by Deb Dunkle, KTA Trail Crew Leader
Ray McCann and I started out 3 days before the Trail Crew event, lining up equipment and jobs. With having the Student Conservation Association’s (SCA’s) 5-strong members this year, it was decided that I’d work with this group to open up the access and bottom trail areas. Ray was to work with the KTA crew to go up into the trails.
No one figured on all the rainfall during this Trail Crew event. Past years always saw some drips, but this year saw major, relentless rainfall that made the ridgelines inaccessible with power equipment and created dangerous footfalls.
SCA members included Lewis, Brooke, Austin, Michala, and leader Courtney. This was their first Trail Crew experience, but they were keen on trying the equipment—starting by putting on their raincoats to work! The crew members were scared stiff at their first rattlesnake encounter along the ridgeline, but later, they adjusted somewhat.
Ray along with Sharon Southall, Tom Bastion, Chad North, and Jim Waller rounded out the other crew. Ron Smail, John Stein, and Joe Clark worked several days on other different projects. The crew attacked the trail from Route 164 northward and other areas of the ridges that we were able to access when it wasn’t raining.
During the following week, Tony Barr led the SCA youth to open up more areas of the Mid State Trail. We logged in a total of 584 hours during the 2 Trail Crew weeks. We still need to get up to the 2 hard-to-access ridges from Rainsburg to Loysburg, Bedford County; there are parts that still need to be completed. Any volunteers are always welcome!
The SCA then ended 3 days at Tenley Park, cleaning along the ponds, lopping and spraying invasive plants, and planting native plants. Hard work is resulting in good things coming together for the MST in the Everett region! As always, Jake the Jack Russell terrier was always nearby for supper and offered crew members lots of moral support!
Keystone Trails Association