'WE ARE THE EYES AND EARS': VOLUNTEERS ACT AS A WATCH-DOG GROUP FOR LOCAL TRAILS
Arcata, Ca- A volunteer program is helping Humboldt County save money by helping to maintain the Hammond Trail and the Dunes in Manila. Now they will be expanding their program to the Arcata Community forest.
They are a community watchdog group for trails. The organization said it’s their job to make sure the trails are safe and well maintained. Rees Hughes, a volunteer trail steward said, "we become the eyes and ears… it may be helping to pick up litter, looking out for unsafe conditions”
The Volunteer Trail Stewards program is a grass roots organization of the Humboldt Trials Council; they started two and half years ago and consist of over 100 volunteers.
County officials said trials can cost up to $60,000 dollars to maintain, but this group is helping them save money. Hank Seemann from Humboldt County Public Works said, "it saves us time in the long run… probably reduces our budget up to 20 percent."
County officials say the group helps them stretch county dollars. But aside from saving the county money, the group is also a way for the community to come together.
The group is expanding into the Arcata Community Forest and is looking for more volunteers. For more information on how to join you can visit the website www.humtrails.org.