Tiffany Nelson spent some time on Perdido Riverwalk Trail for her project:
Perdido Riverwalk Trail Volunteering
Walking in the forest all alone, gun shots echoed in the distance as I tried to stay warm in the blistering wind, when I finally took a moment to just stop. The leaves of fall spread around me in a magnificent array of colors. Trees of astounding height soaring high above me. All of these brilliant wonders that I recently uncovered right in my backyard, well maybe not literally, however they are pretty close to where my house resides. The name of this glorious place is The Perdido Riverwalk Trail, a “part of a conservation easement for the Perdido Landfill.” During my visits there I participated as a volunteer at a 5k run that held every year called the Dump Dash. This event supports organizations with a cause, while also increasing awareness to all the sumptuous beauties of the forest. During the Dump Dash I was involved, in setting up for the event and cleaning all the trash that might have been left behind. And all though I did enjoy volunteering for the 5k run, I have to say my favorite part of volunteering was when I went on the trail myself to remove the fallen branches that were on the trail path. The removal process literally consist of a worker picking up branches and casting them back off into the forest where it can decompose and become part of the soil once again. This sounds easy enough, but as the hours go by it does become quite tedious. However, I have to admit, all the annoyed tendencies that usually come over me did not even come to mind. I was just completely enamored with this forest aesthetic beauty, a beauty that gives people an incentive to not tear a forest down, as talked about in Chapter 2. If more people get an emotional attachment for a certain natural beauty, they are more than likely to doing anything to preserve or conserve it which in turn will help out our environment while also helping out the economy due to all the tourism While on the trail, I also discovered deer trails all around the forest. I instantly thought how amazing this was, how animals and humans could almost come together to equally share a highly prized treasure, which touches on Aldo Leopold’s philosophy that there is no “good” or “bad species. I think the book says it best in Chapter 1, “a healthy ecological system depends on the protection of all interacting parts (p.17).” In order for us to sustain life on this Earth, we have to be conscious and rely on one another (living, non-living, animal, or human). We’re all specific vessels with a purpose, all of which come together to sustain our well being and further growth as one. If everyone kept that in mind, imagine how far we would evolve. I can honestly say I’ll be back to visit this trail, especially when I want to wind down. I can express how thankful I am for this experience. If it wasn’t for volunteering, I probably never would have “discovered” this beauty that’s 3 minutes away from my house! To think I lived here for 7 years, and I have never noticed it! It really makes you think about what else you may be overlooking throughout your life.
Just a little side note: The gun range mentioned in the beginning was only used for the fire range. Theirs is absolutely no hunting allowed on this trail…unless they want to be persecuted by law.