Tuesday, June 14, 2011-The AmeriCorps have returned! After a week of raking, sawing, lopping, building and walking, my fellow AmeriCorps members and I have returned from our service trip to the North Country Trail in the Upper Peninsula. The North Country Trail is America’s longest National Scenic Trail blazing 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota, linking 7 states, 10 National Forests and more than 150 public lands.
AmeriCorps members from American Red Cross Chapters across the state of Michigan came together to help restore the North Country Trails for the summer hiking season. Once divided into groups, we donned our long sleeves, mosquito netting, and deet bug repellant to weather the forests. Each group had five to seven AmeriCorps members and two to four North Country Trail Volunteers. Both volunteers and AmeriCorps showed the difference just a couple days can make in trail restoration.
Through the collaboration of AmeriCorps and North Country Trail volunteers, the trail clean-up that normally takes weeks, lasted only a few days. After miles of walking, building, and lopping, we relaxed during a high energy kayak trips in Lake Superior to Pictured Rocks. This ending to our trip was a wonderful way to reflect on the beauty of this state of Michigan and the part we played in helping others to see this beauty as they ventured through the forests.
To learn more about local AmeriCorps service projects and the Red Cross visit: www.redcrossggr.org.