Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care has been recognized by the Santa Barbara Front Country Trails Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force for its ongoing leadership and dedication in helping maintain wilderness trails throughout the county.
Well known for its community outreach in the medical field, VNHC began partnering with Front Country Trails in 2009 to help cleanup and maintain popular Santa Barbara trails damaged by fires and heavy rains. The volunteer project is organized by Dave Everett, a physical therapist at Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care who is authorized by the U.S. Forest Service to lead projects with a single trail crew.
In 2010, VNHC tackled two Front Country Trails projects including the Jesusita Trail in May and the Rattlesnake Canyon Trail in July. Using standard firefighting tools such as the McLeod and Pulaski, nurses, physical therapists and administrators from the nonprofit worked until dark clearing water bars, restoring tread and removing overgrown vegetation that almost completely blocked the trails.
“The Front Country Trails are such an integral part of our lives in Santa Barbara, but we seldom consider what it takes to keep them open and safe,” said crew volunteer Lynda Tanner, president and CEO of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care. “This sounded like the perfect opportunity to do something good for the community and to work together as a team. I have a new appreciation for our firefighters and we will definitely plan to do this again. It was hard work but great fun.”
“Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is on the leading edge of a new trend in trail work volunteerism,” said Rebecca Mordini, Front Country Trails coordinator. “Hundreds of people got a taste of trail work by volunteering in the aftermath of the Jesusita fire last year. Now they are going back to their communities, employers, churches and social clubs to set up trail projects.”
The Santa Barbara Front Country Trails are managed jointly by the City of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County and the Forest Service to protect, promote and manage about 30 miles of nature trails in Santa Barbara that run through all three jurisdictions.
In addition to Everett and Tanner, other VNHC volunteers included Suzette Chafey, Bob Crumm, Babetta Daddino, Karen Eutsler-Little, Robert Flores, Lauren McElroy Herrera, Lauren Noggle, Mary Beth Noggle, Kathie Organ, Marion Schoneberger and Erica Victor.
The Front Country Trails Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force also recognized the Santa Barbara Youth Corps for youth leadership and dedication to the Front Country Trails.
For more information about VNHC, click here or call 805.965.5555.
— Jennifer Goddard is a publicist.