The hard work and dedication shown by these hardy young people helped to energize the group's members. Some of the members like Dave Mills, a master carpenter, worked side by side with the team members building the safety portage boardwalk. Team members cherished their time with Dave and learned the intricacies of carpentry from the old pro.
Together they dug over 60 large postholes in the rocky soil and carried 70-pound posts to the site to create a solid foundation for the boardwalk. Team members recognized the new structure would provide a first-ever safe passageway around the formerly dangerous riverfront. They improvised on the job to build a structure that would be sturdy; yet provide visitors and boaters with a never before view of the beautiful Upper Falls watershed.
The NCCC team and the Coal River Group partnered with the state Division of Environmental Protection's REAP staff and contractors to address the issue of tires dumped in some of the most beautiful and popular sections of the Coal rivers. The results were fantastic. Over 1,000 tires were removed from the Little Coal River and the Coal River near Alum Creek. The work provides the many thousands of paddlers a wonderful float trip along some of the most pristine sections of that river.
The Coal River Group has toiled for more than eight years to build a recreational infrastructure for the Coal River Watershed. The Coal River Walhonde Water Trail is nationally recognized and annually brings thousands of visitors to the growing Southern West Virginia tourism centers located near Corridor G.
Residents of the region are joining together through groups such as the Coal River Group to build this infrastructure, but they cannot do it alone. The kids who worked so hard are a true inspiration to the citizen-based groups. The program that sponsors such focused assistance is worthy of support.
The Coal River Group's membership has been energized by the selfless dedication seen from the traveling team of workers. They joined to help feed the team during their stay and worked daily to provide oversight and assistance which helped make the projects so successful.
Together we have cleaned up the Coal rivers, and by doing so we have grown stronger as a nonprofit group. We have seen and met a dedicated group of young people from all over the United States, who have rekindled our faith in the future of our country.
In just two short weeks we have made more progress in our efforts to restore the Coal rivers than we could have accomplished in years of small volunteer weekend work parties. We must say thank you to the NCCC team and we wish them the very best as they move on to Davis, W.Va., to help build wilderness trails. The experience has enriched each and every one of us.
Currey is longtime leader of the Coal River Group.