Ventura County Star Report on COSCA Trailwork Day

From the Ventura County Star (with a few additions)

About 175 people volunteered on Saturday to help create a new trail in Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks as part of the 20th annual Conejo Open Space Trail Work Day.

The new section, which runs eight-tenths of a mile, connects the Santa Rosa Trail in Wildwood Park with the Baseline Trail in Santa Rosa Valley, also known as the Lower Santa Rosa Trail.

For Will Donley and his son, Blake, it was the third consecutive year they took part in Trail Work Day.

“My son is in Cub Scouts, so we come out and do it as a community service project,” said Donley.

“We had to lift rocks and make a path,” said Blake, a member of Cub Scout Pack 3712. “It was fun.”

“It’s the first time we volunteered and we enjoyed it. It was a great family project,” said Alik Shulman of Thousand Oaks, who came with his 11-year-old daughter, Daniela.

Trail Work Day was organized by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, the Conejo Recreation and Park District and the Conejo Open Space Foundation, which raises funds for and maintains open space and multiuse trails in the Conejo Valley. Also participating were frequent trailwork volunteers from CORBA, the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association, and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council.

The new trail is part of a network of 112 miles of trails within the COSCA area and is a shared-use trail available to hikers, cyclists and equestrians.

“It went from a section that was pockmarked with big boulders to a nice, fairly even tread surface,” said Mark Langton, a volunteer with COSF.

After a morning of hard work, volunteers were rewarded with a free barbecue lunch at Botanic Garden on Gainsborough Road.

Julie Penry, a 32-year-old attorney who moved to Thousand Oaks from Oregon two months ago, said she has enjoyed exploring the local trails since coming to the area and wanted to give back.

“I use them, so I should help to keep them up,” she said. “It was a blast and I got to meet a lot of people, too, which is great for someone new to town.”

Kristin Foord, the manager of COSCA, said they couldn’t have created the new section of trail without the help of the volunteers.

“There’s no way we could have done that with our five rangers. It would have taken a month to finish it, and so we really appreciate that everybody came out today,” she said. “People have been asking us to provide that connection for a long time and I think it will be a popular trail.”

View our photo gallery of trailwork and the finished trail.

4 Responses to “Ventura County Star Report on COSCA Trailwork Day”

  1. Steve Messer says:

    We were there with the CORBA trail crew. It was great to see how much can be accomplished when a large number of people focus their energy on a common goal. It was also heartening to see hikers, equestrians, youth groups, community groups, homeowners groups, environmentalists and mountain bikers working together, side by side.

  2. Chuck Hamm says:

    I saw some trailwork this weekend at Backbone/Sycamore canyon and was surprisingly discouraged at the negative attitude of the volunteers and the anti-mountain biking sentiment of volunteers working yesterday (Saturday). As a friendly mountain biker, I greeted the workers and not only got zero response from some older folks, I was yelled at. I wasn’t going fast and I was respectful. I was just saying hi.

    I am a local bicycle shop owner and cycling enthusiast. If I see more anti mountain biking sentiment from CORBA volunteers or if CORBA crews continue to create speed bumps and dangerous ditches, CORBA will not get my support at future events or fundraising. I was happy to see the trail work was “erased” by the following day.

  3. Steve Clark says:

    Chuck, Thanks for your comment on our trailwork. CORBA is run by and for it’s members. We value mountain bikers’ views on our activities, and encourage them to get more involved to help guide where and how we spend our resources.

    Nevertheless, as the trail crew leader for CORBA on Saturday, I am disappointed that you disapprove of the work we were doing. Our objective it to maintain the trails so that they continue to be safe and fun to use. Please see our blog articles on the work we did on Saturday and why we did what we did. What you describe as “speed bumps” and “ditches” are called ‘rolling dips’ that are designed to divert running water from the trail and prevent rutting.

    http://corbamtb.com/news/2010/11/15/trail-maintenance-get-the-water-off-to-preserve-the-trail/
    http://corbamtb.com/news/2010/11/15/saturdays-rejuvination-of-the-wood-canyon-vista-trail/

    CORBA would like to extend an invitation to you (and all riders!) to come to our monthly meetings and join us on trailwork days to make sure that your concerns are heard.

    You should also know that Saturday’s trailwork was a joint activity between CORBA and the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council. We had 10 mountain bikers and 3 SMMTC workers (at least one of whom is an active mountain biker as well as hiker and trail runner). In general, the CORBA workers were closer to the top of the trail and the SMMTC workers were closer to the bottom. The SMMTC crew works every Saturday on trails in the Santa Monica Mountains and we like to join forces when working on trails that are open to mountain biking.

    As for not supporting CORBA in the future, that’s certainly your decision. CORBA will continue to support your business by keeping the trails open and fighting for more trails to be opened to mountain bike use. And in case you were not aware, the Wood Canyon Vista Trail is open to bicycles because of CORBA, as is Guadalasca Trail. You can go to corbamtb.com and see which trails are currently closed and which are open, and specifically the ones that are open because of CORBA’s efforts.

  4. Hans says:

    What were the negative comments made?

    As we hiked up the trail one of the first mountain bikers did not yield to us or even slow down. Then later in the day there was another rider that did the same thing. Though around 40 riders went through and all but the two mentioned were nice and slowed to cautiously pass us those two riders are the only ones the Trails Council folks will remember. Perhaps you passed right after one of these riders and they took it out on you?

    Remember people hikers have the right of way! Stop for them or if they pull off for you pass slowly.

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