National Public Lands Day and the Friends of Cave Creek Canyon

National Public Lands Day was celebrated by Friends of Cave Creek Canyon with a day of work in the canyon.  This was the first official project for the new friends group and 3 tasks were envisioned:

1.  Cleanup and placing benches at the day use area in South Fork Canyon.
2.  Trail maintenance along the mile of Nature Walk between the Silver Peak trail head and Sunny Flats campground.
3.  Clearing the view at Vista Point which involved tree and brush removal.

Twenty volunteers and the District Ranger showed up at the visitor center to participate and after the ritual signing of forms and safety talks by the recreation officer the group divided up into 3 teams and headed up canyon.  The South Fork group reassembled at the end of the road and began unloading benches, tools, and concrete the Douglas Ranger District had provided for the tasks.  Two areas were to receive new benches, 4 benches were placed off trail as a meeting area for birders and hikers.  While 3 additional benches were designated for the parking loop and trail head.  After arranging the benches the digging started.  With pry bars, shovels, post hole diggers, and lots of hand work the group slowly made progress down through the rocky alluvial soil of the canyon bottom creating holes for the benches.  Each bench was then placed, leveled, and its position adjusted relative to the other benches.  Using water from the stream wheelbarrow loads of concrete were mixed and poured to secure the placement of each bench.  All during the digging and bench placement others were busy cleaning the area of low growth and tree limbs.  After finishing the meeting area benches the group moved on to place the final 3 benches.  One was placed near the information board at the trail head while the other 2 benches were placed on each side of the parking area.  All the benches were flagged prevent use until the concrete drys and the tools were loaded up and the group headed back to the visitor center.  After reassembling all 3 teams, the Forest Service kindly presented each member of the Friend of Cave Creek Canyon with a certificate and after a review of the work accomplished everyone took a break and reassembled later at the Portal Peak Cafe for dinner.

Photographs of the days work may be found on the Friends of Cave Creek Canyon Facebook page.


  1. Bruce, It has been raining in Wi. since I have been here and will till I leave. Must have been nice helping getting benches set up.

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