Tree Fresno launched a new Trail Care program on Saturday December 14, 2013 with a volunteer appreciation event along Fancher Creek near Butler Avenue. About 25 people enjoyed walking tours and food.
The Sunnyside Property Owners Association, the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew, Fresno County and Tree Fresno have entered into a cooperative agreement, approved by the Board of Supervisors on December 10 , 2013, to provide trail care for the Sunnyside Bridle Path from Kings Canyon south to the Railroad, and east to Clovis Avenue – see attached map pdf.
Don Damschen and John Walke, SPOA Co-Presidents, presented Lee Ayres, CEO, Tree Fresno with a check for $5,000 for their share of the first year budget. On October 30, 2012, Fresno County hosted a meeting of over 75 residents at Ayer Elementary School to discuss the future of the Sunnyside Bridle Path, including the possibility abandoning the 30′ bridle path easement, a part of the Sunnyside community since 1930. Don observed, “Most of us wanted to keep the Bridle Path. We agreed that night to form a partnership to provide the maintenance and improvements needed. We have worked for over a year to get this venture underway.” Debbie McCann, SPOA Board Secretary and Sue Williams, SPOA Board member, helped lead the walking tours.
John Walke, Lee Ayres, Don Damschen & Rick Fleming celebrate the new Trail Care Partnership for the Sunnyside Bridle Path
Tree Fresno has enlisted Jim Christian, retired owner of Dave Christian Construction, to begin the tree pruning and removal and underbrush removal in January. Jim and his wife Debbie are contributing $5,000 in cash and services for the first phase. The monthly maintenance and trail improvements will follow.
The High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew is working with Tree Fresno to engage our youth in the trail care program. This will provide opportunities for youth to participate in projects in the National Forests, too. Rick and Marlane Fleming, HSVTC, did the honors with grilling the burgers and serving the meal.
Fresno County has included the Sunnyside Bridle Path in its master trail plan, the Measure C funding plan and the annual budget. Debbie Poochigian, District 5 Supervisor, Alan Weaver, Public Works Director, John Thompson, Resources Director, and David Chavez, Parks Manager, are providing leadership for this project.
Max Younkin and Marian Orvis, Tree Fresno Board members, led the walking tours; Michelle Gallemore, TF Education Coordinator, made a presentation on the Cork Oak tree; Isaac Martinez, TF Resources and Events Coordinator, purchased and served the food; and Eric Mendoza, TF Volunteer Coordinator, welcomed the volunteers.
Tiffany Adams and Christi Wood, teachers at Sunnyside High School, led the volunteers who served at the Christmas Tree Lane Walk Nights. They will be participating in the Sunnyside Bridle Path Care program as well.
“This cooperative agreement is expected to be the first of several partnerships to improve the care for trails in the Fresno-Clovis area, a part of the Valley Arboretum. One of the objectives is to develop a low cost maintenance model that will encourage government agencies to proceed with the construction of new trail projects,” Lee Ayres explained.
Sunnyside High School teacher Christi Woods and her team of volunteers enjoy the shade of a magnificent Cork Oak tree.