Volunteers make a huge difference at the 7th Annual Great Gravel Pack-in

Great Gravel Pack-in 2012 participants
Group shot: Participants in the 7th Annual Great Gravel Pack-in. Photo: Brian Poehlein/DNR

DNR and Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark would like to thank all the volunteers–people, horses, and mules–who toughed out a morning of rain, snow, and wind last Saturday at the 7th Annual Great Gravel Pack-in in Capitol State Forest. By the end of the day, the commissioner, DNR staff, 142 volunteers, and two dozen horses and mules were working under warm temperatures and sunny skies. Volunteers put in more than 1,200 hours and hauled 45 yards of gravel by quads and 6 yards by horse or mule.

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark at the Great Gravel Pack-in
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark (in blue jacket) and volunteers ride out to the site of this year's Great Gravel Pack-in trail project. Photo: Barb Downing/Volunteer

As in years’ past, this event drew people from a variety of recreation interests. Not only was the equestrian contingent well-represented, the event also attracted mountain bikers and off-road vehicle (ORV) riders.

Volunteers worked in several areas of the forest, including a new year-round 3-mile equestrian-only trail loop, expected to open later this year. 

Motorized recreation enthusiasts also worked on the Mima Porter #8 and Greeline #6 trails out of Mima Falls Campground.

Special thanks go to the following:

  • Dr. Jack Gillett and volunteers from the Pierce County Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen of Washington (BCHW) who made a hot lunch from scratch and served it to the hungry crowd.
  • House Brothers Construction, Inc.  from McCleary for donating and delivering outhouses.
  • Friends of Capitol Forest (FOCF) for donating equipment for cover and seating.
  • The Lacey Wal-Mart for donating snacks.
  • Many volunteer groups including: WA-ATV, River City Motorcycle, several chapters of BCHW, McCleary Riders, Washington Competitive Mounted Orienteering, FOCF, local neighbors, and many staff from DNR.

Don’t forget! May 1 marks the season opener for motorized and equestrian use in Capitol State Forest.

And don’t forget your Discover Pass, which is now transferable between two vehicles!

Interested in more volunteer events on DNR-managed lands? Visit our online volunteer calendar to find out what’s happening.

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