On a sunny April morning on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, snow still clung to the ground in patches around the Mill Creek Trailhead where I gathered with 15 Boeing employees and several Forest Service staff to listen to our morning briefing before hitting the trail … with work gloves and pry bars.
Mill Creek Canyon receives approximately 6,000 visits each year, making it one of Salt Lake’s most popular recreation areas. Many of these visits are to Mill Creek Trail, a popular creek-side path constructed of wooden planks that long ago outlived their useful life. Like much of our nation’s trail system, Mill Creek Trail is in much need of upgrades.
The challenge of balancing Forest Service staff time between maintaining recreation infrastructure and managing natural resources is especially pronounced on Forests like this one that are located close to urban areas. Recreation numbers keep going up while Forest Service budgets stay the same, or, worse, decrease.
The 15 Boeing employees who came out on a Saturday to volunteer for this project removed half a mile of boardwalk planks and hundreds of feet of reinforced foundation pieces. Not only completing the entire first phase of the project in less than one day, these volunteers also saved the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache approximately $20,000 in contract costs.
Now that's impact.
A special thank you to photographer Chris Davis of Good Road Co. for donating his time and photography services for this project. Learn more about Good Road Co. here.