The following is a recap of this year’s Trails Day from Christina Whiting, volunteer coordinator:
Our local Trails Day is a collaboration between Alaska State Parks, Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park and the Homer community and is a celebration of Kachemak Bay State Park and those who love the park system.
It serves as a reminder of the importance of volunteerism in maintaining trails for locals and visitors alike, this summer and for years to come. It is also a fundraiser for Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park.
Under sunny skies, our volunteers met at the Seafarer’s Memorial for a kick off party of coffee and donuts, and were then transported by water taxi and floatplane to their respective projects.
(This year, there were) 37 volunteers (including five from Anchorage) that spent this past weekend at China Poot, Moose Valley, Chugachik, Glacier Spit, Rusty’s Lagoon, Grewingk Glacier, Saddle Trail, Sadie Knob and South Grace Ridge, cleaning beaches, removing old building structures and trail signs, digging trenches, clearing brush, building trails, sawing downed trees, cleaning cabins and hiking.
(They also worked on) a total of approximately 13 miles of trail, with one crew spending three days working in the park and two nights at the China Poot Public Use cabin, and another crew spending two days working in the park and one night in the Tutka 1 yurt, for a total of 290 combined hours working and a total of 958 combined hours spent in the park.
(Additionally, there were) 16 hikers who trekked to Grewingk Glacier for a total of 128 combined hours spent in the park.
Eight water taxi operators and one floatplane operator donated their time, gas and services to transporting volunteers, gear and equipment in and out of the park for a total value of nearly $3,500 in donated services.
One business donated the yurt rental for a total value of $80, two local businesses provided refreshments for the volunteer kickoff party Trails Day morning with a value of $50 and two businesses donated gift cards that were used in a random drawing to thank volunteers with a value of $215.
Through a fundraiser for Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park, volunteers also donated a total of $1,040.
Our motto for Trails Day and our work parties has become: “Love Kachemak Bay State Park? Thank a volunteer. Be a volunteer.”