Training the Next Generation of Trail Stewards
Coronado Youth Corps (CYC) is a paid trail internship program based in Tucson to engage high school age youth to maintain and improve the Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT). American Conservation Experience (ACE) partnered with ATA to provide a special Trail Skills Institute class for 13 CYC members to learn about sustainable trail design and gain experience evaluating, maintaining, and building portions of the trail.
For their first outing we hiked 1.5 miles north from the Tiger Mine Trailhead to work on an overgrown corner of the trail at the first large wash crossing. CYC youth installed three drains, widened two switchbacks, removed brush, and built three large cairns to allow easier navigation and safe passage for all trail users.
CYC participants will complete two additional days of service work on the Coronado National Forest in April and May culminating with a 5-day outing this summer. For their final project we will camp and trek into the Arizona backcountry this summer with tools and equipment to work on the trail in the cool ponderosa pines.