Invasive Weed Volunteers Needed: Truckee Day, June 7

On the morning of June 7 Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails will partner with the Truckee River Watershed Council’s Weed Warriors to bring invasive weed control to the annual Truckee Day Neighborhood Cleanup.

We’re looking for Champion Weed Warriors to teach our neighbors basic invasive weed identification and weed removal techniques. We hope you’re willing to lend a hand.

We plan to target no more than two class-c weeds. One will be bull thistle, and the other is not yet determined. Champion Weed Warriors will have a poster and live samples to use as teaching aids. You’ll also be given clear bags to hand out for the uprooted weeds, and plenty of invasive weed booklets and pamphlets to pass out to volunteers. We’ll need folks to arrive sometime before 8:00, and we should have the volunteers ready to roam the streets by 9:30.

It’s not a long commitment, but it is an important one. Truckee Day brings a lot of volunteers to Tahoe Donner, and we’ll need plenty of help preparing them to combat invasive weeds.

If you participated in any of our weed walks or weed pulls last year, please consider sharing your knowledge on Truckee Day. However, no experience with invasive weeds is necessary. If you wish to volunteer, but don’t have any experience with invasive weeds, we can arrange a brief workshop to teach you everything you need to know.

This is a great opportunity to teach our neighbors about the invasive weed problem here in Tahoe Donner. Let’s try to lend a hand, and help the Weed Warriors make this a successful event.

If you would like to volunteer on Truckee Day, please email the trails club at tdtrails@gmail.com.

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Invasive Weed Pull, Saturday, September 14

Join Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails on Saturday, September 14 for an invasive weed pull atop the Tahoe Donner Ski Hill.

There are a number of invasive weeds on the ski hill, including a patch of musk thistle at the top of the Eagle Rock lift. Our goal is to remove as many first year musk thistle rosettes as we can before they have any chance to mature and set seed as second year plants next summer. The rosettes are easy to remove, but they can be difficult to find. A keen eye is the most important thing to bring to this weed pull.

If we have a big turnout, or if things go faster than expected, we might also pull some nearby first year bull thistle rosettes.

So please join us, and try your hand at invasive weed pulling.

Here are all the details:

Tahoe Donner Invasive Weed Pull
- Date: Saturday, September 14
- Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm
- Meeting Place: The (future) Cell Tower Site on Skislope Way. (Google Map.) The Eagle Rock lift is an easy 5 minute walk from the entrance.
- What to wear: Sturdy shoes, hat, work gloves, sun protection.
- What to bring: Water, a small trowel, or other weeding implement.

Directions to the Cell Tower Site:

From Skislope Way and Alder Creek Drive: Proceed on Skislope Way, pass Glacier Way, and look for the gated cell site entrance on left. Park on the street or in nearby pullouts.

From Northwoods and Northwoods: Proceed west on Northwoods, turn left onto Christie Lane, then right on Skislope. After the third major bend, look for the gated cell site entrance on right. Park on the street or in nearby pullouts.

For more information please email the Trails Club at tdtrails@gmail.com.

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Weed Walk with The Weed Warriors, Saturday, August 10

This August Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails will partner with the Truckee River Watershed Council’s Weed Warriors to conduct an educational weed walk here in Tahoe Donner. We’ll visit multiple sites, carpooling from place to place, and walking out short distances to see a variety of infestations. The walk will conclude with a lunch provided by the Weed Warriors.

Although we are just beginning to understand the invasive weed situation here in this community, it has already become clear that Tahoe Donner is host to some of the region’s most noxious invasive weeds, including musk thistle, Scotch thistle, spotted knapweed, and poison hemlock.

Invasive weed spotting is a rewarding activity for all ages. You can do it every day in your neighborhood and on the trails, and it’s a great way to protect the integrity of our local natural environment. What’s more, because it’s almost like a natural scavenger hunt, it’s also quite fun. If you catch the weed spotting bug, you might even find it a little addictive.

So please join us on this walk, and try your hand at invasive weed spotting.

Here are all the details:

Tahoe Donner Weed Walk with The Weed Warriors
Date: Saturday, August 10
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm (Lunch will follow)
Meeting Place: Tahoe Donner Clubhouse, 11509 Northwoods Blvd.
RSVP: Required by August 6. Please specify lunch preference (vegetarian or not). To RSVP email tdtrails@gmail.com.

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Alder Creek Meadow Cleanup, Saturday, July 20

This Saturday we’ll be partnering with the trails staff for an Alder Creek Meadow cleanup. If you’re unfamiliar with that area, it’s just past the gate at the end of Alder Creek Road. For years the meadow was used as something of a dump. Today it is in terrible shape, strewn with asphalt and other debris. We won’t return the site to pristine condition in one morning, but we can make a good start. Here’s all the information:

Alder Creek Meadow Cleanup
Date: Saturday, July 20
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm
Place: Meet at the Equestrian Center
RSVP: email tdtrails@gmail.com (appreciated, but not absolutely required)

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Tahoe Donner Trails Day Volunteer Kick-off, June 22

The first Tahoe Donner Trails Day of the season will take place at the Equestrian Center on Saturday, June 22. The day will begin at 9:00 am and conclude with lunch at noon.

This year we are pleased to offer two volunteer opportunities.

First, the Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails club will lead an invasive weed patrol for bull thistle. This natural scavenger hunt will be a fun and rewarding activity for all ages, and especially for families with children. It will also be a great service to the natural environment here at Tahoe Donner.

The weed patrol will begin around the Equestrian Center, where you will learn how to distinguish bull thistle from the area’s native thistles, and how to remove and dispose of bull thistle to prevent its spread. After that families and groups will take charge of specific trail sections and head out to search for bull thistle. All you need is a pair of gloves (thistles are quite prickly), a garden trowel or any small shovel, and the patience to stroll slowly down the trails while keeping a careful eye on the plants around you.

Second, Tahoe Donner’s Trails department will lead volunteer efforts to work on a nearby trail. Before the work begins they will guide volunteers through the site, pointing out and describing the specific repairs that need to be done. After that volunteers will break up into teams, each led by a member of the Trails department, to complete the necessary work. Trail work can be physically demanding, but it is also extremely satisfying.

Everyone is advised to wear sturdy shoes, have plenty of water, and wear sun protection.

Participants will be provided with a boxed lunch (vegetarian available) and a free Tahoe Donner Trails t-shirt.

We’d like to make this Trails Day a great day for everyone involved. Knowing roughly how many people plan to attend and participate in the various activities will help us in our preparations. An RSVP is not required, but it is greatly appreciated.

To RSVP, please fill out the survey at this link: http://eepurl.com/zzZTn

For more information please email the Trails Club at tdtrails@gmail.com.

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McGlashan Springs and Bucknam Tract Photographs

You can find a gallery of photographs from McGlashan Springs and the Bucknam Tract at this link.

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June 1st McGlashan Springs Discovery Hike

Join the Trails department and the Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails Club for a hiking tour of the McGlashan Springs and Bucknam Tract properties. This tour of some of the most beautiful and historical areas in Tahoe Donner will begin at 10:00 a.m on June 1st at the Bermgarten cul-de-sac just off Skislope Way. A map is available here.

The main hike will follow the jogging-stroller friendly dirt road. There will be frequent stops to look at the area’s hidden and lesser known gems, and to discuss the plans for developing trails in those areas, including the Donner Lake Rim Trail.

At the end of the dirt road, the hike will split into two groups. All those wishing to remain on the main road will head back to Bermgarten with staff, and all those wishing to go further will continue on an extended tour with the Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails club. The extended tour will include some off-trail hiking, but most of it will be on rough bootleg trails.

The first portion of the extended hike will cross over onto the Bucknam Tract on a course that approximates one possible route for the Donner Lake Rim Trail. From there the hike will continue to a spectacular Donner Lake overlook via another bootleg trail across Forest Service land. Finally the hike will conclude by going off-trail again to see the McGlashan Springs themselves.

Approximate distance for the main hike is 1.5 miles, while the extended hike is about 3.5 miles. Dogs on leash are welcome on both hikes, but you are advised not to bring your dog to the area around the springs because of the hazardous barbed wire there. (We do hope to organize a volunteer effort to remove that barbed wire later this summer.)

For more information please contact the Friends of Tahoe Donner Trails at tdtrails@gmail.com.

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