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Onward and Upward with TKO Stewardship

June 19, 2019

By Kim Kovacs, Volunteer, Trailkeepers of Oregon

Trailkeepers of Oregon has begun 2019 on a record track, despite the cancellation of a number of work parties in February.

The following numbers give an indication of TKO’s activities over the four months of January, February, March, and April:

130Work parties—compared to 49 for this period in 2018.
1,089Volunteer days—compared to 570 for this period in 2018.
296Unique volunteers—compared to 247 for this period in 2018.
195One-time only volunteers—compared to167 for this period in 2018.
101Repeat volunteers—compared to 80 for this period in 2018.
A young boy wearing a hardhat holds a rake on a trail.

Ethan Cox rakes a trail during TKO’s Family Friendly event at Oxbow Regional Park in February. (Photo by Kim Kovacs)

Work parties in 2019 have so far involved partnering with the following agencies:

  1. Oregon State Parks
  2. Hood River County
  3. Metro
  4. Siuslaw National Forest
  5. Audubon Society of Portland
  6. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  7. Oregon Department of Forestry
  8. North Coast Land Conservancy
Three women in hardhats carry a log along a trail.

Crew leader Jane Kauth leads volunteers in positioning logs to shore up damaged trail during TKO’s Women’s Day trail party at Oxbow Regional Park. (Photo by Megan Holmes)

Some events between January and April occurred many times, some only once:

7Mini-tread Schools. These classes were abbreviated versions of what we typically teach at Tread School each spring.
5Car-Free Work Parties. Wildwood Adventures donated a van and driver for five work parties this spring, allowing volunteers to get to trail parties using this free shuttle service.
4Tool Parties. During the colder months we held tool parties that focused on sharpening and maintaining TKO’s tools.
4Crew Brews. These monthly events allow our crew leaders to get together for planning purposes and to discuss any issues that have arisen during our trail parties.
3Family Friendly Trail Parties. Designed for children ages 6 through 14 and their families, these trail parties are held monthly across the region to encourage participation by children.
A young girl in a green hardhat holds up an ivy leaf.

Luthien McDonald-Goldstein displays one of the many English ivy leaves she pulled at Tryon Creek State Natural Area during TKO’s Family Friendly event in January. (Photo by Geraldine Rojales)

1Crew Leader School on January 12. Those interested in becoming crew leaders are required to attend training to prepare them for the next step.
1TKO Board Retreat on January 20. TKO Board members continued work on a strategic plan for the next ten years.
1Women’s Day Trail Party on March 8. We celebrated International Women’s Day by holding a trail party at Oxbow Regional Park.
Five women on a muddy trail with a newly dug ditch leading to a culvert under the trail.

Celebrating a job well done: a working water drain! TKO commemorates International Women’s Day March 8 at Oxbow Regional Park. (Photo by Megan Holmes)

1 Spring Trail Mix on March 30. Volunteers from Trailkeepers, Northwest Trail Alliance, Daybreak Racing, Oregon Timber Trail Alliance, Oregon Equestrian Trails, and Oregon Department of Forestry met at the Gales Creek Trail for a day of joint trail work.
1Great Old Broads for Wilderness Trail Party on April 9. TKO was approached by a group of older hikers who call themselves the Great Old Broads for Wilderness. We held a trail party for the group in the Gorge.
1Crosscut Saw Certification Practice on April 20. TKO is in the process of developing a saw program. In preparation for the upcoming certification at Wind River, more experienced sawyers held a class for those hoping to become sawyers or to upgrade their certification. All TKO personnel passed or upgraded.
A seated man holds one end of a two-person saw which is partway through a downed log, as a woman next to him looks on.

Tom Kelleher perfects his crosscut saw skills under the watchful eyes of B-Sawyer Jane Kauth (next to him) and C-Sawyer Joan Kauth (on the other end of the saw, not visible in the picture) during TKO’s Crosscut Saw Certification Practice in April. (Photo by Kim Kovacs)

Kim Kovacs: kim.kovacs@trailkeepersoforegon.org

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