Weeds on trails in Los Alamos following recent wet weather. Courtesy photo
Local trails are overgrown with weeds. Courtesy photo
BY STEPHANIE NAKHLEH
Our trail network, more than any other recreation amenity in town, is the most popular and serves the most people. Surveys have shown this. What’s curious is that so little effort is put into maintaining this beloved resource. I served on the Parks and Rec Board for several years and remarked on it then, and notice it still: we do not put our budget, or our elbow grease, where our values lie.
Lately our trails have become entirely impassable. They are mud bogs, overgrown with weeds, riveted by erosion. The erosion is an old problem, exacerbated by our wonderfully wet summer. Weeds: same deal. We’re so happy to have this rain, but as happy as we trail users are, the ragweed and kochia are happier and they’ve crowded us out. A town that really puts its money where its mouth is would ensure that the trails would remain at least passable. We know we have the resources, right? Or else we wouldn’t be considering, say, throwing money at a golf course that far fewer people use.
And that’s the crux of the problem. Since I did serve on PRB, I know that the trails don’t get the resources other recreation amenities get, in spite of trails being the thing we all agree we love the best about this town. It seems like “we love the trails” has actually been an excuse to spend less. As if “we love it” means “we are satisfied with the status quo.” We are not. The trails in this town have been in need of attention and love for some time now. The money is there. The rains have brought the neglect to the forefront. Please direct the appropriate funds to the recreation resource the town actually wants and uses.