June Fabryka-Martin of the Volunteer Task Force reviews the landscape plan with Girl Scout Troop 10027 before they begin work on their trailhead improvement project. Photo by Craig Martin
Trailheads all over Los Alamos are getting a makeover, thanks to a community partnership between the Master Gardeners, the Volunteer Task Force, and the County of Los Alamos.
The latest trailhead project got off to a spirited start last month when Girl Scout Troop 10027 jumped in to help plan an attractive garden area at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center trailhead. On Monday, the girls showed up ready to move some dirt. And they did, planting shrubs and native wildflowers near the trailhead kiosk.
“I just love mulch,” one of the girls said as she threw both hands into the task of spreading a protective mix of chipped brush from the Los Alamos EcoStation.
The elementary school-aged Scouts planted shrubs, transplanted wildflowers, built a rock garden, constructed a low rock wall, and spread mulch in an effort to not only make the trailhead more attractive, but to draw trail users to the information boards at the kiosk. All of this in less than two hours.
Troop Leader Leslie Puckett was pleased with the Scouts’ effort. “This is the perfect project for this group of energetic girls,” Puckett said.
Of course there was some prep work. Master Gardener Shari Foley and June Fabryka-Martin of the Volunteer Task Force worked most of Sunday and Monday getting things ready for the troop. They and other volunteers were on hand to guide the Scouts and help them learn about proper planting techniques, how to safely use a pitchfork, and the value of using native plants in gardens.
Phase 2 of the project is on tap for next spring. Over the winter the Girl Scouts will develop a plan for the remaining area behind the dumpster enclosure, select appropriate plants and other features, and then put their plan in place. The troop hopes to earn the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their efforts.
The trailhead improvement project is spearheaded by Fabryka-Martin and Foley. Working with the County’s Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Division and with support and funding from the Master Gardeners and the Volunteer Task Force, the two have implemented landscape designs at the Woodland and Mitchell trailheads. They hope to continue improvements at other major trailheads around the county trail network next year.