National Trails Day draws 200 volunteers to regional park in Bozeman

6/3/2017 Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Freddy Monares, Photo by Rachel Leathe

Amelia Rossa spent part of a beautiful Saturday morning in Bozeman uprooting and moving shrubs at the Gallatin County Regional Park.

A recent transplant from Madison, Wisconsin, and a member of the Montana Conservation Corps, Rossa was one of about 200 volunteers gathered at the park for National Trails Day, organized by Gallatin Valley Land Trust.

“It’s so awesome to see citizens of the area taking interest in their own parks and natural spaces,” Rossa said. “It’s really great because there is so much wild land that I think it really influences how people see their local spaces.”

National Trails Day aims to promote muscle-powered activities and connect people to trails. Penelope Pierce, executive director for GVLT, said the organization has been celebrating the day for at least 20 years.

The volunteers took on several projects, including planting and transplanting trees, removing invasive weeds and general park maintenance. Event sponsor Oboz shoe company donated about 100 trees to be planted at the park.

About 20 members from Montana Conservation Corps joined Bozeman residents to help with Saturday’s projects.

One volunteer, Bozeman resident Jessica Frix, said she uses the local trails often.

“I love being outside,” Frix said. “And it’s nice to work on parks in your own community. You see people enjoying it afterward.”

GVLT also used the day to kick off a summer trails challenge. Pierce said local businesses have pledged to donate $1 for every mile walked, biked or run that is recorded on GVLT’s website, up to $45,000.

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