Trail building By Andrew Paxton

On November 5, many members of the LDP spent time at the SIU Touch of Nature Environmental Center to help maintain trails throughout the park. Along with our team, members of the Robotics Team joined to show their support for the community. In all, 12 people alongside the help of the kind employees at Touch of Nature were present for the service project. With a great team effort, we were able to fix a great length of the trails. Not only that, but because of the wonderful staff we were able to work with, we learned about the history of Touch of Nature, the ecology of the area, and its importance. After our 4-hour shift, we were treated to a delicious chili dinner, which brought a great close to the LDP Service Weekend. As the leader of trail building, I cannot express how grateful I am to have such a capable and willing team.

One of the most significant achievements of this event was that our effort was contributing to the River to River trail, which extends 160 miles from the Ohio River to the Mississippi River. This is a significant trail where many appreciate nature and the creatures that populate Southern Illinois. Not only that, but in the future, these efforts will also add Southern Illinois to a system of trails that stretches from Coast to Coast. Once accomplished, many hikers from all around will be able to experience the true beauty of the area.

Overall, I can say that this event was a great success. It was humbling to see my vision for the project actually come to life. I look forward to my team continuing to grow, and I know that we can contribute to the welcoming and beautiful Carbondale community.