LIVE: Watch 5:00pm news on WHNT News 19

YMCA partners with Land Trust of North Alabama for ‘trailblazers’ project

MADISON COUNTY, Ala.-- The Land Trust of North Alabama and the Heart of the Valley YMCA teamed up Sunday for a good cause. They worked to build trails and make existing ones better in an effort to preserve North Alabama's beautiful natural landscape.

The group's main focus Sunday was building new hiking trails out at Bloecher's Ford. They split up into groups and had some people working on new trails, pulling weeds, and removing debris, while others maintained existing trails. Volunteers can typically create several hundred yards of a new trail in just a three-hour work day.

"We're at Bloecher`s Ford today in New Market, and we are working with the YMCA to create new trails, better existing trails, and have fun," said Land Steward Brandon Perry.

Perry was excited the kids wanted to help. He said it's because children are the future.

"Often it seems that we don`t understand our lands, we don't understand what needs to be done, and it's important for us to implant that importance with the next generation," he said.

Youth Development Director Lamont Singleton said this project is a follow-up from their students going to Yellowstone National Park.

"One of the things they expressed that they wanted to do when they got back was to get involved with building trails here in North Alabama, so naturally the land trust was a good fit for us," he said.

Singleton said building trails gives the kids a chance to get outside and appreciate our natural resources.

"We have to take care of it because it's slowly but surely leaving us, with new development coming in the area, and I just wanna show the kids, and they also have the interest in being out here and preserving what we do have," he adds.

Singleton said the Heart of the Valley YMCA students will try to get out to the trails at least once a month. He said they are also planning on opening it up to any members who would like to volunteer as well.