Green Alternative Spring Break Trip
Appalachian Trail Service Trip
This year, the Office of Campus Sustainability collaborated with Outdoor Programming to provide students with another green alternative spring break trip.
A previous trip took student volunteers to Big Lagoon State Park in Florida to do habitat restoration for the beachfront wildlife. However, this year, students spent their spring break in Georgia, cleaning up the Appalachian hiking trail.
Students spent six days working with the U.S. Forest Service, the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, and other universities to preserve the beautiful trail system. Specifically, BGSU volunteers had the unique experience of creating a new section of the Georgia Appalachian Trail. The workers spent their morning and afternoon blazing a new 503 ft. section of trail. That same day, students worked on creating tent pads, which encourage hikers to camp in designated areas to prevent the surrounding vegetation from being damaged by sprawling campers.
Other days were spent creating and maintaining rain trenches, which help prevent erosion of the trail due to rain. Also, students worked very hard in crafting all natural steps, which were made by finding large rocks that fit naturally together. All of this was done to help sustain the trail in Georgia and to encourage more hikers to take on the challenge of the AT.
This alternative break also dedicated two days to hiking various sections of the AT. The first day consisted of an eight mile hike that took students to Blood Mountain, which is the tallest mountain in Georgia that is on the AT (second overall tallest in Georgia). The third day took students on a four mile hike up to Springer Mountain, which is the southern terminal of the AT.
A unique aspect to this trip is that it incorporated Leave No Trace principals while educating students about sustainability and the initiatives available on campus. Planning is already beginning for next year's alternative spring break and students should consider making their spring break break, one to truly remember.
View from Blood Mountain
Making a tent pad
Blazing a new section of the AT