Make a Difference Day Volunteers complete trail at park

first_imgWith each shovel of sod removed, Raymond E. Shaffer Park comes to life.The 10-acre park is one of Vancouver’s newest, purchased by the city from Clark County in 2014.Volunteers have since turned up en masse the last few weeks to build a walking trail in the community park.On Saturday, 30 or so volunteers worked as part of Make a Difference Day to complete the trail.The crew was one of many working throughout Vancouver making improvements to the city on the 25th anniversary of Make a Difference Day. Other projects included tree planting by StreamTeam, cleaning cigarette butts from local parks and harvesting carrots for the Clark County Food Bank.Back at Raymond E. Shaffer Park, volunteers were treated to the overwhelming scent of pine and the satisfaction of building something concrete the community can use immediately.“It’s really gratifying to see that instant work,” said Hailey Heath, city volunteer coordinator.Each curve of the trail is dutifully planned by Ryan Ojerio, southwest regional manager for the Washington Trails Association.“When I designed it, I took a look at how putting some curves in here might showcase different aspects of the park,” Ojerio said. For example, the trail curves toward a large redwood tree in the park rather than moving straight past it.“It invites the person to walk a little slower,” he said.Thanks to a trail base of engineered wood fiber, everyone can take advantage of the park.“It’s not cement, it’s not asphalt, but the chips almost puzzle together and create something that’s soft but accessible,” Heath said. “So anybody can walk or roll and experience that trail.”The material is also cheaper than traditional trail surfaces, like gravel, meaning the community can enjoy the park that much faster, Ojerio said.Penny Ross is especially grateful for the work being done at Raymond E. Shaffer Park. She’s one of the neighbors who originally petitioned the city to build a park. Ross said she took drawings of the park made by Walnut Grove Elementary Students to the county commission before a decision was made, and “they just melted.”last_img