View of overgrown trail from the front wheel of a bike on Bayo Canyon Trail in desperate need of attention on Friday. Courtesy Photo.
BY PAULA KNEPPER
Los Alamos Youth Mountain Bike Team
Three local youth athletes were spotted on Sunday morning battling the weeds that have overgrown the Bayo Canyon trail toward Kwage Mesa armed only with hand tools. The weeds created a significant safety concern for local youth cyclists who took action with tools borrowed from neighbors and parents.
Ian McLean, an 8th grader at Los Alamos Middle School, Alex Baker and Cullen McLean, 6th graders at Mountain Elementary School, set out early Sunday morning to remove the weeds that obstructed the Bayo Canyon trail creating a hazard for pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians. Large pieces of natural debris were removed from the trail hidden beneath the towering weeds. This section of trail is flanked by a steep canyon wall and canyon drop so trail visibility is essential for safe passage.
Alex Baker and Cullen McLean cutting down weeds along Bayo Trail on Sunday. Courtesy photo.
Ian McLean works the weeds with a machete on Sunday morning. Courtesy photo.
From left Ian McLean, Cullen McLean and Alex Baker pose with hand tools that they borrowed to battle the towering weeds that have consumed the trail. The Los Alamos trail network needs more than just the efforts of one teenager and two tweens armed with hand tools. Courtesy photo.
The kids hiking home on a visible trail after finishing trail work. Courtesy photo.
Weeds, erosion, fallen trees and poor drainage create additional maintenance challenges and safety concerns for trail users. These issues require county resources and investment to address.
I applaud and appreciate the efforts of our local youth cyclists. Stephanie Nakhleh’s editorial posted earlier today resonates deeply. Her observations are consistent with the concerns of local trail users and the three youth who gave up their Sunday to serve the Los Alamos community. Several community groups volunteer hundreds of hours each year to upkeeping Los Alamos trail networks including but not limited to the Los Alamos Tuff Riders, Neal Pederson and Pajarito trail building crew, and the Southwest Nordic Ski Club–your efforts are appreciated and noticed. Our community has requested and deserves more support from Los Alamos County.