Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps
YouthBuild Charter School of California
Make-A-Difference Day – National Day of Service
Lodgepole Campground Picnic Table Renovation Project
October 8-11, 2014
By Montel Holmes, LCC Corpsmember/YCSC student
On October 8-11, 2014, 10 Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps (LCC) corpsmembers and YouthBuild Charter School of California (YCSC) students and three staff members were dispatched for volunteer work to restore the Lodgepole Campground picnic tables that were damaged during the winter. The picnic table renovation project was an AmeriCorps Day of Service in celebration of Make-A-Difference Day – a National Day of Service.
The Volunteer in Parks (VIP) management team at Sequoia National Park provided the crew with equipment and tools, such as power drills, hammers, socket wrenches, power sanders, and a circular saw. Safety vests, gloves, and safety glasses were also provided by the park. These tools were used to take apart the damaged benches and also to separate the useful from the damaged parts of the picnic tables. After taking apart the damaged picnic tables, the crew used freshly cut wood to rebuild the tables like new for the guests that visit the park throughout the year. A total of 10 tables were completely refurbished.
Upon arrival at Sequoia National Park the crew was greeted by staff from the National Park Service. They briefed the crew on bear aware camping and general campsite adequate. The crew tent camped for 3 nights at the Woverton Service Campground in Sequoia National Park. The bear aware training came in handy during the trip. The crew was able to use the bear hazing techniques taught to us by the Park Service chasing bears out of the campsite 2 night s in a row, thereby, saving both the bears and the peace of mind of the crew! The crew enjoyed camp cooking and campfires each night. For many on the crew this was their first camping experience.
Other educational opportunities the crew experienced during the trip was free guided tour through Crystal Cave which was a gift to our crew from the VIP staff. The crew also toured the giant Sequoia Grove including a stop at the famous Sherman Tree.
The corpsmembers, students and staff of Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps/YouthBuild Charter School of California appreciated the opportunity to serve in Sequoia National Park. The crew was able to show the National Park Service we can get the job done in a timely and efficient manner. Projects such as the picnic table renovation are critical to the Park Service as they do not have the resources available keep up with the work load on public lands. The VIP staff informed our crew that they appreciated our service and would like us to serve on future projects in Sequoia National Park.