Trails Day Plants 15 Trees in the Park

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Treeplanters from left: Kristin Vonn, Phil Stokes, Phil Best, Pat Phillips, John Lackey (kneeling), Dan Mahon, Bob Dombrowe (kneeling), Alex Gianitsarius, Bill Mauzy, Jess Louis Vonn (sitting), Jessica Mauzy, Leslie Burns, Karl Pomeroy (kneeling), Lou Fitzgerald, Sharon Schinstock, and Karen Wannamaker.

Adam George of Ruckersville cruised to a first-place finish in the Crozet Trails Day 5K Oct. 21. He crossed the line, moved to Claremont Drive this year, at 18:16. Last year’s winner, nine-year-old Joseph Taylor, took the pole position at the start and finished sixth, at 22:09, first in his under-29 age group. Laura Brown was the first woman to cross. The winner of the annual race gets a bridge on a Crozet trail named for him or her. George’s bridge will likely be near the Westhall neighborhood.

Adam George of Ruckersville won this year’s Crozet Trails Day 5K.

Crozet Trials Crew members were joined by many other volunteers after the race to plant 15 trees in Claudius Crozet Park. Nine varieties were planted, among them a Ginkgo, River Birch, American Elm, Hackberry, Yellowwood, and a Fringe Tree, along the intended route of the park’s perimeter trail. The aim is to shade a stretch from the pavilion parking lot down to the lower Little League field and then on to a treeline on the east side of the park.

“We wanted mainly natives and others that do well here,” said CTC chief Jessica Mauzy.

The Crozet Volunteer Fire Department has agreed to keep the trees watered for one year to give them a better chance to root.

The CTC consulted with the park board to decide which trees to plant. They came from Watkins Landscaping in Crozet, who also dug holes in the chosen spots. The trees were paid for by donations from Crozet citizens and businesses.

The park will be a primary trail destination and will have a trail info kiosk. The CTC is now working to open entirely a creekside trail from the park to the Lickinghole Basin that would run through many eastern Crozet neighborhoods. A trail connecting eastern neighborhoods with Cory Farm and Clover Lawn on Rt. 250 was pioneered this year and is ready for improvement too.

Joseph Taylor finishing the Crozet Trails Day 5K.

“The Crozet Trails Crew is the dream organization we’ve been waiting for to implement the trails plan for the county,” said county trail planner Dan Mahon. “I wish we could bottle this. Jessica has really got the group going.

“Originally there was some skepticism about a trail network in Crozet, but sentiment has shifted since we’ve got things going on the ground,” he said. Mahon said traffic counts on the trails at Mint Spring Valley Park are up for the last three years.