Wilderness Volunteers wrapped up the 2014 season just before Thanksgiving with the Saguaro National Park service trip in southern Arizona. This was the latest trip that we’ve fielded, but it was a perfect time with great weather and we plan to do it again in 2015.

Thanks to everyone who participated in a project this year. We collectively maintained and repaired more than 106 miles of trail, built 3 miles of new trail, created more than 490 waterbars, cleaned 219 existing waterbars, placed 105 checkdams, removed 652 trees from trails, moved 97 tons of rocks, removed two and one/half miles of trail, 60 illegal fire rings, and 235 illegal campsites. We also maintained/improved 68 campsites, created 8 new campsites, took out 1/4 mile of closed road, removed 99,000 invasive weeds and planted 621 native plants. This list of work done in 2014 isn’t complete – reports are still being collected for the last few projects.

We did all of this on public land in cooperation with some wonderful agency personnel who supervised and supported our groups across the country. We’re especially thankful for our great volunteer leaders who give so much time to planning and making sure that the projects are successful, to mentor new leaders, to keep everyone safe in the field, to cook all those meals, and to be the face of Wilderness Volunteers to the world — they are truly the heart of our organization.

We are thankful for our partners and sponsors who make the program possible, especially the National Forest Foundation who supports our work in national forests with matching grants, and to Keen for awarding us a Keen Effect grant. They make much of this work happen!

While we love to take stock of what we’ve accomplished, there isn’t much time to look back as it’s time to leap ahead into next year’s projects. We are finishing the planning for 2015 and will post the summer and fall projects later this week. Stay tuned! Let’s do it again!