Conejo Open Space gets hand from volunteers to build trail near Thousand Oaks

One of the main access routes from Hill Canyon to the Western Plateau in the  open space between Thousand Oaks and the Santa Rosa Valley received some much  needed attention this past weekend.

Source of this article: The Ventura County Star, March 26, 2013

About 80 volunteers helped to remove rocks and nonnative vegetation and  improve drainage along two miles of an existing fire road that forms part of a  new trail loop in the Conejo Canyons.

“It’s been in disrepair for years,” said Conejo Recreation and Park District  Park Supervisor Matt Kouba who oversaw the trail work on Saturday March 23.

“We brought in a big machine and did some of the rough work a couple of weeks  ago and now we’ve doing the hand work and shoring up some of the drainage and  things like that,” he said. “It went really well and everybody worked really  hard. Now that gives us an artery to get up into the upper plateau to do the  trails up there.”

Volunteer David Yarden, a mountain biker, cuts into a hill as Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency and volunteers built a trail.

It’s all part of the Conejo Canyons Management Plan drawn up in 2010 by  Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency, a joint powers agency between the city of  Thousand Oaks and the Conejo Recreation and Park District.Kouba said the improved trail provides access to an overlook looking out over  Camarillo. It will also facilitate the creation of new trails, one that will  lead to a ridge overlooking the Santa Rosa Valley and one that will go up toward  the area near to California Lutheran University.

Conejo Open Space oversees 140 miles of trails and the 2010 plan identified  33 miles of trails and 13 miles of new trails in Conejo Canyons, according to  COSCA Manager Kristin Foord.

She said the volunteers who come out to help are vital to achieving the  agency’s goal.

“None of us thought we could accomplish so much so quickly,” Foord said. “Volunteers have put so much energy and time into this and we’re really  accomplishing the plan and we’re really proud of it.”

“With all the trail improvement, we’re really excited about opening up this  area to the public. It’s like the last frontier,” she said.

Carly Vong with Concerned Off-Road Bicyclists Association volunteers by moving a rock 20 feet off the emergency road that volunteers were working on. The Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency was a building trail in the Hill Canyon/Western Plateau area of Thousand Oaks.

In October 2012, volunteers helped smooth out and improve the Hill Canyon  Trail, a flat, one-mile trail that connects to the Conejo Canyons Trail Bridge  accessible from the county’s Santa Rosa Park, on Hill Canyon Road off Santa Rosa  Road. They also worked to build a new section of trail that creates a loop  between the Hawk Canyon Trail and the Hill Canyon Trail.Among those who helped out at this past weekend’s work day was Jeremy Boberg,  9, who volunteered along with his twin brother Nils, elder brother Caleb, 15,  and dad Jeff Boberg.

“We cleared out all the rocks and then we made it so the water wouldn’t go  all over the trail,” said Jeremy. “We had shovels and a pick ax and stuff. We  had to lever the rocks up and it was really hard.”

It’s the second time members of the Boberg family from Thousand Oaks have  volunteered to help improve the trails.

“Last year we did a trail that goes up the side of the ridge and we hiked it  again with the rest of the family so they could see the work that we did and  they wanted to come this year,” Jeff Boberg said

It was the third time Svetlana Kalganova from Westlake Village had  volunteered and she said, like others, she does it because she hikes a lot.

“People enjoy feeling useful and doing something for the community and they  are doing something for themselves because they use those trails,” she said.

Up next, in 2014, according to Foord, will be the construction of a new  trailhead adjacent to the city’s Hazardous Household Waste facility at the  Municipal Service Center at 1993 Rancho Conejo Boulevard. Once the current  construction to expand the center is completed toward the end of this year,  Conejo Open Space plans to add a new parking area and kiosk at the trailhead  that will facilitate public access to the Western Plateau area.

View a photo gallery of this trailwork.

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