Local Students Repair Wilderness Hiking Trails

CIRCLEVILLE, WV – – The third and last week of The Mountain Institute’s service learning summer program, Mountain Trail Monitors (MTM), finished as a huge success. Several miles of trails were cleared in the Monongahela National Forest’s Laurel Fork Wilderness. Eleven students participated in the program, including Austin Evers of Canaan Valley, WV. The students learned to use loppers and bow saws to clear overgrown brush from wilderness trails.

MTM3 - Group - Smiling“I learned this week that I am needed somewhere,” one student commented.

Funding for MTM comes from a grant through the US Forest Service and the Secure Rural Schools Act, which invests money in the communities that use and care for federal lands. The grant covered all food, equipment, and instruction without cost to students.

Students maintained trails during the day and spent evenings practicing survival skills, sustainable camping, and other wilderness skills. At the end of the week, students went caving in the nearby Sinks of Gandy.

The program will run again in the summer of 2015. For more information, contact Melinda Brooks at 304-567-2632 or mbrooks@mountain.org. Program details are also available at www.mountain.org/mtm.

The Mountain Institute is a non-profit education and conservation organization founded in West Virginia in 1972.


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