The Smith Rock Group has been operating the Smith Rock Spring Thing Volunteer Day since 1993, attracting about 200 people each year.
This event is focused on Smith Rock projects developed by volunteers and park staff. For over 20 years they have conducted many projects throughout the park.
This year the Smith Rock Spring Thing was held on May 2nd 2015–the 23rd annual event sponsored by the Smith Rock Group.
Always an amazing turn-out, 2015 was no exception. The Spring Thing attracted 201 volunteers, 28 of which were minors.
They eagerly showed up bright and early to repair well-worn trails. This year Smith Rock has seen a huge increase in visits, most likely due to the Travel Oregon 7 Wonders of Oregon ads, the warm and dry winter and the improving economy.
The result? Trails have been seeing heavy impacts. The Spring Thing volunteers answered the call to tackle some of the worst sections.
Some of this year’s projects included replacing 25 year old wooden steps, rebuilding rock walls, cleaning out water drainage on trails, repairing fences, prepping for a new bike parking area pulling weeds and working in the camping area.
In the evening, after the event the Smith Rock Group hosted their famous burrito dinner, with a slideshow and prizes for the volunteers.
Oregon State Parks also contributed, with 5 staff working from Smith Rock, The Cove and Tumalo parks. BLM Staff jumped in too, helping on a project on neighboring BLM Land.
The non-profit group’s materials, supplies and tools for projects are raised from donations from participants in the yearly raffle and silent auction.
Each year’s event begins at 8 AM with registration at Smith Rock Park and concludes with the dinner, auction, and raffle starting around 5:00 PM.
Parking passes, breakfast snacks, water, sunscreen, work gloves, tools, supplies, free camping at The Bivy, and dinner are provided for all volunteers.
The Smith Rock Spring Thing is organized and coordinated by the Smith Rock Group.
It’s a grass roots, all-volunteer, non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status.
A huge thanks goes out to everyone who help each year and all the previous years!
Care to join the party?