Spring is in full bloom in Georgia, and the Blankets Creek trailhead got some loving attention from the Blankets Creek Garden Club. Volunteers spruced up the donation box with a fresh coat of paint, pulled weeds, and spread mulch over the native plant garden that surrounds the trailhead’s fundraising donor plaques.
"The trailhead is our visitor's first impression of trail, and it's important to make a good first impression. Fortunately we have volunteers who recognize that, and who are willing to put in the time to make sure it happens," explains Scott Stewart, Trail Coordinator for Blankets Creek.
"Most mountain bikers don't think of native plant gardens when they think of trail riding, but the flora and fauna are part of that experience, even if it's not conciously observed. Blankets Creek is blessed with an abundance of native plants and cursed with an abundance of exotic, invasive species. The trailhead garden showcases the natives, keeps the invasives at bay, provides a beautiful backdrop for the plaques honoring our generous donors, and presents visitors with a welcoming site when they enter the trail system," adds Robin Allen, enthusiastic mountain biker and amateur horticulturist.
"A garden also offers volunteer opportunities to those who may not feel comfortable building and maintaining the trail. There are a lot of people who enjoy gardening, and if you get them involved in your trail system, they develop a sense of ownership. It gives you a whole new pool of volunteers," continues Ms. Allen.
The chapter hopes to expand the landscaping efforts and showcase natives in other areas of the system. Visit Blankets Creek in Woodstock, GA to see for yourself what a difference a native trailhead garden can make to your mountain bike system.