The following is a press release from Dana Howard, Director of Communications for the California Conservation Corps:
‘Getting lost is half the fun,’ is what many have said, especially after they have found their way. The City of Glendora is betting the other half of us fully enjoy knowing where we’re headed from the get-go.
“I would want to know what I’m getting into, plus if I brought my grandkids I would want to know where I’m taking them,” said Debbie Lopez, who is lead on a project that will help the hundreds of people who weekly hike the trails in the Big Dalton Canyon Wilderness Area find their way.
“I have lived in Glendora most of my life and didn’t know the wilderness area was even there growing up,” said Lopez. She is now the management analyst for the City of Glendora where Big Dalton Canyon is one of two wilderness areas within the city limits.
Lopez secured a grant to add kiosks at entry points to trails in the wilderness area, along with 3 interpretive signs and 5 trial head map signs to help hikers understand both where they are and appreciate the flora and fauna they are seeing.
To get the job done, she called on the young men and women in the California Conservation Corps – 18 through 25-year-olds who sign up for a year of paid environmental service to the state of California.
“I thought the project might go a little slower when I saw how young they were but it really is moving along.”
Kamani Wilson is on the team of a dozen Corpsmembers who were busy last week digging post holes, cutting lumber and pouring cement for the kiosks and signage. The work has not gone unnoticed by hikers.
“They always ask, ‘What are you guys building over there?’ We tell them we’re building a kiosk and they’re like “Oh, okay that’s cool”.”
Rosie Garcia is one of those hikers and is relieved to hear the signs are going up. “My sister and I hiked this for the first time a month and a half ago and when you get to the top we weren’t sure which way to go,” said Garcia.
Not only will hikers have improved signage, the 650 or so children who attend the summer day camp program at Big Dalton will use the signs to learn about the area’s flora and fauna.
Meanwhile, Lopez is certain the signage will increase community pride and encourage local residents to experience Glendora’s unique wilderness area, “That’s really half the fun!”