Happy trails

Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, the Rivanna Trail Foundation, and the American Hiking Society join forces once again for the 10th annual National Trails Day celebration. The Rivanna Trail almost circles Charlottesville with nearly 20 miles of beautiful wild space. Roughly following the Rivanna River and several of its tributaries, this trail has been the inspiration and cause celebre of small towns across the nation.
Last year, the National Trails Day event won the American Hiking Society’s Eastern Regional Award for the Best National Trails Day east of the Mississippi. Not to be outdone, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports won the Dupont Trails for Tomorrow for being the number one retailer in the country supporting local trails. High honors indeed considering that every state participates in this event with similar town-encircling footpaths and sponsorship by thousands of retailers.
This year, though, the 10th anniversary year, should be a spectacle. Last year 200 volunteers showed up to weed whack the trail into submission. Now, thanks to year-round, monthly maintenance, the Rivanna Trail is close to being completed. As with any undertaking in nature, the trail will always need care and maintenance. But having it completed (by the community at large) is a significant contribution to the greening of urban landscapes. And having our efforts recognized nationally gives us one more reason to be proud.
The work today around Moore’s Creek from Azalea Park to Biscuit Run includes constructing at least two small wooden footbridges, planting small trees, and general clean-up around the stream. As usual, the attire is work clothes and gloves, and although tools are provided, Rivanna Trails Foundation asks that you bring whatever you can such as hammers, pruners, saws, rakes, shovels, mattocks, or gas-powered weed eaters. There will be several projects for all ages and skill levels so that everyone in the family can join in. All volunteers will be assigned a work site and site leader. Groups will be able to work/stay together and have a site all to themselves.

Meet at the Holiday Inn on Fifth Street Ext. at 9am on Saturday, June 1. Free t-shirts to the first 100 volunteers and free socks to the first 100 females. Lunch will be provided at noon followed by a short meeting before the day ends at 1:30pm. For more information, call 923-9022 or check out www.rivannatrails.org.

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