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Lopez Island Locals Trained in the Art of Trail Maintenance

Posted by Loren Drummond at Apr 23, 2013 01:34 PM |
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The San Juan Islands are a treasure trove of hiking trails and natural wonders. But it can be a logistical challenge to get regular trail maintenance volunteers onto the San Juan Islands, so Washington Trails Association recently traveled to Lopez Island to train the Lopez Community Trails Network (LCTN) in leadership and trail skills.

The San Juan Islands are a treasure trove of hiking trails and natural wonders. But it can be a logistical challenge to get regular trail maintenance volunteers onto the San Juan Islands, so Washington Trails Association recently hopped a ferry to Lopez Island to train the local Lopez Community Trails Network (LCTN) in leadership and trail skills. The training emerged from a partnership between WTA, LCTN, the San Juan County Parks and the Bureau of Land Management.

"What a wonderful group of people to work with," says Arlen Bogaards, WTA's Northwest Regional Manager. "They opened their homes and community to us, and made us feel welcome and part of their tight knit and inclusive community."

The training was held in Odlin Park, an 80-acre San Juan County Park with beach access and 30 campsites. Participants practiced skills like trail sighting, trail layout and turnpike construction, in addition to hands-on trail building.

Bogaards also fielded questions about our work and advocacy for hiking trails and wild lands around the state. Lopetians are no strangers to rallying for a cause. The local community was instrumental in getting 400 acres of BLM land at Iceberg Point designated as part of the 1,000 acres in the San Juans designated as a new National Monument.

"This was a truly remarkable experience," says Arlen Bogaards, "One that I hope we can repeat."

Lopez Island - Learning to make sills
Learning to make sills (the logs that sit on the ground in a type of bridge) on Lopez Island.

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