Bethany College seeks volunteers for trail system clean-up

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Hundreds of hikers visit the trail system annually at Bethany College.
Hundreds of hikers visit the trail system annually at Bethany College at Bethany, WV.

Bethany College is seeking outdoor enthusiasts to volunteer for its trail system workday from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

The system includes a waterfall, numerous hiking spots, and an outdoor classroom, according to Shannon Kolkedy, a communications specialist for the college at Bethany, West Virginia.

Old Main at Bethany College

Planned projects include brush cleaning, trail restoration, rubbish removal, and outdoor classroom repair. Volunteers are encouraged to wear work attire, preferably long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. Water, bug spray, gloves, and tools will be provided.

The four miles of Bethany Trails, which include five interconnected trails, are used by hundreds of people every year—by students, college classes, summer camps, the Bethany community, and visitors from across the region, Koldeky said.

The Bethany Trail System is an asset of the Parkinson Forest, which was deeded to the college in 1914 by Margaret Parkinson, who stipulated that it was to remain in its natural state

Little did she know she was acting as conservationist long before the era of industrial revolution and mass pollution.

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In her will, she specifically stated that “this timberland be kept as a protest against the wasteful destruction of our timber [so that] succeeding generations may know something of what the forest lands in this part of the country once were.”

The Parkinson Forest is a mature, old-growth forest—one of the few that remain in the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Hikers may encounter red fox and bobcats or share a path with some of the many deer that have inhabited the forest for generations.

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Birds are the most distinctive and diverse wildlife thriving along the Bethany Trails. The area features two dozen species, including the Scarlet Tanager, the rose-colored Crested Grosbeak, the Red-eyed Vireo, and the commonly seen wild turkey.

Register at . Volunteers who register in advance will receive a free T-shirt.

For more information about the Bethany Trail System workday, email Hunter Tenney at dtenney@bethanywv.edu.

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