The temperatures are rising. the sun is shining. And the employees here at Earth Networks have been itching to get outside! Over the past few weeks, the weather throughout the state of Maryland has been beautiful (aside from some summer rainstorms!)
To celebrate, the Earth Networks team spent the whole morning volunteering outdoors on Friday, June 15, 2018. 45 members of the staff based in our Germantown headquarters got out of the office and onto the trail.
The day started at 7:45 am when the Earth Networks crew members arrived at the office. We were all a little weary from the earlier-than-normal reporting hour, so our awesome Human Resources team greeted us with some coffee and donuts. Thankfully, we had time to enjoy breakfast and wake up as the bus took us to our volunteering location.
When we arrived, the Montgomery Parks staff greeted us with gloves, loppers, and McLeods. These tools were necessary to help us clear out a section of a new 11-mile trail that will connect to Rock Creek Park in Derwood, MD.
Hard Work Ahead
Our team trekked through about a mile-and-a-half of already-cleared trail. Once we got to where the finished trail ended, we got to work. Trail clearing is a lot harder than you may think! There is a science behind it. We had to use the McLeods to create a down slope to ensure water could pass without misshaping the trail. We were in a very wooded section, so those of us with loppers had to work hard to remove roots.
It was fun to see our group divide and conquer this task. The go-getters went to the head of the pack, working hard to rake and clear the area. Then, we had a specific quality control group who followed up. These folks prettied up the trail and made it a nice, even walking surface.
The Final Product
In a little less than four hours, the Earth Networks team had cleared about 1/4 mile of the new trail. We accomplished so much that we caught up with the Montgomery Parks and Recreation crew ahead of us, using a machine to cut the trail out of the woods!
On the walk back, it felt good to know our work will help people in our community live healthy and active lifestyles while enjoying nature. Some of us are planning on visiting the trail once it’s complete. Others have decided they want to come back and volunteer on their own. We’re glad everyone had such a positive experience.
After working hard all morning, Earth Networks treated us to lunch at a nearby park. We planned on playing games, but most of us were so tired from working all morning we were just thankful for some shade to sit in. We recovered by drinking plenty of water, playing can jam, and comparing blisters. All of our volunteers had a fun and rewarding day!
While on the trail, we learned a lot of surprising things about our local area and Montgomery Parks. For example, did you know volunteers create most of the trails in the area? Most of us were unaware.
We also learned that everyone has a place on our team. Whether we are working on the trail or trying to save people’s lives from severe weather
Learn More About Montgomery Parks
If you’re local to the Montgomery County, MD area, they would love to have more volunteers for trail creation! In recent years, their volunteers have donated over 88,000 hours of volunteer service annually. You can volunteer as an organization, like we did, but there are other ways to volunteer as well! In fact, individuals, families, student, and scouts are other common volunteers on the trails. We can attest that this is a fun way to give back to the community as long as you’re not afraid of a little sweat! There are lots of different projects you can tackle. We did a half-day project, but there are also long-term volunteer positions. You can volunteer with Montgomery Parks by following the link.