Outdoor lovers invited to work The Ridge Nature Area

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On Saturday, June 6, the Southern Conservation Trust and Southside Cycling Club will be hosting the 3rd Annual National Trails Day event at The Ridge Nature Area.

Two special event projects are planned for this year.

The first event project is clearing the new “Three Oaks” hiking trail that will lead from the Whitewater Creek Trail to a grove of massive oak trees that will become known as “Meditation Oaks.” This project is being sponsored by Dennis Chase, noted local naturalist and volunteer with the Southern Conservation Trust.

The second project is construction of an 8-foot trail bridge over a gully wash on Wild Wood Trail. This is an Eagle Scout community service project sponsored by the Southside Cycling Club.

Volunteers will have also have the opportunity to assist in trail maintenance while hiking, mountain biking, or trail running the 5.6 miles of trails. Outdoor ethics materials from Tread Lightly! and Leave No Trace will also be available to view.

The event will begin on Saturday at 8 a.m. and continue until 12 p.m. Volunteers should meet at the entrance to The Ridge at the South end of Burch Road in Fayetteville, Ga.

The goal is to complete clearing of the Three Oaks Trail and maintain as much of the rest of the trail system as possible during this annual service event.

The Ridge is the fifth public nature area to be owned or managed by the Southern Conservation Trust. This community park for the city of Fayetteville is slated for full public opening later in 2015.

It is a 303-acre hardwood forest and wetland habitat located on a ridge line between the Whitewater Creek and Gingercake Creek. The initial phase of infrastructure development is concluding in the near future with construction of the parking lot and gate.

Once complete, the Ridge will provide a nature education center, and host of sustainable outdoor recreation activities including over five miles of on-site hiking, mountain biking and running trails, geocaching and orienteering, a youth campground, canoe and kayak boat launch, and numerous bird watching spots.

Volunteers should bring their own trail tools such as rakes, shovels, handsaws, chain saws, eye protection, and gloves. Please wear suitable clothing and shoes and be prepared for sun and biting bugs. Drinking water will be provided.

More information about this event is available at https://www.facebook.com/TheRidgeNatureArea or by contacting Keith Larson, 678-525-7713.