Summertime Stewards of Public Lands

For the roughly two dozen teens who cleared brush and trimmed branches on the BLM Campbell Tract trails in August there were sore muscles, calluses, and sun tans.  There was social distancing, mask wearing, and lots of hand sanitizer.

Youth working on trail
The Youth Employment in Parks crew hard at work ...

There was also the satisfaction of doing work that matters.

 

Fostering stewardship of public lands is an important element of the Anchorage Park Foundation’s Youth Employment in Parks (YEP) program.  And the BLM Anchorage Field Office was happy to partner with YEP to provide the teens with an opportunity for meaningful employment while getting some much-needed trail work done.

Youth working on trails
... still at work.

One of the trails the crews focused on was the Campbell Creek Science Center Spur Road that runs to the Campbell Airstrip.

“This is the trail that mushers use during the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race,” said BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Scott Justham.  “It was very overgrown and the work the crews did will allow a better area for the public to safely view the dogs as they run by.”

The crews also cleared brush on the P-38 Trail and the Old Rondy/Tour of Anchorage Trail.  By clearing overhead branches, the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage’s Snowcat groomer will be able to pass more easily.  Clearing the lower branches along the trails improves sight lines, making people and wildlife more visible to each other.