EUGENE, Ore. — Volunteers spent the day Saturday spreading woodchips on a newly created path near Stewart Pond. “So you can look, there used to be a pond here, but since it’s summer it was drying up and so we’re just making it look a little more walkable and to look I guess a little more tidy,” said Ama Mykyta, a volunteer from Eugene.
Their goal is to make community members feel more welcome at the wetlands. “Building a trail like this and refurbishing this trail gives people in Eugene a change to see and experience this habitat to learn more about it and through that they’ll appreciate it and they’ll understand that we need to work with it, to enhance it, to improve it,” said Art Farley, a volunteer from Eugene.
The cleanup is taking place in an area that has undergone a lot of changes in the past few months including some controlled burns prescribed by the Bureau of Land Management. “The forests are getting burned down and like the wetlands are, I don’t know, they’re not what they need to be. Like there’s only a couple places where you can actually find the nature that you need to find,” said Mykyta.
Saturday the area was dealing with a different element, the rain. Luckily for these volunteers, they got out early before the storm was scheduled to roll through. “Rain is part of the wetlands, what could be more perfect if it was raining. But I am of course happy it isn’t,” said Farley.
Workers even saw a few sun breaks and had to shed a few layers to get this much-needed trail maintenance completed. “I took my jacket off a little bit ago and I think the rest are just other people who are working hard, well I’m not cold anymore, so I’ll just take it off and put it on the fence,” said Mykyta.