Written by Nancy Stone, Education & Sustainability Director ([email protected]trail.org)
The Northwest Trail Alliance’s Trail Sustainability Institute (TSI) was fortunate enough to collaborate with AntFarm Youth Services for a Trail School at Sandy Ridge on Saturday.
Our TSI Instructors were immediately impressed with this group of kids. The level of respect, attentiveness, and inquisitive nature would make any outdoor instructor swoon.
Antfarm youth are no strangers to the joy of hard work in the outdoors. After learning about safety, tools and the anatomy of the trail, they set off on Flow Motion to improve drainage and tread as well as finding creative solutions to complex problems. Their quick comprehension of skills and enthusiasm lent to a lot of work completed in a relatively short period of time.
TSI Instructor Addison Wardwell shared this: “I had a great time sharing some of our trail building processes with the crew from AntFarm. The younger members’ energy and engagement were awesome, and they still approached tool safety with the respect that even some “mature adults” I’ve worked with haven’t. Plus, the group leaders did an amazing job of encouraging them to participate without pushing anyone or being too regimented. It was definitely a positive vibe overall, and it’s apparent how AntFarm has fostered an optimistic environment to help kids gain experiences.”