Starting a New Year (1/9/16)…

We again had twelve (12) volunteers. The weather was much better. Above you’ll see some of the work we did. Working on the Rooty Re-route continues.

In this image (above) you’ll see Ms. Gray carefully cutting a root. At the upcoming session she and her dad will receive the MVTB volunteer shirts they earned.

And in this third image you’ll see that the Estep family’s soup can be enjoyed in more than one way. It was a great session, thanks everyone.

We finished 2015 with a SPLASH (12/12/15)…

Here our volunteers are shown (above) at the beginning of the 12/12/15 session. The weather was terrible, yet we had two families join us for their first times. There were twelve (12) of us volunteering, darn good given the weather. Our volunteers were all impressive, and they smiled a lot.

In this image (above) you’ll see two of our younger volunteers at work.  They were raking off the organic material.  They worked ahead of us, and worked really hard – we were digging and shaping right behind them.

Below you’ll see the tread being shaped, most of the volunteers in the foreground of this photo are the Fowler family.

Below more tread work is being done.

In this fifth photo (below), is the Grey family.

And in this last photo (below) our Youth Coordinator Bret Turner was coaching Ms. Grey.  She was everywhere, and always smiling…

This was the last session of 2015. Since we began we have put in more than 12,000 volunteer hours on Little Mountain. This year alone we amassed 1,936 volunteer hours…

Please make a New Year’s resolution; you can help by volunteering in 2016, or by making a tax deductible donation (to donate please click below):

http://mountvernontrailbuilders.com/donate/

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!  Our next session is January 9, 2016.

Skagit Audubon Society hikes, as Jerry and John blow fall leaves (11/18/15)…

On Wednesday (11/18) the Skagit Audubon Society held their annual Little Mountain hike. In the following image you’ll see they were out in force…

audubon society hiking event at little mountain park in mount vernon, wa

Tom Ozretich, a club member, said there were thirty-one (31) of them!

At the same time, on the Nature Trail, Jerry Granahan worked away…

clearing off the leaves of the trail

And (below) on the Heart of the Park (HOP) Connector Trail John Erbstoeszer was doing the same.  Over the next few days they volunteered more than thirty (30) hours removing leaves at Little Mountain.

Thank you gentlemen!

Did I mention there will be another Heart of the Park Fundraising Party? It will be held next year on National Trails Day, which is June 4, 2016.

Please put it on your calendar. We’re looking for donors and sponsors…

Weather Appropriate Clothing “Strongly” Recommended (11/14/15)…

As always our November 14th session started with hot Starbucks Coffee. And this session, since it was wet and cold, it was really important.

A special thanks to the Mount Vernon Haggen location of Starbucks Coffee, they’ve donated our coffee for over five years now…

In this second image (below) you’ll see our crew at the beginning of the day. There were only ten (10) of us but we accomplished a great deal.

Maybe not everyone understands that sessions are “rain or shine.”

Below John stands on the trail called Rooty.  We worked on the north end of this trail extension.  In the background you can see Bret and Nicholai.

We got enough work done that next session we will work from the opposite end of this trail.  We will set-up next to the mid-mountain map kiosk, it is there at the crosswalk on the main access road.

Following, you’ll see Bret and Nicholai.  They were in the background in the above photo.

In this fifth photo (below) CJ is further north packing down the trail tread.

Below Alex gets to develop some new skills, driving the power wheelbarrow.

And so did Nicholai, that’s the upside of volunteering on low turnout days.

When the session ended we were all tired.  It was a solid session, thanks everyone.  We hope to see you next session, December 12th

And remember: layer your clothing, and bring a hat and rain coat!

An INCREDIBLE Session (10/24/15)…

October 24th was one of our best sessions ever. We had so many volunteers we were able to eat all of the donated pastries from Haggen Foods. That’s quite a feat, our friends at Haggen (below) are very generous…

In this second image (below) you’ll see one of our three work groups. They finished capping the pedestrian trail where it connects to Little Mountain Road.

Below Bret shows off his team’s excellent work.

Following, in this fourth photo, another team (at the opposite end of the same trail) was installing stone steps. Art Tuftee shows four new volunteers how to perfectly shape a stone step. After drilling four holes Art taps in special wedges, as you can see it easily breaks off the corner – look closely to see the crack.

In this fifth photo (below) we’re breaking for lunch. The third team that was further up the hill working on Rooty came down to join us. The homemade chili was furnished by Leslie and Roger Estep.  They provide lunch every other session. Thanks Leslie and Roger!

Here (below) after lunch we’re back at work on the steps.  Nobody said that installing and leveling stone steps would be easy.  Everybody else went back up top to work on Rooty.

When the session ended we still had a couple steps left to set. We thanked our featured group (shown below), the Burlington-Edison High School NJROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.). This was a very impressive group, we sincerely hope they will join us again.

A couple hours later, in this eighth and final photo (below), the tools have been put away – and the Heart of the Park Pedestrian Trail was finished.

What a great session, thanks everyone!

The Stone Delivered, for the HOP Pedestrian Trail (10/23/15)…

On Friday, October 23th the Parks Department delivered the stone we’ll build steps with at our Saturday session. As you’ll see (below) they’re big, averaging over 500 pounds. When set they will definitely stay in place.

In the second image (below) you’ll see a few of the smiling faces that comprise the Parks Department. As we continuously say, we could not be more pleased with the support we receive from the City and Parks Department. Here they are offloading the stones at the main entrance (at the gate).  Thanks guys!

If things go as expected the pedestrian trail that meanders through the Heart of the Park (HOP) Public Trail Facility will be finished this coming session.  But we will see, we’ve thought this before – Lol…

Challenging Weather, Great Volunteers (10/10/15)…

On October 10th we had challenging weather, but “as always” great volunteers. Below you’ll see the crew we started with, with a few arriving later. Of the thirteen (13) volunteers two were new; Charlie Kim and Eli Samuel Winslow, and we had two returning from years past – Nikki and Kyle Klinger.

We’re beginning to believe this is going to be a rebuilding year for us. The balance of the attendees represent our new core group. We need to grow our volunteer numbers to achieve the goals we’ve set for the upcoming year…

In this second image (below) you’ll see our crew leader (Jerry Granahan) dumping rock at the new pedestrian entrance on Little Mountain Road. This is the power carrier that was bought for us by the Kiwanis Club of Mount Vernon – thanks again!

Also pictured (left to right) are: Kinsey Shilling, Lynn Postler and Ken Bergsma.

In this third image (below) Ken is moving dirt up the trail while the power carrier is off getting another load of rock.

Following, in our fourth photo, is a perfect example of teamwork. This team is working further up the trail, from left to right – Bret Turner, Charlie Kim and Adam Stanmen.

In the final photo (below) Lynn puts the finishing touch on a rock wall at the new pedestrian entrance to the Heart of the Park Public Trail Facility.

Might you lend a hand? Please spread the word, we need your help. Thanks!