Portage Pass Trailhead Restoration

Before the big rains came last week, a group of Anchorage high school students from Highland Tech ventured down to Whittier to help restore the Portage Pass Trailhead. In just an hour and a half, 35 students, with help from 5 Forest Service employees, moved 3 yards of rock and 1.5 yards of gravel to repair a 50 foot stretch of trail that had mud and drainage issues.

The crew corrected the problems by lining the sides of the trail with large rocks and filling in the middle with gravel to raise the trail tread. Drainage channels were also dug and ¾ mile of trail brushing completed. Drainage is a key component for sustainable trails. In addition, 40 other students helped to restore fish habitat and to work on stream bank enhancement.

The trip was organized by teacher Ayme Johnson and the Chugach Children’s Forest, a partnership between Alaska Geographic and the Chugach National Forest that often partners with the Anchorage School District to bring kids outside for stewardship projects and unique learning opportunities on their public lands. Funding came from the Forest Service, REI, and other partners.

Alaska Trails, a statewide non-profit dedicated to building and maintaining sustainable trails in Alaska, donated tools for the trailhead restoration. AlaskaTrails typically charges a rental fee for the tools, but provided them free of charge for this important volunteer project.


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