To Our Ojai Community:

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we recover from the damage from the Thomas Fire on our trails. In the coming months trails will likely open and close depending on rain and changing trail conditions. Click here for current information and trail notifications »

Stewardship / December ’20

By on December 22, 2020 in Featured, News, Newsletter

In March, with the Allan Jacobs Bridge nearly complete, it was time to plan our next projects for our volunteer trail program. We decided to turn our attention to the three trails the OVLC adopts from the Los Padres National Forest: lower Gridley Trail, lower Pratt Trail, and Foothill Trail. With this goal in mind, we submitted a grant application to the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance (NWSA), National Forest System Trail Stewardship Partnership Funding program for support in our work on the adopted Forest Service trails.

In late spring, we got some good news: our grant application was successful! The only catch, was that as part of the application we had committed to using hundreds of hours of volunteer trail work before the end of 2020, and because of Covid-19, all of our volunteer projects were indefinitely postponed.

Out of an abundance of caution, we did not host volunteer projects through the spring into the summer. Slowly OVLC staff chipped away at the Allan Jacobs Bridge without big groups involved. As we neared the end of that project, and as the end of the year and the volunteer hours grant requirement started to creep into view, and as more and more of our committed volunteers inquired about restarting projects, we knew we had to do something. So we did.

On August 29, we hosted our first volunteer trail crew project in over five and a half months. We established robust safety protocols, including requiring masks, minimizing the number of people allowed on a single trip, doing contactless temperature checks, and more. 

As of October 27, we have had eight volunteer projects on our Forest Service trails—and this doesn’t even include numerous volunteer restoration projects we’ve had as well on other preserves. 

Through the hard work of our volunteers, we’ve already put in 13 rock check steps, eight timber check steps, fixed or installed 17 rock water bars, and generally maintained nearly two miles on our adopted Forest Service trails. We’re fortunate to have the support of our partners in the Los Padres National Forest and funders like the NWSA to support these projects, but we’re truly and incredibly lucky to have volunteers so dedicated that they’ll put up with restrictive but necessary safety protocols to help our trails. We are proud to report that we have not had any problems or anyone get sick to our knowledge, and our outdoor volunteer program is back, humming along, with Covid-19 safety protocols in place. Though we can’t be certain how long the pandemic will affect our program, we’re certain this community will help us accomplish great work throughout! 

To learn more about OVLC trail management visit:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

About the Author: .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.