was wet and muddy and the shovel work hard. We moved the material by carry litter and pitched some by shovel. Heavy equipment could not be used in this area because the ground is so soft that the equipment would do more damage than good.
To see more photos from this and other projects, please click on “Photo Collections” located toward the bottom of the left hand column on this page.
Photos: Jim Counce