Several years ago now, when we moved to this property, one of the most appealing aspects of its desirability was its location next to a wilderness/greenbelt in our hometown. 

In the last two years our neighborhood leaders and volunteers have worked together to build a trail that extends from the local middle and grade schools some miles away to our neighborhood border that takes you along lush woodlands, two converging creeks, and other natural elements, including an owl that guards the trail near our woods.  It has been maintained by neighborhood volunteers who have added several bridges, an owlet nest or two, and have kept the trail clear of falling trees. 

When Lewis and I first moved here we discovered that some of the local teens had been using the woods for partying and had broken bottles for fun within our property line.  We spent many hours trying to clean up the broken pieces and safeguard the habitat.  We thought many times of wanting to clear a path on our property that would connect it to the creekbed and trail path which forms near the property line. 

This spring, before the woodlands had begun to green out, I went for a walk and discovered trash had accumulated within our property’s boundary again.  I asked the teenage son of a friend of mine if he would scavenge through the hillsides and woods to pick up what he could.  He got a friend and they were busy for several hours. 

Yesterday I finally made a plan.  I was watching TV and they were advertising a new weed whacker and realized that our own, much less exotic weed whacker and hedge trimmer could probably do the trick.  So I asked my teenage friend and his buddy if they would work on the project. 

While I was at church, they worked on it and I came home to a lovely surprise:  the trail was nearly complete.

We had some clean up to do and they took a rake and finished the trail edges and completed its connection to the town trail, but within another couple of hours we were happily finished with our work.  Our job, of course, was to accentuate the Creator’s beautiful handiwork:  to remove the mess humans can make and allow the natural beauty of the woods and hillsides to reveal itself along a simple foot path. 

Several deer love to roam through these woods and I hope we managed to follow some of the contour that they have been molding for several years as they nest and run in the tranquil community wilderness area.

I think of Lewis and his love of all things wild and untouched in nature as I and the two dogs now walk along the trail!   They love it…and his spirit shines down upon us.

Addendum:

So yesterday, April 24, I finally had some time with the grandchildren to take them on the trail.  They liked it so much that we returned again today.   Here are the pictures. 

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