Cobb, CA – Dec. 5, 2012 – The Friends of Boggs Mountain will be marking its ten year anniversary on Dec. 11th. The 501(c)3 non-profit organization was formed by seven board members, and continues to carry out its mission to enhance the visitor’s experience at Boggs Mountain Demonstration State Forest through educational and interpretive programs.
Its original raison d’être was to provide a source of funding for the state forest’s trail maps, widely used by cyclists, equestrians, and hikers who enjoy exploring the numerous single-track trails and logging roads. It then expanded its activities to funding and placing over fifty signs with illustrations that identify year-round and seasonal flora along the world-class self-guided Interpretive Trail. The Friends also procure and install trail markers to help visitors navigate the 3,433-acre forest, and continues to update and fund the printing of trail maps.
The group promotes forest stewardship by organizing monthly trail maintenance workdays, regular monthly hikes for all fitness levels, sponsoring and organizing speaker events that have included geologists, botanists, archeologists, and local historians.
Thanks to a grant received from the Calpine Community Fund, and local volunteer, builder, and mountain biker, Bob Berg, a kiosk was constructed in 2007 at the main entrance parking lot. Visitors can view a large-scale map, naturalist and membership information, state forest regulations, and obtain trail maps for a $1 donation.
In 2009, the Friends obtained another grant from the Community Fund to smooth out and resurface the main parking lot with road base, significantly improving the area riddled with deep craters, mud in the rainy season, and unpleasant dust in the summer.
This year, the organization sponsored an Eagle Scout service project to build park benches at two popular trails. In addition, a new ADA-compliant bathroom facility complete with wash basin and flush toilet is nearing completion, and will replace the rustic outhouse at the parking lot. The restroom is being funded by the Friends of Boggs Mountain, Bike Monkey, and once again, a grant from the Calpine Community Fund. Bob Berg Construction was employed to design and build the facility.
At present, the Friends of Boggs Mountain constitutes about eighty-five regular and business members. Membership benefits include a logo’d bucket hat or T-shirt, and access to the quarterly newsletter. Business membership offers advertising at the kiosk and the Website.
“As the forest grows in popularity through events such as marathons, bike races, and equestrian camps, we’d like more outdoor enthusiasts to become involved in the organization,” remarks David Thiessen, Friends of Boggs Mountain board president.
Indeed, many large group activities this year included an orienteering weekend organized by the Bay Area Orienteering Club, the Boggs Mountain Boogie ultramarathon organized by Heart & Sole Sports, and mountain bike races such as the Bike Monkey Boggs MTB Relay and the NorCal High School Cycling League MTB Race. The forest is also an ideal camping and hiking destination for local boy scout troops, as well as shooting sports enthusiasts who avail of the designated target shooting area located in the southeast corner of the forest.
“The trail maintenance and educational programs raise awareness that the forest is not invulnerable from major events that can affect trail and campground use. We’ve been successful in this area by collaborating, for instance, with CAL FIRE management and bike race organizers who have worked cooperatively to re-route courses and perform post-race repairs on impacted areas,” Thiessen adds.
Co-founder and board secretary, Peg Landini, expresses her desire to step up youth involvement in Friends of Boggs Mountain programs.
“When the board convenes in January for its annual meeting, I would like to discuss educational activities geared toward youth where for instance, teens lead hikes and trail maintenance programs. We might also organize more presentations that encourage youth in a fun, yet educational context, to explore and learn more about the forest.”
Board members meet quarterly at the Cobb Area County Water District office. Interested members of the public are invited to attend and sign up for various committees, and encouraged to consider board membership. Current board members are drawn from a cross-section of recreational users of the forest – hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, and bird watchers.
For more information and to get involved with the Friends of Boggs Mountain, visit their site at http://boggsmountain.org.