Charlottesville Parks & Rec. hosts trail cleanup for United Way Day of Caring

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:29 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Welld Health employees are using the United Way Day of Caring to help out Charlottesville Parks & Recreation.

The department hosted a trail maintenance effort at Forest Hills Park Wednesday, September 21.

“We’re here with Welld, who signed up to help us at Forest Hills Park, where we’re cleaning up this trail,” Parks & Trails Planner Chris Gensic said.

Gensic says they’re clearing back vegetation that turns the trail into more of a tunnel.

“One of our main goals here today is to work out about 10 feet in from the trail to make it more visible so hikers and bikers can actually have sightlines through, and also at the same time, get rid of some of the invasive vegetation so that the more native stuff can grow,” Urban Forester Steven Gaines said.

“Urban open spaces and forests are kind of what makes Charlottesville special. Companies like this come to town because they want to be able to live in a place that has parks for themselves and their kids,” Gensic said.

Gaines says invasive plants don’t have predators, causing their growth to get out of control.

Welld Health Chief Customer Officer Cassandra Stish says Wednesday’s work was a change from being in front of a computer all day.

“This is a chance for us to get outside, to get back to the community that’s given us so much a leg up in the innovation space. It’s our incubator, if you will, and so, you know, team building, community building, it’s a natural fit,” Stish said.

Parks & Rec. plans to hold more clean-ups and educational hikes in the future.

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