Monday, the 6th.
Dear Skyline Park Enthusiasts,
Much was done in the Park last week. Landscaping improvements were made in the RV Park and the main entrance, our 3 man trail crew went up and cut burned out trees daily on the upper acres. There were times after they cleared a trail, they would go back only to find more trees down. So far, they have cleared the Buckeye Trails three separate times. Wed., Nov. 1st, Battalion Chief Jared Anderson along with three more fire fighters spent 5 hours up on the trails, cutting down large trees that were problematic for our trail crew. They donated their time to help Skyline with their special skills on their off hours. On Thurs., our Trail Master met with 6 volunteers who were to be crew leaders for the Nov. 4th workday, going up on the trails deciding what was to be done. While the morning of November 4th dawned overcast, the spirits of those volunteers entering the Park were bright and enthusiastic. Everyone was greeted with coffee and donuts. The volunteers were split into two groups. One group with 20+ people worked around the Park entrance and bathrooms, cleaning up the grounds, moving rocks, marking trails and spreading wood chips and gravel. The other group of 50+ was sponsored by REI and worked around some of the trails. They stayed with their crew leaders and did not wander off into unsafe areas. They worked on all the trees that had been cut down on the Passini Trail. They distributed cut logs. They pruned branches off the logs/trees and spread the branches on the barren/burnt earth for erosion control. Large logs were placed over some of the old "social trails", covering them up for erosion control. The same work was done on Buckeye Trail and Lower Skyline Trails with different crews. An amazing amount of hard work was done by all volunteers. By 1 pm, it was quitting time. The Trail volunteers were served a burrito lunch by REI in the picnic area. The grounds volunteers were served a pizza lunch next to the parking lot. Homemade cookies were offered made by a kiosk worker. Everyone left with smiles on their faces, knowing they made a positive contribution to our beloved Park. If you would like to volunteer, please call our kiosk (252-0481) between 8 am and 5 pm and ask to be put on our volunteer list stating your area of interest.
Going forward: Starting on Monday, Nov. 6th, the lower 50 acres of the park will be open. See the top of this article for the areas. On the upper trails, more problematic trees will continue to be cut down. On Saturdays, one of our trail crew will lead a small group of 6 volunteers focusing on replacing burnt out features such as retaining walls, water bars and berms, so while the week will be devoted to cutting down damaged trees that can suddenly give way, the Saturdays will be given over to more specific projects.
The volunteer firefighters will return next week also. We are considering putting sterile straw down to prevent erosion when the rains come. The sterile straw will ensure that no new non-native seeds will germinate on our hillsides. We are also going into considerate effort to reseed necessary areas with native species that possible will produce a food source for our wildlife. Caution needs to be exercised so that as the new foliage springs to life, it is native but also conducive to a healthy wildlife habitat.
The disc golf club has brought in some material to secure the steep hillside on the back side of the 18-hole disc golf range. They have volunteered to help repair the fire damage but will be assisted or guided by an experienced trail crew member for their own safety.
The future: We still cannot give a date as to when the trail system will be open. We ask that our hikers, runners, bikers and equestrians be understanding. Skyline has over 20 miles of trails that need to be made safe. The trail crew is working hard as they love Skyline as much as anyone else does and their goal is to open it up as soon as is safe. To keep you all informed, this site will continue to be updated weekly. Skyline's restoration is in good hands.
Dorothy Glaros, President of Skyline Wilderness Park