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Paving the Way

Posted 05/30/2017 by Grace Leonard

NHS members participate in a service project at Red Rocks in order to give back to the community. photo by Dana Starbuck

Students from National Honors Society came together to give back to Red Rocks.

On May 6th, eight students from the National Honors Society went to Red Rocks to help Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado reconstruct hiking and biking trails.  Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado is a non-profit group that offers projects ranging from trail restoration to gardening and planting to forestry management, for varying age groups and skill levels.  NHS got involved with the program due to club sponsor Dana Starbuck’s previous work with them. They hope to continue work with the organization in the future due to its strong emphasis in environmental leadership and action.

Due to the high volume of people who visit the park each year, the stretch of trail by the Trading Post has begun to deteriorate. The club, along with other volunteers from Denver, helped redo the path by digging out vegetation and regraded trails to make for more efficient water drainage and bring the trails back to safe, sustainable condition. Students learned how to use various landscaping tools and employed their leadership skills gained through NHS to help work as a team to complete the project.  Their work included installing timber steps and drainage structures, spreading crusher fine materials and removing old concrete sections of the trail.  Junior Maggie Foos noted, “It was cool to learn to work together with people I hadn’t known before and come together on a project to give back to the community.”

The project was a fun way for the students to learn about outdoor management and gain community service hours. “I hope the students learned a little about the fundamentals of trail construction as well as the responsibilities of natural resource and environmental stewardship,” explained Starbuck  The project helped restore almost 2,000 feet of path for the park, and the trail is now safe and sustainable for the upcoming season.

Thanks to NHS and the various other groups brought together by Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the hiking path can continue to be enjoyed by many for years to come.