Long road ends with new trail by the river
Appeal Staff Writer
Nature lovers can soak up environmental knowledge and natural beauty all at once along the Carson River, now that Carson High School students completed their new interpretive path.
The students received help from members of Boy Scout Troop 16 and officially introduced the new trail to the community – and their families – this week with a gathering at the Ambrose Natural Area.
About 200 students were involved with the project, which began in late 2005, said Julie Koop, a biology teacher at the high school and overseer of the project.
One of the students, Krissy Blevins, 17, a sophomore, grew up in Carson City but had never visited the site before entering Koop’s class. She has enjoyed her experiences – even though the visits started out as something she was assigned to do.
“I dug for some of the posts,” Blevins said. “I saw a hawk there, saw tracks of a beaver. And the view at the top of the trail, looking down to the river, is really beautiful.”
She also typed up the information in the leaflet and had to keep a journal, among other assignments.
And Jeremiah Heidert, a member of Boy Scout Troop 16, helped with the trail project as part of his Eagle Scout work. He and other scouts did a significant amount of the physical labor, especially clearing the roughly 1 mile path, Koop said.
Printed information isn’t just posted at the trailhead, such as at Linear Park. Leaflets allow visitors to be reminded of what’s around them at various points along the trail at Ambrose. The second post draws attention to the birds that live in the area, for example.
“Sitting by the banks of the river is like walking through a music box store; there are so many different bird calls that it’s hard to know where to start,” according to the description for Post 2.
The new trail is an improvement over the old one, which was created several years ago by Koop’s students. The trail was moved to a higher, safer point that would be less likely to flood out. The new location only “adds to the river view,” Koop said.
While Ambrose receives a lot of use, “the city wouldn’t have done this kind of project,” said Vern Krahn, the city’s parks planner. “It’s a great idea and a great feature, but with other city priorities it wouldn’t have seen the light of day.”
Mark Kimbrough, director of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, also helped with the project by assisting with the layout and a slew of other aspects. He’s been working with Koop’s classes for years.
“I encourage teachers to get their kids outdoors,” Kimbrough said. “It’s important to get the next generation involved, to teach them about nature and the environment.”
Information Koop is eager to share: The river is safe to swim in as it runs through Carson and even Dayton.
“And the fish is safe to eat,” she said. “Unless you plan to eat it every day like the original people who lived here (American Indians).”
What improvements to the area would Blevins like to see made to the location now that the youths have completed their work?
“I would like the city fix the river up,” she said. “It’s dirty and there’s a lot of trash.”
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.
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