Trail Work Day dates are tentative due to weather, etc. Please call ahead. For info & to volunteer: Call Joan Ferguson (703) 938-2918
Volunteers are the reason that we have the quality of trails that are currently available within the Manassas National Battlefield Park. In these days of reduced federal budgets, it is unlikely that the federal government could continue to provide this service. The park maintenance staff has limited resources to maintain the over 30 miles of walking and over 20 miles of bridle trails that are currently available.
During BES's over 20 years of operation, our members have provided ten's of thousands of volunteer hours supporting the park maintenance staff. We typically provide a man-year of park support on an annual basis. In addition to providing emergency support (following major wind storms), we provide trail maintenance planning, material procurement and material positioning for work activities.
Monthly work days are typically scheduled during all but the winter months. These work days normally occur on consecutive Fridays and Saturday and last approximately 4 hours each day. We usually meet at the Park Maintenance Center at 8 AM. Work days typically consist of 6 to 8 volunteers performing trail maintenance, such as erosion control, trail building, water bar placement, installing culverts, and trail trimming.
Periodically community groups (i.e. scouts, schools, youth organizations) will volunteer to perform work within the park. BES is pleased to sponsor these organizations and provides workday planning and on-site coordination. Types of Work: In general, the work to be performed is designed for the more typical ‘desk jockey’ and does not require unusual degrees of strength or agility.
Volunteers are needed to operate the Gators, Bobcat, Tractor with front loader and 1 ton dump truck. Training is provided and operators will be checked out before operation.
Final smoothing operations following placement of materials on the trail location and before the trail is declared ready for use.
Ensuring that proper clearance is maintained in terms of width and height of trails being cleared. Typically does not involve clearing of branches over 1 inch in diameter.
Water bars are installed across trails constructed on slopes so that water will be swept to the side rather than running down the length of the trail. Periodically these water bars need to be cleared of dirt and debris so they can remain effective.
BES has many volunteer opportunities. Being a part of the Gator Brigade is one that is fun and helpful to all who enjoy the Manassas National Battlefield. The Gator Brigade patrols the park trails for maintenance needs. These patrols are two-person patrols that involve going out with another volunteer to seek out where work needs to be done to improve the trails. The tasks are varied. To give an idea of the many jobs to be done; volunteers can work on and clean the water bars, (what is a water bar? Come and learn), trim vegetation (and learn about the vegetation in the Park) to retain vertical and horizontal trail access, clear smaller tree blockages, report larger tree blockages to maintenance, help Park staff and learn from them. Because of limited Park manpower, volunteerism is helpful to the Park and very much appreciated. Gator Patrols typically take 4 hours and cover 10 to 15 miles of trail.
We would like to thank all of our volunteers for their outstanding service and dedication. To be a part of this family of volunteers, please contact Lew Taynton at (703) 754-9410.