Volunteers sought for Gravel Pack-In set for March 28

Volunteers are needed March 28 to help the state Department of Natural Resources and its partners with the 10th annual Great Gravel Pack-In in Capitol State Forest.

Participants will work on spreading gravel and repairing the tread on a section of the Mima Falls Trail. They also will help clear downed brush and do basic improvement in the campground to help get it ready for the upcoming season.

The idea for the event came from the Back Country Horsemen a decade ago. Members were looking for a way to get their pack animals in shape for the upcoming season and to showcase the ability of their animals in a low-elevation setting. That first event attracted 18 people and 24 animals.

During previous years, volunteers have worked on approximately 12 miles of trail, spreading 5-10 cubic yards of gravel each year. Among the trails improved is the Equine Loop Trail, whichopened in the winter of 2013 as the first year-round equine/hiker trail in Capitol State Forest.

People who take part will be working with department staff members and members of the Back Country Horsemen of Washington, Washington ATV Association, Tacoma Trail Cruisers, Friends of Capitol Forest, The Evergreen Gun Club, Puget Sound Enduro Riders, Washington Mounted Orienteering, Southwest Washington Appaloosa Club, Cascade Family Motorcycle Club and Guerrilla Running.

Participants should bring their own work gloves, water and rain gear. A lunch will be provided.

Volunteers must be 18 years old. Those who are younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Because horses will be involved in the work, volunteers are asked to leave their dogs at home.

The event will run 8 a.m.-3 p.m. March 28. Participants should meet at the Mima Falls Campground.

For more information, visit the department’s volunteer calendar at tinyurl.com/ybb36aj or contact Nick Cronquist by sending an email to nick.cronquist@dnr.wa.gov or calling 360-480-2700.