Klootchy Creek Trail School Recap

Written by Nancy Stone, Education & Sustainability Director ([email protected])

The Trail Sustainability Institute (TSI) headed west to visit our friends and trails at Klootchy Creek this Saturday. It may come as no surprise that our 15 volunteers and 4 instructors were greeted with a downpour of rain and gusts of wind. Such is life on the coast.

With an average of 75 inches (over 6 FEET!) of annual rainfall each year, these trails are definitely put to the test. Fortunately, drainage is one of our most talked about and practiced topics in the Trail School curriculum. We had no shortage of examples of how these trails were shedding water successfully and opportunities to prevent them from holding puddles.

As with all Trail Schools, we discuss safety, tool identification, and uses as well as breaking down the anatomy of a trail to understand the terminology commonly used in trail lingo. Volunteers had the opportunity to not only mitigate the flow of water on the trails but work on tread improvements within berms, clear fallen trees from the trail corridor and even do some significant rock work to fix a drainage problem in a relatively flat area that was holding water.

We always enjoy receiving feedback from participants, and this time around, we LOVED hearing back from Dottie (10 years old), who fully immersed herself in the experience.

“The Trail Sustainability Institute was a very good experience for me. I had never done trail maintenance before then and it was a good start. I fixed berms, made drainages, and cut trees. I learned how to spot puddles even when it’s dry out and where to cut branches. It really does teach a lot of useful things about trail sustainability and trail maintenance. It also teaches about how to use tools safely and well. It’s not just the teaching though. The people who organize it are good teachers and nice to be around. The only thing I wish was different about it was that I just wanted to keep working.”  -Dottie K