Youth Service Projects to Benefit the Park
June 25, 2013
Leah Perkowski-Sisk, 304-465-2635
Glen Jean, West Virginia, June 25, 2013 - When scouts from all across the United States convene at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in July for the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, they will have multiple opportunities to explore New River Gorge National River. Not only will scouts experience whitewater rafting and rock climbing in the park, they will also contribute to the recreational experiences of future park users through community service projects that they will perform.
Service to others is a key element of Scouting. Each Jamboree participant will volunteer a day of their time to a designated youth service project outside the Summit boundaries. The Jamboree Day of Service activities will take place in 9 neighboring counties. Over the course of 5 days, (July 17, 18, 19, 22, and 23rd) more than 3500 scouts will be working on projects within the park. Crews comprised of scouts and NPS personnel will be working in the Terry area building a connector trail from the community of Terry to Terry Top that will ultimately connect with Beckley. At at the Brooklyn Miner’s Trail Connector, they will provide access for visitors from the Brooklyn Miner’s Trail to the Southside Junction Trail along the river. Near the community of Thurmond, they will construct trail from Rt. 25, near the existing Rend Trailhead, and up the Camp Creek drainage to the plateau. This section of trail will provide visitors access to favorable hunting areas in the park.
On Friday, July 19th, mobility impaired scouts and their troops will work on accessibility projects at the Glade Creek Day Use Area and campground. Target projects for Glade Creek include expansion of the Hamlet Bridge for better fishing access, improving 550 feet of the Glade Creek Trail for easier accessibility, providing more user friendly parking and picnic accommodations and refurbishing an accessible campsite with a path to the comfort station.
More than fifty maintenance employees at New River Gorge National River, consisting of both permanent and temporary employees, many from the local community will provide direction and oversight of the projects. Scouts will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with these NPS employees who will serve as teachers and mentors during the park’s service projects. These employees will share their knowledge of the rich resources of the state of West Virginia and the park. Park staff will also provide informal education programs for the youth crews about the benefit of their work to the community and visitors and how the NPS protects the park’s resources. This is an exciting opportunity for young people traveling across the country to provide service in the local National Park and return home to give their service to other parks and public land areas.