I never thought “connecting kids with nature” would be a thing. Nature to the “child me” was like air. It was all around me. Even when my family lived in a suburban community I could always find a ditch to explore or a tree to climb. I guess this is why I have a hard time realizing that kids today need a program to get outside, to play, to explore, to be in nature.
Bear Yuba Land Trust builds multi-use, non-motorized trails in the watersheds of the Yuba and Bear River. We pride ourselves on being inclusive and believe that we can all get along and help each other achieve a common goal. That goal involves building more miles of trails to connect communities, preserving our town’s open space, boosting the economy, creating jobs, improving our health, and getting outside to interact with nature. The biggest conflict between trail user types sharing the same trail is a difference in speed.
We’ve all heard about the current epidemic running wild through our local forests. Bark beetles have claimed numerous victims and the devastation continues with no sign of stopping. Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency in our forests on October 30, 2015. CAL FIRE has issued Drought Mortality Exemptions that allow landowners to forgo the typical process of being approved for projects and undergoing environmental compliance checks and allows loggers and foresters to remove these dead and dying trees at their own discretion.
When BYLT asked local hiking guru Hank Meals to share some ideas about safety and etiquette when out on the trail, he produced this thoughtful list that we are happy to share. Be sure to sign up for a hike at Black Swan with Hank during this year’s Celebration of Trails, Saturday, June 4.