East Grand students to improve local trail | SkyHiNews.com

East Grand students to improve local trail

Eighth grade students from East Grand Middle School each year conduct a service learning project. The goal: to instill in the students the values of charity, volunteering and selflessness.

This year will be no exception.

Eighth graders from Abby Loberg's social studies class will conduct their project next week, which will stress the importance of giving back to society and giving students an opportunity to learn about the more intricate and nuanced details of organizing and planning volunteer projects.

The students, broken down into various class groups, first develop a series of service project proposals then present them to a panel of teachers who select a specific project. Students have held fundraising events over the past few years for veteran support organizations, the Mountain Family Center and the Shining Stars Foundation as their projects.

“This is something we can all enjoy since so many people use our trails. We wanted to make them better so more people could come and enjoy them.”

— Dany CastilloStudent

This year the East Grand youth plan to take a different angle with their project — working with the Headwaters Trails Alliance on trail restoration for the Fraser-to-Granby Trail.

Roughly 90 students will head out with their work gloves and shovels May 12 to improve a segment of the trail stretching from the Inn at Silvercreek on the far southern end of Granby, to Kaibab Park on the Fraser River. They will complete trail maintenance, refill potholes and make the trail wider, along with adding some support logs so the trail doesn't crumble.

Eighth-grader Dany Castillo, who helped to develop the proposal, said the students chose trail maintenance as their project with the desire to do something not everyone else would.

"This is something we can all enjoy since so many people use our trails," Castillo said. "We wanted to make them better so more people could come and enjoy them."

"It is also something that is not a long-term project," added student Krista Conrad, who also worked on the project proposal. "We can help our community right now, rather than over a longer period of time."

With this project, according to Conrad, the students get to do the "heavy lifting" instead of the adults.

When students reached out to Headwaters Trails Alliance Executive Director Meara McQuain, she offered the idea of working on the particular trail, where their efforts would be most beneficial.

As part of the project the students wrote Letters to the Editor to Sky-Hi News and drew political cartoons highlighting the importance of trail maintenance.

"By donating your time and money you won't only be helping out yourself but the whole community," student Hanna Martensen wrote in her letter.

Barby Chavez-Sanchez stressed the need to preserve local natural resources in her letter.

"The trails are free to use, but we all have to keep in mind that they need management," she wrote.