California Conservation Corps collaborates with the BLM to restore popular Fort Ord Trails
The Bureau of Land Management recently partnered with the California Conservation Corps to finish some major trail upgrades at the Fort Ord National Monument in Monterey County.
The one-mile-long recreation trail that California Conservation Corps worked on is utilized by 250,000 cyclists, hikers, runners and equestrians each year. It is the feature trail at the BLM's Creekside Terrace Trailhead.
“The trail took a heavy pounding over the last several years and visitors started walking and riding across flowering landscapes after the trails were becoming heavily rutted,” said Fort Ord Monument Manager Eric Morgan. “This trail was in need of some big-time love and the California Conservation Corps crew rose to the challenge.”
The grant provided funding for 3,000 hours of hard physical labor by the California Conservation Corps crew as they constructed switch backs, installed trail barriers, hardened eroding trail surfaces and filled in gullies.
Sarah Spragg, Fort Ord National Monument Park Ranger, was the BLM's lead on the project and helped coordinate the work with California Conservation Corps leaders who provided daily 15-25 person crews over five weeks. "It was a blast working with this crew,” stated Sarah. “It brought back memories as I started my natural resources career working on similar crews back in Iowa."
Through the dedication and determination, the California Conservation Corps installed 15 fences - totaling 1379 ft, erected 27 H braces, created 2 water bars, fixed the drainage of 3 switchbacks, filled and compacted ruts, constructed grade reversals, and trimmed back countless poison oak branches. The end result is a much improved and stable trail that will sustain the use and provide for a safe and enjoyable experience of the public.
The California Conservation Corps is a department within the California Natural Resources Agency. According to the website, the program provides young adults 18 – 25 years old a year of paid service to the state of California. During their year of service, Corps members work on environmental projects and respond to natural and human-caused disasters. Through this work, they gain skills and experience that lead to meaningful careers.