by Niki Woodard
On Saturday, April 16, a group of about 120 volunteers donated their time and muscle to complete a scenic hiking trail at the Homer Ranch Preserve, outside Lemon Cove.
The event truly was a trailblazing bonanza, with diverse members of the community coming out to support the final touches on a new nature preserve that Sequoia Riverlands Trust (SRT) will be opening to the public on May 21, along with Dry Creek Preserve just down the road. SRT also owns and manages Kaweah Oaks Preserve.
The trailblazing event brought together groups of volunteers from the local business community—Southern California Edison and Kawneer—as well as student groups from CSET, Redwood High School’s Pro/Youth HEART program and COS Upward Bound, in addition to other committed volunteers from the community.
In two and a half hours, the volunteers accomplished an incredible amount of work. They scraped clean about 2/3 of a mile of trail that loops along Dry Creek and through the sycamore alluvial woodland.
At eighty degrees, it was a warm spring day for laboring in the sun, but the group remained dedicated and upbeat. Satisfied with a hard day’s work, the trailblazers enjoyed a BBQ dinner at the preserve, provided by Southern California Edison.
Laura Childers, Education and Volunteer Director for Sequoia Riverlands Trust, remarked, “This is the largest volunteer event we’ve ever organized. It’s so neat to see so much community support for this important project.” She went on to say that SRT’s “volunteer events are all about getting the community to invest in the stewardship of the land.”
In addition to the food supplies contributed by Southern California Edison, Kawneer also contributed above and beyond the hard work that they put into the trails. Kawneer, as part of the parent group Alcoa, encourages partnerships with local nonprofits by contributing donations for employee volunteer work. All told, Kawneer’s twelve employees will bring in about $1500 to SRT’s conservation efforts.
Check out a slideshow of the day’s success, below…