Dozens of helpers work hard to clear Newbury Park trail

Published by Steve on

Source of this article – Ventura County Star, October 18, 2009.

By Mike Harris

With picks and axes in hand, about 190 volunteers made a Newbury Park trail more user-friendly Saturday at the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency’s annual trail work day.

“It’s always amazing to see what manpower can do,” said Glen Kinney, the agency’s supervising park ranger, as he surveyed work on the Mountain Creek Drive access to the Potrero Ridge Trail West.

Morgan Harbert of Calabasas digs in along a line of other volunteers on Saturday to groom and reinforce a stretch of trail that meets Potrero Ridge Trail West off Mountain Creek Drive in Newbury Park. The Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency says about 190 people turned out.

“This is a consistently very positive program,” he said. “We always get a good turnout. We pretty much always accomplish what we set out to accomplish, and when they’re done at the end of the day, and they’re walking back, they’ll see the finished product. So that’s a real payback for them.”

On the ascending trail overlooking Newbury Park on a picture-perfect Indian summer morning, the volunteers worked up a sweat removing brush and rocks and grading dirt. They were bused to the site from the Conejo Community Center.

Eric Esby, 33, of Agoura Hills, a science teacher at Chaminade College Preparatory High School in West Hills, brought a group students to the trail work day.

“This is what we call our outdoor, High Sierra club,” Esby said. “We go hiking throughout the year, so this year we thought we’d do some community service, and this seems to fit the group, doing trail maintenance.”

Bob Addison, 70, a retired engineer from Thousand Oaks, is a veteran of the trail work days.

“I started with the first one they had,” he said. “Then I used to have a conflict with this time of the year, so I didn’t make it. But I was here last year, so this is the third time for me. I use the trails a lot, so to maintain them is part of the game.”

Lynn Jurss, 46, of Thousand Oaks, a marketing specialist for Amgen, brought her daughter, Allison, 10.

“We’re doing a little trail work for her Girl Scouts hiker badge,” Jurss said. “We also enjoy using the trails in the Conejo Valley, so this is a way to give back, absolutely.”

Kinney said last week’s rains were fortuitous in that they had left the trail damp, which made it easier to work on than if it were dry and hard.

“We like to take credit for planning it that way,” he said with a laugh.

After the trail work was completed, lunch was provided and prizes, including a mountain bike, were given away.

The Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency held the event with help from the Conejo Open Space Trails Advisory Committee and Conejo Open Space Foundation.

View a gallery of photos from this trail work day.

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