Have you ever wondered where those water drainages on the side of
your favorite trail came from? Or that rock-lined switchback?
Or how some areas you hike seem to have escaped the plague of invasive
plant species that have cropped up everywhere else?
If so, you may be looking at the work of dedicated Sierra Club Outings volunteers.
trips range from helping with research projects at whale calving
grounds in Maui to assisting with archaeological site restoration
Mexico. Usually, service trip participants team up with
forest service rangers or park service personnel to restore wilderness
areas, maintain trails, clean up trash and campsites, and remove
Besides the satisfaction of a job well done, service trip participants
feel a sense of ownership of the area where they work. They often
year to the work site, either on a Sierra Club service trip or just
on their own to see how the work they did is holding up.
trip participants also get to meet and talk with the people who
know the area best—namely
forest service and park rangers. In some places, Sierra Club Outings
has been working with ranger districts and park
service personnel for more than a quarter century.
Appreciative land agency representatives are happy to talk to service
trip participants, and participants are often allowed into areas
to the casual visitor.
There is also a social aspect to service trips. Service trip participants
often share a similar work ethic and similar beliefs about the land
and about social responsibility. Friendships form, and it's not unusual
for groups to meet again on future service trips.
"If I were to view Outings
in general as the 'circulatory system' for Sierra
Club members to explore, enjoy, and protect our
environment, then I would see service trips
the beating heart, and every moment spent on
a service trip as a moment spent on conservation.
Where else, where better, to let your heart touch
that of our our dear old mother, the Earth,
on a service trip?"
and program chair
45-50 trips led since
"The people that go on service
trips are the people that don't have to ask why
they would want to work on their vacations."
and program chair
18 trips led since
"With your help, 54 water bars, 8 stream
crossings, and 15 drainage ditches were installed
.. this is above and beyond what we expected!
We thoroughly enjoyed working with such an enthusiastic
Bozeman Ranger District, Montana