Northern California students get inspired working on the PCT

By Ashley Bomar, P-CREW Coordinator

The Plumas Conservation, Restoration and Education in Watersheds— better known as P-CREW—worked for four and a half weeks in July and August on the Pacific Crest Trail north of Belden Town. A dozen students from eight high schools (half rural, half urban) worked together along with their two leaders to accomplish two miles of brushing and two miles of tread work.

“I enjoyed brushing the PCT a lot,” said Django Lindner, a senior from Berkeley High School. “I found it to be very satisfying work. Furthermore, I could also tell very easily how well I did it.”

Many of these students had never camped before and some were not aware of PCT or what it is. During their project, they camped and lived together 24/7 and enjoyed recreation on the weekends, including backpacking, stand-up paddle boarding and exploring Lassen National Park.

Django Lindner from Berkeley High.

Each day they hiked about a mile to get to work and then again to get back to camp.

One highlight for the crew was talking to the thru- and section-hikers they met and asking what their trail name was. No Grandma Left Behind, Squirt, and Hercules were just a few.

When asked about a memorable moment, Monica, a senior from De Anza High School, said she was inspired when “we got to meet new and interesting people—and I’m thinking of hiking the PCT next year.”

Monica from De Anza High.

The students spent a lot of time learning about the importance of brush work and how water affects the trail. While not always the most glamorous of jobs, the crew took to it with vigor and excitement to be helping so many PCT hikers, and the surrounding vegetation.

Working on the PCT gave the youth a sense of community and an instant satisfaction when receiving appreciations from the hikers. These students went home with more self-confidence and dreams of hiking the PCT themselves.

Thank you P-CREW!