MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As the cold April ran fell on the morning of Earth Day 2017, volunteers laced up their boots and traveled to Coopers Rock to revitalize Mother Nature.
Attendees planted trees next to the overlook parking lots before restoring the Trout Pond and the daytime parking trails in the afternoon.
“The next generation of forest isn’t going to happen naturally, so we’re intervening,” Adam Polinski, project coordinator and founding member of the Coopers Rock Foundation, said. “There’s too much soil compaction from all of the human activity from April. 1 through November 31 – when the gate is open, that’s a very popular area. They also mow, so anything that might come up naturally would have been accidentally mowed down.”
When pulling into the daytime parking lot, one could not miss the blue pickup with the bright yellow flag: ‘Coopers Rock Foundation,’ in bold, black type stretched across the front. Shovels and rakes were spread around the site, patiently waiting for someone to use them.
Two students were with Polinski at the end of a set of wheelbarrow tracks, working to spread and set gravel on the beat up trail. The group also dug water drainage paths along dips in the trail.
This story was written for The Daily Athenaeum, West Virginia University’s independent student newspaper.