When I was going through the interview process with Bear Yuba Land Trust I participated in several trial work days. I mostly worked on the two mile Black Swan Trail and it was a great learning experience. At that time only locals and people with permission were allowed to be out there. It was a pleasure to be putting a trail in on this relatively pristine landscape. Since my trial work days the trail has had quite a few upgrades. We have been managing the poison oak that is growing in the trail, removing trees that have fallen, brushing the corridor to keep it open and enjoyable, making drainage improvements for when we get rain again, and picking up garbage.
My job as Trails Coordinator is diverse and exciting. One of the things I love about my job is the variety that it offers. I get to study topography maps, attend meetings with decision makers in the county, meet and work with other trails groups, do trail reconnaissance, alignment and construction. I recently have got my feet wet with grant writing, assisting with event set up and tear down, fundraising, and doing daily chores here at the office.
Recently I went out to Black Swan to work on the expansion of the recreation area and I have been let down by my fellow humans. Since the trail has been open there has been an increasing amount of garbage out on the trail and in the parking lot. I recently went out to the site to install a preserve sign and found two tires in the creek near the parking lot. I am working on not being so judgmental but I find myself thinking, “Come on man!” I threw the tires in the bed of the pick-up truck and then started to circle the parking lot, picking up after my fellow humans. I cleaned up the lot and proceeded with my site visit down to the pond. As we went along the ranch road we kept picking up more and more trash. Each step was more discouraging then the last. The ironic thing is that whenever I am out picking up garbage I inevitably find a bag to put all the waste in. As I made my way around the pond and out to the peninsula I found glass beer bottles and other recyclables. Even further in on the trail I found another collection of bottles and cans. It got to the point where I was laughing and thinking to myself, “This is ridiculous!” It is always good to find the humor in things. I don’t understand this mindset. How can people do this to our planet and when is enough, enough? At what point will we realize that this planet is sacred and we need to take better care of it? I want to insure that this planet is clean for generations to come, not just for humans but for all the creatures that call this place home. If you see a piece of litter pick it up!
– Trails Coordinator, Shaun Clarke