We Partied at the Dump and Took a Hike!

Jackie Kondel of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum leads a hike at the

Jackie Kondel of the Reeves-Reed Arboretum leads a hike at the “Party at the Dump”

Work on the trailhead is ongoing, but the number of party at the Dump posterhikers is multiplying!  Guided hikes on the trail were a highlight of the lively “Party at the Dump”  hosted by the City of Summit and The Summit Conservancy on Sunday, June 14th.    Jackie Kondel, Reeves-Reed Arboretum Director of Children’s Education, led three hikes at the event, exploring the trails with seventy hikers ranging in age from five to seventy-five.  The groups identified duckweed, may apple and skunk cabbage as they listened for the distinctive  “chickadee, dee, dee” of the tiny black-capped chickadee.   Participants  appreciated the easy access the trail provides to a peaceful stretch of the Passaic River, hidden so close to well-traveled roads and NJ Transit railroad tracks.

When our project began last August, the most requested improvement was a trail map. City ofUntitledSummit Assistant Engineer Rick Matias executed this challenging assignment, designing, producing and installing an informative map  in the fantastic new kiosk.  The map is available online on the Environment page on the City of Summit website.

Volunteers also built and installed a  sturdy bench at the trailhead, arranged hefty stepping stones and painted blazes to

On the trail on Sunday, June 14th

On the trail on Sunday, June 14th

mark the trail.    To date, a total of thirty-two individuals have volunteered their time and talents to the project, twenty-seven of whom were complete novices who had never worked or hiked on the trails before.   Our first-time trail workers became first-time hikers, excitedly sharing the trails with friends and family. Since August of 2014, invasive plant species have been mightily battled by the volunteers.  Even so, at least for now,  the invasives seem to be winning.  As a result, we’ve postponed our  plant and tree installations at the trailhead until the fall of 2015, at the earliest.  In a happier development,  the next few weeks will see the installation of a bike rack courtesy of the City of Summit. The trail is beautiful at this time of year.  Come out and enjoy it!

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