Earth Day 2019!

On Saturday, April 27th, volunteers and Parks employees worked to refurbish the Danny Hanavan self-guided trail, putting in new numbered posts and cutting brush from the trail.

This trail is a memorial for a young Boy Scout who died at the age of 12 in 1973, and who loved hiking and camping at Castle Rock.  Over the last 46 years, the trail has deteriorated as the area changed and the posts rotted away.  Now that the trail is refurbished, it gives a quiet, contemplative experience in both the present and the history of this area.

A generous donation was made by Big Creek Lumber: they are a locally owned lumber company that practices sustainable forestry.

We’d also like to thank the scouts and adult volunteers of Troop 37: this one day of work should give decades of enrichment to hikers, campers and backpackers at the Castle Rock trail camp!

(The following was written by Sangeet Satpathy of Troop 37)

It might seem like just another conservation service project – but it’s more than that. On April 27, 2019 volunteers including three Scouts from Troop 37 (Los Altos) – Mihir Srivastava, Kael Fitzpatrick, and Sangeet Satpathy, and some of the troop adults, replaced rotting wood posts and markers for the self-guided trail made in honor of the Scout Danny Hanavan, which educates visitors about the ecological communities, benefits, and species that are in Castle Rock State Park.

Danny Hanavan

Danny Hanavan was a Boy Scout in Troop 39, Los Altos, who joined the troop in 1972, and earned the First Class rank the following year. Shortly after returning from camp in 1973, sadly he became ill, dying from a cerebral hemorrhage in September 1973. His friends and fellow Scouts from Troop No. 39 built this trail to honor and remember him, with the help of biologists from San Jose State University, and Sempervirens Fund.

The Project

Over the last 40 years, the nature trail has deteriorated, with the posts rotting, nature communities moving, and with the nature around it changing.  The Portola and Castle Rock Foundation reached out to the Hanavan family for their permissions to refurbish the trail. After the Hanavans accepted the offer to refurbish the trail, Danny Hanavan’s father donated money to fund the renewing of the trail in 2018. Park interpreters and rangers helped plan a modified nature trail based on the species current locations, and for this year’s (2019) Earth Day, the Portola Castle Rock Foundation (PCRF) arranged a volunteer day, where Scout Troop 37 did much of the work digging holes and placing the new numbered posts.

The Trail – Present Day

Thanks to all the volunteers who worked on this project, the Danny Hanavan Nature Trail has been refurbished, with many areas where people may stop and admire the diversity of nature at the different markers. Troop 37 Scouts and other volunteers dug out 30” deep post holes, finishing all 18 of the posts.

In all, these Scouts and other volunteers honored Earth Day by restoring a trail made in memory of Danny Hanavan.


Article written by: Sangeet Satpathy, Troop 37 Star Scout

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