Last Friday afternoon the Sitka team headed out for a volunteer event with the Forest Park Conservancy to help this organization maintain the largest forested park in the United States. The Conservancy’s mission is focused on protecting Forest Park’s ecological health while encouraging responsible recreation and safe access. We discovered that an important part of maintaining the 80 plus miles of Forest Parks’ trails during Portland’s wet winters is to keep them free of the debris and leaves which accelerate erosion.
Nine of us Sitkans arrived at the Wild Cherry Trailhead on a beautiful fall afternoon. We grabbed gloves, a rake, and leapfrogged past one another as we cleaned leaves off the path. Before the afternoon was done, the entire length of the Wild Cherry Trail and significant portions of the Wildwood and Dogwood Trails were free of debris. My afternoon spent huffing up and down the trails of Forest Park to the calls of birds and chatter of co-workers was a great opportunity to reflect on the work we do back in the office to promote and conserve natural spaces, and the wonder and inspiration they hold.
Each year, Forest Park Conservancy recruits and trains thousands of volunteers who log more than 7,000 hours in the park. If you’re interested in helping to support the Conservancy and their work in Forest Park, you can learn more about their varied volunteer opportunities on their website.