Our Valentine's Day session at the HOP Public Trail Facility ...

On February 14th the weather was incredible, and so was our turnout with twenty-nine (29) volunteers. Below you'll see some of our friends from the Church of LDS. They've been at our last several sessions, we sincerely appreciate all their help.

Pictured below are three young women that all earned their MVTB tee shirts this session. They were removing duff and transplanting ferns, helping build the trail where it will cross the park access road to connect with to La-Z-Boy.

In this third image (below) you'll see Maggie and Martin replanting the ferns that were mentioned above.

In the background our crew leader Jerry Granahan is filling a wheelbarrow with duff (organic material) that was stockpiled. This is being moved down to be placed around the transplanted ferns.

Most park users will never know how much work goes into building a sustainable trail that 'appears' to be all natural. But that's fine, our volunteers know - and they deserve to be proud of their work...

Here you can see the Jerry, Maggie and Martin carefully unloading and stacking the large shot rock they will use to build retaining walls.

While the new power carrier has a hydraulic dump the steepness of the hill does not allow the rock to spill out and stay in place. It must be carefully staged to keep it on the hillside.

Here you'll see the new power carrier parked in front of our stockpiles of rock. Due to a great turnout all this material was either used on the trail or staged for our next session.

You should know that this impressive piece of equipment was made possible due to a $5,000 donation from the Kiwanis Club of MV. This group continues to be extremely supportive of our work. They made a major donation to the Nature Trail project a few years back. The work we do would not be possible with our community's support.

Of special note, our good friend Jerry Jewett spearheaded this important donation. And he did this in the last few weeks of his life, when he was ill and preparing for a difficult operation.

He sent an impressive example for us. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Jerry, he is missed.

And here a few of our leaders, at day's end, sit at the base of the trail called 'Up Only.' In the background you can see two completed rock walls, and the start of a third. When complete there will be four, and the ecology blocks will be removed.

Notice that all the stockpiled material is gone, that was our goal. We had promised the Parks Department that we'd have the parking lot cleared for Monday morning park users.

Before the next session the Parks Department will have stockpiled material there for us again.  More large shot rock, with crushed rock at another location.

And below you'll see the reason all this work makes sense:

At this second session on the Heart of the Park Public Trail Facility project we got more done than was expected. That's what happens when we have lots of volunteers. Final tread shaping was completed, half the trail was capped, and rock walls were built - it was great.

Next session (2/28) we will continue capping the trail and building rock walls. Cub Scout Pack 1 will be our 'featured group.'

And a few days ago we learned that two clubs from Skagit Valley College will also be coming out.  The Outdoor Club and the Veterans Club; we are pleased with all the support we're seeing on this project.

Like last session we'll meet and work at the main park entrance.  Park at the yellow gate, you'll see our signs and green awning. Jenny Sandbo will be preparing our lunch, she's a great cook - we're in for a treat...

Did I mention that we're holding another Heart of the Park Fundraising Event? Like last year it will be on National Trails Day, which is June 6.  We hope you'll put it on your calendar.

It was a great event last year, a party for trails.  Building trails may not be for everyone, but supporting them can be.

If you know of companies or organizations that might be interested sponsorship/donation opportunities please have them contact us.  Thanks!