Tales From The Trails:

RAKING A DIFFERENCE: Get Ready for Rake-A-Thon, Nov. 21

Every fall, millions of leaves tumble out of the sky in a rite of passage, signaling the season’s change.

While their beauty is unquestionable, what happens to the trails of Forest Park buried under too-thick of layers of foliage isn’t always so pretty. Massive pile-ups of leaves on the trail can cause muddy, slick footing and clog up culverts quickly. Worst case, it can lead to trail failure and unsafe conditions.

“The main issue is water drainage. Fallen leaves can literally dam up trails and cause improper runoff – bad for trails and the many Forest Park users who enjoy them all year long,” said Lisa Slupianek, Forest Park Conservancy’s trail manager

With 47 miles of soft surface trail to care for in the Park, clearing the trails from fallen leaves may seem like an uphill battle. But for the Forest Park Conservancy volunteers armed with nothing more than rakes, the work is gratifying and the results are immediate. We will clear 22 miles of trail of leaves this year. 

During this Thursday’s work party, approximately 20 volunteers were able to clear more than two miles, including the length of the Aspen trail and a portion of Wildwood, in just a few hours.

Volunteers led by the Conservancy’s trail experts plan to rake the complete length of the trails this season. The effort will culminate in an all-out raking event called “Rake-a-thon,” Nov. 21, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

It’s the perfect time to finish preparing the trails for the winter wet season, FPC experts say, given that most of the leaves will have fallen and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This year’s Rake-a-thon is sponsored by AMES Companies.

“It’s a gorgeous time to be in the Park, it’s incredible exercise and there’s instant gratification in the fact that it makes an immediate difference for the trails,” said Guy Maguire, Forest Park Conservancy volunteer and outreach coordinator. “It’s also a great opportunity to give a little something back to these trails that so many of us enjoy all year long.”

If you’d like to get involved, just sign up for Rake-a-Thon, a Thursday work party or donate today to help support our trail crews.  We will give each volunteer an AMES rake as a thank you gift provided by our Rake-a-thon sponsor, AMES Companies.   

After the Rake-a-thon, Portland Brewing Company will donate 30% of your bill when you tell them you support the Forest Park Conservancy!  

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