MVTB Update: 4/25/15 thru 5/16/15 . . .

I apologize for our lack of recent blog posts. A great deal of energy has been going into Hidden Lakes, which many of you have been asking about.  At the end of this post a brief update is given, with a link to additional information. Moving on, we'll do my best to bring you back up-to-speed. Below is a photo at the beginning of our 4/25 trail building session. Pictured are employees from the Burlington Target store, their families, and a number of our regulars. Later the weather improved and others showed up.

In this second image (below) the Target group works on the lower section of the Heart of the Park connector trail. In this photo they're preparing an area for railroad ballast. As you can see it looks like a wet area, that's the reason a special type of "large rock" is used to create a solid base - shown in the next photo.

Below Art places Geo-tech fabric before the railroad ballast is dumped. This keeps the rock from merely sinking into the soft mineral soil. The mud that was mixed with organic materials was cleared off. This technique ensures that we will have a solid and sustainable trail bed. The railroad ballast, since it will not be contaminated by the soft material from below, will allow water to travel through the elevated trail tread (downhill) without damaging it.

This subterranean structure makes all the difference in areas like this where there if flowing surface water. Natural settling ponds are created on the downhill side of the trail, with ferns and organic materials - creating a sustainable trail.

In this fourth photo (below) volunteers bring the tools out at the end of the session. The sun was out and the trail that was rocked (above) is ready to be capped. People came and left throughout the day, it started with rain and ended in sunshine. We had thirty-two (32) great volunteers and got a lot done.

At our 5/9 session (not pictured) we got were so busy that no pictures were taken. We did not have a "featured group" but with eighteen (18) volunteers we moved and spread ten (10) yards of railroad ballast. We are nearing the end of the shaping and drainage work on the connector trail. Capping of the ballast with crushed rock comes next.

Of special interest, that same morning at 10 am, there was an event at Mount Vernon's Riverwalk Park. Pictured below Mayor Boudreau recognizes the Blackburn Family for the beautiful steel sculpture they donated. We mention them here because they were also major donors on our Nature Trail and Bridge project. This type of support makes our work possible.  Thank you!

Also, we hope that one day we have a multi-use trail connecting the "future" south end of Riverwalk Park to a "new" trailhead planned for the west side of Little Mountain Park. This trail would link the downtown with neighborhoods, parks and schools along the way.

It would provide a safe and enjoyable trail link from our downtown to Little Mountain Park, bringing Mount Vernon's Community System to fruition.

And last but not least (below), on 5/16/15 we had two volunteers at the YMCA's Healthy Kids Day. Pictured below are Caroline Sandbo and Bret Turner, two MVTB volunteers hosting at the event. They structured the presentation, made suggestions on the printed materials and Caroline baked the cake...

Below you'll see Caroline and Bret with their first group. We are hopeful we'll see this young visitor and her family at Little Mountain volunteering soon.

Bret believed our young people would enjoy drawing, he was correct as the paper on the table top shows (below). Beside cake and drawing, each was given a Trail Builder calendar, showing our volunteer sessions for the rest of the year.

Bret and Caroline were a great team. Here is one last photo of the cake, which I think was AWESOME! Thanks for the great work!

Caroline first started working with Bret when he was an apprentice with United Way. Bret was responsible for their Youth United program called Varsity in Volunteerism. It is a great program, one that links high school students to local non-profit groups. It is a rigorous program, one requiring a significant time commitment. We love this program!

Our next session is will be held on 5/23/15, we hope to see many of you there.

At the beginning of the post I mentioned Hidden Lakes. This issue is critically important to us since the Hidden Lakes property boarders the north side of Little Mountain Park. This property is on the opposite side of Little Mountain Road. It is across from the main park entrance and runs down to the east park entrance - a.k.a. the Nature Trail - past the beaver pond.

Following is a link to the Mount Vernon city council's approved Resolution No. 887. It was signed by Mount Vernon's City Council and forwarded to the Washington State Legislature. In it they ask the legislature to reform the Washington State Forest Practices Rules, and for a "temporary" moratorium on the logging of Hidden Lakes.

Please open the following link, it will take you to the city of Mount Vernon's official website; it provides videos of the City Council meeting, presentations by experts, and a link to Mount Vernon's Resolution No. 887:

http://www.mountvernonwa.gov/index.aspx?NID=777

To be added to our "supporter/advocacy" list please contact us.