Saturday, February 11, 2012

Clean Up and Trail Day at Indian River Park

Paul, Rogard, Max, Michael
Glen,  Jamie, Mike
I joined the Eastern Virginia Mountain Bike Association (EVMA) Southside chapter for another cleanup and trail day at Indian River Park on Saturday morning.     The EVMA adopted Indian River Park and holds frequent events to maintain the trails and keep up the park in general.   The events are coordinated with the City but are accomplished with all volunteer effort.   The threatening weather dampened the turnout today but not the spirits of the team.    The community also seems to be on a PR roll - another reporter from the Virginia Pilot was at the park to interview the volunteers before the cleanup got underway; we may see another article in the Clipper soon.

Jamie and Mike paint entry sign
Armed with wheel barrows, rakes, shovels, and a hefty supply of trash bags provided by the city, the crew fanned out around the park.   While one team worked on repairing a curved berm on one trail, Mike Buff, the event coordinator, and I worked our way along the Indian River's stream bank collecting trash.   We discussed the flooding that inundates some trails caused by toppled trees further downstream on the other side of Military Highway; the City's Public Works department is investigating.    We also talked about keeping a healthy stream "connected" to its flood plain, which is an important factor in reducing storm runoff into the tidal Indian River and the Chesapeake Bay in general.    Another topic was the creeping encroachment of invasive English Ivy.

I was happy to discover the progress that was made on the stream crossing just off the park entrance.   The EVMA has replaced the improvised string of loading pallets that bridged the gully with a neat path of split logs.   And local Boy Scout Troop 6 is raising funds to build a full hiker/biker bridge on the trail.

Lots of trash
Overall the EVMA team removed a stack of old loading pallets, a wrecked tent, a pair of broken patio chairs, and six big bags of trash - mainly bottles and cans washed downstream from the surrounding streets.   Then they re-painted several bridges and entry sign to the park.   They topped off their efforts with a mini-picnic with burgers and hot dogs as they proudly considered their work and discussed opportunities for further enhancements to the BMX trails.

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