On the morning of July 16th, a group of volunteers set out in the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve to spruce up the Kaymoor Top parking lot. The lot serves a large system of trails in the area and is one of the park’s most heavily used parking spaces. After years of wear-and-tear, it was time to give the lot a fresh face.
The park’s phenomenal Roads and Trail crew spent the week prior setting the volunteers up for success by regrading the lot, putting down fresh gravel, and laying delineation timbers. Saturday, the group of volunteers finished out the project by giving the vault toilet a fresh coat of paint, pruning vegetation, seeding vacant ground, and staking down the new parking bumpers and border timbers.
The group consisted of ten volunteers, including NERI’s Acting Superintendent, Jason Newman, as well as several other park staff members who helped to facilitate the event. Some visitors who were passing through to get to nearby trailheads also stopped momentarily to try their hand at driving stakes!
Initially, the project was expected to run 8 am to noon, but the exceptional volunteer group surpassed expectations and concluded work half an hour early- just in time for the weekend recreation rush.
In addition to improving visitor experience, this project ultimately contributes to a larger preservation effort being made at the site of Kaymoor, WV - a National Register site with several ruins that are exemplary of the area’s rich coal mining history.
Kate Caplinger served as the Preserve WV AmeriCorps member at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve for the 2021-2022 program year.
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