Trail Stewardship Workshop this week!

October 20, 2018

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

This week Natural Lands will be partnering with Willistown Conservation Trust and Brandywine Conservancy to offer a workshop on trail stewardship: the planning, construction and maintenance of sustainable trails. Gwen and Bud Wills from the Pennsylvania Equine Council will be offering two workshops this week, one of which will be held at a private property (Thursday) and another will be at our Cheslen Preserve (Friday). Preregistration is required; the fee for each one-day workshop is $15 and includes a light lunch. Registration is being handled by Brandywine Conservancy here.

The workshop is designed to highlight equestrian trails but techniques are also applicable to other durable trails. Chances are good that they will cover the methods used to stabilize and improve the Horse-Shoe Trail at Crow’s Nest Preserve (pictured above, more about this project in a future post).

In related news, I recently added back into the library at Crow’s Nest a classic book, Natural Surface Trails by Design, which had gone missing from the preserve a while back (it was that popular). I had heard the author, Troy Scott Parker, speak at a Land Trust Alliance Rally several years ago and was inspired by the concepts he describes for trail design. His themes for trails applies to all design on our preserves: who is the audience who will be using the trail or preserve (and why?), and how can we make that experience the best possible?

Needless to say, we’re all continual students of the subject and there is always room for improvement—especially noticeable in this, the wettest year we’ve had here. And this is why I’ll be attending Gwen and Budd Wills’ workshop at Cheslen on Friday.

Below, the sunflower fields at Cheslen Preserve this summer… enjoy!

Photo: Daniel Barringer