Let’s practice distancing and caring for our local hiking trails
Most of us in the Wenatchee Valley are getting cabin fever during this time of physical distancing to slow down the spread of coronavirus. As a result, a lot more people are finding time to get outdoors on our local trails, which is good.
However, that increased trail usage has led to a significant increase in people leaving trash, letting dogs run loose and not practicing the physical distancing. That’s the word from Kathy Peven, the communications coordinator for CDLT. The organization has posted information signs at the trailheads to remind people to practice consideration for others and the land while using these trails, which were built to provide access to the foothills for generations to come.
Up until now, people have been pretty darned good about caring for the lands and trails. But that’s changing and it’s something that will need to be addressed by those of us who use the trails by modeling the right behavior and encouraging those who are not following the guidelines to care for the land.
One of the places that has been hardest his is Saddle Rock. Peven told me that a couple of neighbors on South Hills Drive took it upon themselves to do a trash cleanup and brought down 20 bags of refuse. There were bottles, dog feces, bed sheets and various other items.
A lot of work has been done to improve the system of trails in the Wenatchee foothills and it would be a terrible shame to allow these areas to become dumping grounds.
The Land Trust is doing what it can to encourage respectful use of the trails and encouraging physical distancing to help us get through the coronavirus situation with as few deaths as possible. But CDLT cannot do it alone. Like everything else in the valley, having a sense of pride and ownership of our public spaces requires us to model the appropriate behavior and encourage others to treat the land respectfully.
Here’s a special tip of the hat to Stephanie and Karsten Waterbury for taking it upon themselves to help clean up the popular trail. Perhaps others will follow suit and demonstrate proper stewardship of these lands.
We’re all in this together.