League Lines: Enjoying Nature Close to Home

VA Suffolk Chapter Trails Project

The League’s Suffolk-Nansemond Chapter (Virginia) is helping Suffolk residents connect with nature close to home.

Last fall, chapter leaders were contacted by community activist Jean Carmean, who asked for the chapter’s help with a walking path project she had proposed to the Suffolk City Council. The proposal included a string of walking paths within the city limits to provide residents the opportunity to get outside and enjoy nature in their neighborhoods.

The first walking path was built in Lake Kennedy Park. Chapter members served as project advisors, siting the path to minimize damage to local vegetation and the number of trees that would need to be cut, plus determining which trees should be removed. The path itself was to be built by other community volunteers.

However, a week before the path was to be completed, the chapter received word that more volunteers were needed to mulch the new trail. “We put out a request for assistance to our members, and that’s all it took,” says chapter president Rick George. So many members volunteered that the Ikes made up more than half of the mulch crew, with additional volunteers coming from a nearby church and the local naturalists club. Together, they spread more than 100 cubic yards of mulch over the new walking path. (To put that in perspective, one cubic yard of mulch can cover 100 square feet with three inches of mulch.)

The community now has a three-quarter-mile walking path that winds around the perimeter of the park. This is only the first of many walking trails to be established within Suffolk – with the continued help of the Suffolk-Nansemond Chapter.