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by Amanda Schaper

Noticed some improvements on the trails this summer? The Santa Cruz Summer Youth Trails Crew worked with MBOSC trail staff on projects in city parks and open space. Now in its sixth season, this program brings together a crew of high school students to rebuild, restore, and renovate hiking and mountain biking trails. The students get paid summer jobs, outdoor work experience and an increased awareness of environmental issues.

MBOSC's own Trails Specialist Jacob "Cob" Hyde led the crew, along with Trail Builders Bruce Dorman and Pete Katsaros. This year we had a smaller team of four crew members due to city budget cuts, but that didn't stop them from getting a lot of work done. Just checkout this list of everything they accomplished!

  • Started summer and work by doing some brushing on the Emma McCrary Trail and other trails in Pogonip.
  • Assisted with replacement of bridge on Pogonip Nature Loop that was falling apart. Excavated abutments, moved heavy timbers with rigging equipment, demolition of the old bridge, transported materials in and out from the worksite, and assisted with carpentry on the bridge.
  • Finished and opened reroute of steep eroded section of Pogonip Nature Loop that was started with trail academy last year.
  • Constructed two reroutes of steep eroded sections of Fern Trail in Pogonip.
  • Helped rebuild the pumptrack and jump lines at Harvey West Park to make our Pumptrack Jam amazing.
  • Installed rock armoring at the bottom of U-Con trail.
  • Performed trail repairs and installed stone steps at Arana Gulch.

Crew members are paid city employees and worked 6 hours/day 5 days a week for 8 weeks. Besides doing good work in our local open space, the Santa Cruz Summer Youth Trails Program teaches job skills and introduces students to career opportunities working in parks/natural resources.
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