U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Students learning, building at Little Darby
Students from Willits Charter School and Humboldt State University (HSU) in Arcata, and members of the California Conservation Corps are pitching in to help the BLM Arcata Field Office improve the Little Darby Nature Trail that loops across public lands east of Willits in Mendocino County.
Charter school students have adopted just over a mile of the trail and are using it as an outdoor classroom. BLM staff members from Arcata have joined the students every Friday for projects including plant and fungi identification, water quality monitoring, wildlife camera maintenance and geomorphology lessons (the origins and characteristics of landforms).
While the young pupils have been learning, students in an HSU environmental education and interpretation practicum class have been working on interpretive signs that will be installed along trails to help visitors learn more about their surroundings.
But before the signs go in a crew from the California Conservation Corps based in Ukiah will visit the area to complete a number of projects including trail realignments, riparian area restoration, downed tree removal and storm damage repair. Work will be underway this spring and summer.
The Little Darby Nature Trail was built in 1978 by a Youth Conservation Corps group from Ukiah. One trail loop crosses through the moist Douglas-fir forest and its riparian areas. A second, longer loop takes hikers through dry brushland and chaparral plant communities for high-elevation views of the surrounding mountains.
- Leisyka Parrott, interpretive specialist, BLM Arcata Field Office (March 7, 2012)