Friends of Badger Mountain needs workers for new trail

Friends of Badger Mountain needs workers for new trail

By John Trumbo, Herald staff writer

RICHLAND — Jim Langdon is operating on the premise that if enough people come, it will be built.

As trailmaster for the Friends of Badger Mountain, Langdon hopes to have 100 volunteers on the mountain March 6-7 for a work party to dig about 1.4 miles of new trail.

When completed, the new segment will connect to the existing trail to the summit, giving hikers a loop route from Trailhead Park on Queensgate Drive in Richland to the top and back.

But Langdon would like to have a few more tons of gravel carried up the trail before the builders arrive.

Everyone who hikes the trail during the next week will have a chance to carry one or two plastic buckets holding about 20 pounds of gravel about 100 yards to a temporary holding bin.

Langdon tries to keep about 90 buckets with gravel ready to go at the trail’s edge. A sign invites hikers to grab a bucket as they pass by.

About 100 tons of gravel will be used to surface the new trail to help keep down dust and reduce erosion.

The bucket brigade isn’t part of the trail-building weekend, however. Langdon said he’ll put as many volunteer hands as he can to work digging the trail.

“I’d like to have 80 to 100 volunteers, and currently have 40,” he said last week.

Everyone who volunteers to work on the trail must sign up on the Friends of Badger Mountainwebsite or the Washington Trails Association website.

A mandatory safety meeting will be held prior to the work, Langdon said.

The project is a cooperative effort by the Washington Trails Association in Seattle, which is providing the tools and will help supervise, the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington and theChinook Cycling Club.

Langdon said a grant from REI Kennewickto the Rattlesnake Ridge Riders Chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen is paying for the gravel.

Volunteers must bring their own lunch, water and work gloves. Long pants and boots are required. No tennis shoes or shorts will be allowed. Hard hats will be provided and are required for everyone who works on the trail.

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