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V-O-Cal's 2014 PROJECTS

Date Location Agency Partner
Apr 19 Round Mountain Reg. Park - COMPLETE! EBRPD Ivan Dickson- Complete
May 16-18 Anthony Chabot Regional Park - COMPLETE EBRPD - Complete
May 30-Jun 1 Alum Rock Park, San Jose - COMPLETE City of San Jose
Jun 27-29 Shell Ridge Open Space- COMPLETE City of Walnut Creek
Jul 25-27 Sanborn Park - COMPLETE Santa Clara County Parks
Aug 22-24 McLaren Park SF Rec & Park
Sep 19-21 San Bruno Mtn County Park San Mateo County Parks
Aug 26-Sep 1 East Bay Hills Trail Benefit Hike Bay Area Ridge Trail Council<
Sep 27 IDP- Las Trampas Reg. Wilderness EBRPD Ivan Dickson

Join us - as a volunteer, as a crew leader, as a donor. Let V-O-Cal help you find your "Outdoor Voice"

Shell Ridge Open Space - Project Accomplished!

V-O-Cal volunteers did it again! Transformed a sad and and not very safe spraycooltrail into a thing of beauty in a single weekend. Walnut Creek's Shell Ridge Open Space was a great place to work the final weekend of June: hot, dusty, rock-hard dirt. Hmmm, that doesn't sound nearly as good as it felt. Maybe it was the care shown by our crew leaders...

With great work by the project team to make sure everything ran smoothly despite the heat, over 100 volunteers had a great time, and left with a tremendous sense of satisfaction and the heartfelt thanks of the agency staff:

"This was a huge project that could not have been accomplished by staff without completely closing the trail for a month or more. Your skilled volunteers– and the sheer numbers that you bring with you – accomplished our equivalent of moving mountains." Supervising Ranger Nancy Dollard

In the words of Eliot Hudson, Project Lead, "Yard for yard, the ground was hard, we had thick berms to cut and large ruts to fill. However, the trail on which V-O-Cal volunteers worked has been a top priority for WCOSD, and by the end of the weekend it was utterly transformed. " By Sunday afternoon, hikers beginning to use the trail marveled at the tremendous improvement.

We had a fabulous base camp location in Hanna Grove (complete with running water!), a fantastic effort by the kitchen and camp crews, great entertainment (both planned and spontaneous), and a unique opportunity to step inside the historic buildings at Old Borges Ranch. There are some great pictures on the Volunteers for Outdoor California page on Facebook that record the weekend and smiles. The best part, as always, is the people who pitch in. YOU are what makes these projects a success and a joy.

Project Team Lead: Eliot Hudson
Crew Leader Manager:. Morris Older, Trina Hudson
Technical Advisor: Chas Haworth
Kitchen: Dave & Ann Johnston
Outreach: Carol Lane
Tool Manager: Oscar Ronquillo
Photography: Lily Brady
Registration:Francesca Verdier, Sylvia Verdier

Alum Rock Park was fabulous! MarlonTan

We couldn't say it better ourselves! Alum Rock Park's Ranger provided this summary of the project:

"After several months of planning and preparation, last weekend Volunteers for Outdoor California (VOCal) descended upon San Jose's Alum Rock Park and took to trail by storm! One of the parks oldest trails, Sycamore Switchbacks, serves as a steep connector from the valley floor 600 feet up to South Rim National Recreation Trail. Over the years, heavy rains, steep unstable hillsides, and hiker use had taken it's toll on the trail. The theme of the trail was "We survived the Sycamore Switchbacks trail restoration project." During the planning stages, it was apparent crews would be working on a steep overgrown trail side-by-side with rattlesnakes,ticks and poison oak.

If you haven't been to Sycamore Switchbacks in a while or ever, now is the time to dust off those hiking shoes and hit the trail. VOCal's crews cleared the poison oak, stepped the switchbacks, repaired the tread and left behind a wildflower lined beautiful trail you'd expect to find in a national park.

From all the laughter, smiles and camaraderie on the trail, it was apparent this was a well organized group of motivated volunteers! San Jose's Park Rangers provided technical and material support, as well as an evening interpretive program about Alum Rock's colorful history. San Jose's Search and Rescue team provided communications and rescue equipment. The weekend went off without a hitch and a many volunteers went home with sack of memories."


Anthony Chabot Regional Park - Project Complete!

VOCal's first project of the year was a resounding success and Anthony Chabot Regional Park is much the better for the efforts ChabotVolsinAction2of lots of great volunteers. As always, it was a pleasure to work with the staff of East Bay Regional Park! We camped in a green grassy meadow just off Marciel Road, and after the record heat earlier in the week, we lucked out with perfect weather for trail work: cool and a little cloudy.

Supported by V-O-Cal's characteristic great food and fellowship, we installed 500 feet of new trail to bypass a too-steep section of Towhee Trail with poor sight line. The new trail alignment, skillfully laid-out by EBRPD below an open forest of eucalyptus with high canopy, is a thing of beauty and was a lot of fun to build. We also did some much needed maintenance/repair work on over a half mile of the Redwood Trail,improving overgrown drain dips and brushing back encroaching coyote brush and poison oak. It was hard to leave on Sunday but all of us look forward to more fun and rewarding work on other V-O-Cal projects this summer and fall.