Gardening on a grand scale at Hyannis
Okay, if you really must dot the ‘i’ and cross that ‘t’, our crew of twenty-three Knee Knacker trail elves were actually landscaping. And building. And digging. And moving stuff. Of course, potentially shaving a few seconds off everyone’s time was just the cherry on top of the improvements that would benefit all trail users and, for good measure, help protect the environment.
Since we began working on the Baden Powell Trail, east of Hyannis, the trail’s usage has grown dramatically. The hiker and walker numbers went up alongside population growth, but the trail running community really took off as the sport hit the mainstream. Today, the high traffic volume on all front country trails means that we must do more to ensure they stay in good shape, so that we can enjoy them long into the future. To that end, we went back to Hyannis one last time to finish the work we’d started in 2010.
On a beautiful June morning, everyone arrived at the trailhead for coffee and a quick orientation from Graham Knell, District of North Vancouver Trail and Habitat Co-ordinator, before heading out to do our thing. Our “thing” is very simple: carry everything to the work site (don’t forget the coffee!), figure out what gets done and where, get instructions, haphazardly organize into teams, work and watch and learn and laugh, clean up, take group photo, and home before anyone’s the wiser.
Most of the crew had never done any trail work before, so it was a big learning experience for them. If anything, trail elves gain an appreciation of the effort needed to maintain and build trails. In just this little 300m section of the BP, Knee Knacker and many other community groups have contributed hundreds of volunteer hours to build a safe and environmentally sound trail.
It’s been a large undertaking for Knee Knacker. More than 120 runners, friends and family have taken part in the work and although trail maintenance is never really done, we can take a small amount of pride in our efforts. So after six years, we’ll be leaving Hyannis to tend to other parts of the Baden Powell next year. No doubt we’ll eventually return but for now, job well done.
Trail day photos can be viewed at this SmugMug gallery.
Knee Knacker Trail Day Co-ordinator