They say ‘many hands make for light work’. So when Hands on Tam mobilized more than 200 volunteers, the seemingly impossible task of maintaining a world renowned forest became feasible and fun!
As a park that welcomes a daily average of 6,000 visitors, Muir Woods National Monument works hard to protect its wildlife, fight erosion and upkeep its overall beautification. That sounded like a lot of work for our friends that we visit every day on our Woods and Wine tour – so Incredible Adventures stepped up to help out!
Hands on Tam is an annual Winter workday where volunteers of all ages are invited to celebrate the park’s history and contribute to its bountiful future. With over 200 miles of trails in need of maintenance for a wide array of Mt. Tam’s visitors and inhabitants, One Tam organizes various projects for a range of skill sets and interests.
In partnership with our hostel friends at Green Tortoise and Hosteling International, we headed just north of the city bright and early.
While most of San Francisco slept as a result of and in preparation for Super Bowl festivities happening around the Bay Area, we admired our dormant city from the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. As the sun rose and Bay winds whipped, we took in a view that never gets old, snapped a few pictures and continued our trek north to Muir Woods excited for the feel-good work that lay ahead.
Upon arrival, everything was wonderfully organized. From the sign-up waivers to coffee and snacks, we were never overwhelmed and felt immediately appreciated. Once we divided into smaller groups, Incredible Adventures took on invasive species removal (aka Team Blue Butterflies!). This involved a 20 minute hike up Mt. Tam via the Dipsea Trail with some tools, water and snacks.
Our leader, Tanya, briefed us on the task at hand. There is a plant species known as the French Broom that was introduced to the area in the mid-1800s. It has a reputation for spreading quickly and crowding the native species out of their homes. This can mess with the area’s ecosystem by reducing space and availability of food for native wildlife. It is the ongoing work
“When we first walked down into the area that we were going to clear it looked like a big task,” said Carlie Berquist, Incredible Adventures’ overland operations coordinator. “But before I knew it, everyone was working hard and having fun while doing it, too.”
We used loppers, saws and weed wrenches to clear the French Broom.
Fun Fact: Weed wrenches were actually developed by Tom Ness in the Marin Headlands after watching volunteers struggle to remove French Broom back in the 80s.
Our group of 13 collectively uprooted about 3,700 weeds in an hour and half. We were rewarded with a delicious chili lunch! Salad, corn bread and fruit also included. After working up an appetite, it as nice to chat with park rangers and fellow volunteers.
As an SF Green Business and CoolCA Small Business Climate Leader, Incredible Adventures was proud to participate and bring along our friends. We look forward to more volunteer opportunities and working with One Tam in the future.
“Over all, being out in the trees soaking up the sun with friends and feeling like you were actually doing something really resonated with me,” Carlie said. “You can definitely expect me at the next One Tam event!”