Thanks to all of the volunteers who came out on November 21st to help us on the 5 Oaks Trail in Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park! We had a good-sized group due to the folks from 52 Hikes and Cal State Fullerton supplementing some of our usual suspects, and we got a lot of great work done, despite the very warm temperatures.
We focused on three main projects:
1) Saving Dirt: Our volunteers gathered and preserved over 70 bags of loose dirt that otherwise would have washed off the trail in the next rainstorm. This dirt is a precious resource and will be used to reinforce the trail once the rains come. It is dirty and unglamorous work, but so important!
2) Trail narrowing: The trail bed was altered at the top of a steep turn in order to get water off of the trail bed and keep users on the best line. This will improve the safety of this section of trail while also allowing us to revegetate a large, eroded, barren area on the inside of the turn. Improving drainage here will also help arrest erosion occurring further down the trail.
3) Saving the Oak: Right where the trail transitions from Coastal Sage Scrub into Oak Woodland is the first of the 5 Oaks Trail’s namesake trees. Lines have developed on either side of this Oak, and downcutting due to water and user impacts are exposing its roots and threatening its survival. In order to protect this tree, we began building a retaining wall. When we complete this wall and backfill it with soil, the Oak’s roots will be protected from further erosion. We installed the first two tiers of the wall and also redirected a small gully above that was dumping water into the trail, accelerating erosion. We will continue working on this project on future volunteer days.
All in all, it was an enjoyable and very productive day. There is much more work to do on this and other trails in the Parks. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.