October was a busy Month for Ryan. After paddling the Green River, he spent three days at a trail building & maintenance workshop east of the mountains, followed by a stream bank restoration and education event in Boone. And then a day focused on bats at the Cradle of Forestry in the Pisgah National Forest. A month of learning centered around protecting and understanding our natural resources, and allowing people to get out and enjoy it too: an exceptional October.
At the trails course, Ryan learned the basics of trail construction and maintenance--an important course for the trails coordinator to attend! Ryan reports that the course covered many aspects surrounding trails, but his greatest take-away was that in both trail construction and maintenance, it is important to minimize the amount of water that will impact the trail, and to disperse that water over a large area. At the stream bank workshop, Ryan learned about the importance of allowing an abundance of vegetation to grow along stream banks to prevent erosion, and the subsequent impact erosion has on water quality. After the classroom portion of the course was complete, the class went outside and planted trees along the stream!
Ryan's bat day was excellent--and appropriately timed with Halloween just around the corner! Here are some interesting facts from the workshop:
1) Although bats do transmit rabies, it infrequently affects humans or other animals, as most bats die shortly after contracting the disease
2) A majority of bats eat fruit, or insects
3) Bats are great for our ecosystem! They remove insects that transmit disease and help pollinate plants--both of which decrease the need for pesticides. Interested in helping the bats? You could
build a bat house
! We encourage you learn more about bats; they are pretty cool.
Read about Ryan's trip on the river