County trails refurbished during workday
Jefferson County Trails Council’s workday Saturday accomplished a lot with 20 volunteers in a relatively short amount of time, said Chris Meyers, council chairman of maintenance.
“We had a few more people than expected, but we could have put even more to work,” said Meyers. “We had a great mix of experienced volunteers and some new blood eager to help out.”
Those who have volunteered previously to help with trails maintenance usually like to work in certain jobs.
“We welcome new volunteers, but those who have helped before settle into their roles of what they work on,” said Meyers.
Most people worked on a single project throughout the day and hadn’t seen what the others were doing.
Meyers sent an email to the trails council and fellow volunteers, highlighting what was accomplished Saturday.
Mulch was placed around mile markers and benches along the entire loop. Some trimming of trees and bushes was done, primarily from Lamson Woods to Maharishi University of Management campus and also in the Whitham Woods area.
“It was a long winter, and we did more clearing out of dead stuff than actually cutting back and trimming,” said Meyers.
Volunteers sanded and sealed all the benches from Maasdam Barns clockwise to Whitham Woods, a picnic table in Whitham Woods and the gazebo at Lamson Woods/Neff Wetlands
Outhouses were cleaned at Whitham Woods, Lamson Woods and Pleasant Lake. Cleaning the outhouses involved sweeping them out and cleaning surfaces.
“The city crew regularly pumps out the toilets,” said Meyers.
Volunteers swept gravel around Whitham Woods, at the railroad crossing north of Dexter and along the Gear Street portion of the trail as well as picking up trash along the Dexter Apache Soccer Complex.
“Some time in June, maybe July, before it gets too hot, we will do deeper trimming along the trail so that we won’t have to trim as often,” Meyers said. “We need things to dry up before we do the deep trimming. Also at that time, we may attempt sanding and sealing the bridges along the trail and tightening bolts on the bridges. A whole weekend could be spent in Lamson Woods alone on these projects.”
He said the trails council was happy with the way Saturday went and how everything turned out.
A few items to finish up in the coming months include:
• Clean the Cedar View Trail outhouse.
• Finish sweeping gravel at Whitham Woods and sweep gravel at Walton Lake.
• Clean out the cobwebs and wasp nests from the kiosks and clean the windowpanes.
• Repair netting on the bridges.
“You never know when things will be dry this time of year to plan a workday too far in advance,” said Meyers. “We will announce the next workday online and in the The Ledger.”
A Fall Maintenance Day is usually held around October, but the date is not yet set.
Meyers said he’s been the chairman of the maintenance committee for about one month.
“It’s a new thing to have the council broken into committees so all the organizing doesn’t fall on one person,” he said.
He attended his first trails council meeting in October and November and became interested in supporting the work and care of the trails.
“The council receives input from the people who use the trails if they see problems or issues. Sometimes it’s something the city or county needs to respond to, such as if a tree has fallen across a trail, and sometimes the council can handle it,” he said.
“I bike on the trail quite often, and it’s so nice to be out there,” said Meyers.