Posted by: hlumpkin | September 7, 2012

Trails for Today and Tomorrow: Building Sustainable Single Track Trails

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Many of Conserve School’s trails are old logging roads that are now used for hiking, mountain biking, and skiing in the winter.  Conserve School also has a series of single track trails that wind across the landscape bringing hikers and mountain bikers to some of the most scenic parts of campus.  This week History Teacher Michael Salat gave SC5 students the opportunity to contribute to the single track trail system on campus.

Trails have been essential to travelers throughout history.  Unfortunately trails increase erosion and can, when built incorrectly, create scars on the landscape that take many years to heal.  Conserve School’s sustainable single track trials meet the needs of trail users while protecting the environment.  Sustainable trails bend around natural features (such as boulders and large trees) rather than plowing through them.  Erosion is reduced by following the contour of the land and by undulating the trail’s surface so that the trail will shed water rather than channeling it.  The weather was hot and the work was hard, but Conserve School students demonstrated their commitment to protecting the environment as they took time to carefully shape and finish the trails so that they would meet these guidelines for sustainability.

~ Graduate Fellow Heather Lumpkin

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