A big, hearty “thank you!” to everyone who helped celebrate National Public Lands Day (NPLD) last weekend on DNR-managed lands in western Washington. Volunteers put in hundreds of hours making state lands more accessible, safe, sustainable, and enjoyable.
McLane Creek Nature Trail
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, DNR staff, volunteers, and special guests kicked off NPLD on the afternoon of Friday, September 23, with a dedication event and volunteer work party at McLane Creek Nature Trail near Olympia. The dedication ceremony celebrated the new public gathering shelter, viewing platform, and outhouse. Volunteers also helped spread wood chips on a section of trail.
During the event, Commissioner Goldmark offered words of appreciation and thanks to the following:
- Paul Plein, head carpenter with DNR’s carpentry shop, and his crew for their work on the shelter and viewing platform. The shelter offers protection for outdoor education classrooms. The platform provides a great view of McLane Creek and spawning chum salmon in the fall, while keeping people from trampling the stream bank.
- Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Washington Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO) and staff, for RCO’s funding support of the project through a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant.
- Volunteers from Thurston County Stream Team and WSU Native Plant Salvage Project who regularly work on the trail to remove invasive weeds, work on trails, and restore habitats.
Saturday, September 24 events
Pick Up the Burn — Yacolt Burn State Forest
Not surprisingly, the 9th Annual Pick Up the Burn event brought the most volunteers—nearly 75—for the NPLD celebrations on state lands. The annual event starts at Jones Creek Trailhead in Yacolt Burn State Forest northeast of Washougal. Volunteers typically pick up tons of garbage—everything from litter to abandoned cars. This year, volunteers filled up one 20-yard dumpster and about one quarter of the other along with three hulked vehicles and some tires. But the amount of garbage was lower than usual, which is a good sign. Special thanks to our co-sponsors of this event: Piston’s Wild Motorsports Club, Jones Creek Trail Riders, and Pacific Northwest 4Four-Wheel Drive Association.
Little Si Trail on Mount Si
Our partners from the Mountains to Sound Greenway organized a trail work party to complete work begun earlier in September at the Women in the Woods restoration event. Six volunteers showed up to help finish the rock turnpike and attack invasive ivy.
East Tiger Summit
Thanks to our partners from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance for their help in organizing a work party on a new, more sustainable trail that will connect with the Preston Railroad Trail on Tiger Mountain. Fifteen volunteers shaped and finished 100 feet of trail, moved large logs, improved drainage, and built a retaining wall along a steep section of trail that would otherwise be unsustainable during the wet season. Thanks to the folks from Pacific Bikes for feeding the hungry crew with a BBQ lunch, and thanks to Specialized Bicycles for donating gear to hand out to the volunteers.
Les Hilde Trailhead/Harry Osborne State Forest
Seven volunteers helped re-route 200 feet of equestrian trail that was affected by the construction of a new logging road in the forest, just off Hwy 20, east of Sedro-Woolley. Volunteers also blocked about 75 feet of an old trail that is no longer safe because of the new road. To keep riders on the trail and off a section of the new road, volunteers installed a cedar rail fence. Many thanks to our ‘pardners’ from the Whatcom and Skagit chapters of the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington. The Whatcom Chapter folks also provided breakfast and lunch goodies.
Woodard Bay Natural Resources Conservation Area
More than 30 people turned out to help work on restoration projects at Woodard Bay NRCA, north of Olympia, including a Girl Scout troop, students from The Evergreen State College’s Master of Environmental Studies program, and DNR staff.
View photos from the different NPLD events.
Find more ways to help out on DNR-managed lands on our volunteer calendar.
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