Central Kitsap High students help to expand Clear Creek Trail

Central Kitsap High School students raked and rolled 60 tons of gravel Thursday morning.

Central Kitsap High School students raked and rolled 60 tons of gravel Thursday morning.

Roughly 80 CKHS students helped the Clear Creek Task Force, Central Kitsap Kiwanis and Silverdale Water District build about 500 feet of connecting trail in the north end of the Clear Creek Valley. Clear Creek Task Force Co-chair Tex Lewis said this is the 16th year the high school and task force teamed up for this Earth Day event.

“We’ve had other schools work, but on our Earth Day event it’s always been CK,” Lewis said. “It’s been a great partnership, it really has.”

CKHS science teacher Marie Crumb has been bringing her students to this event all 16 years and this year was no different. Crumb’s chemistry, biology and honors biology classes turned out in full force Thursday morning to lay and rake gravel to form a connecting trail just east of the Clear Creek bike trail off Trigger Avenue. Students also removed blackberries from along the new section of trail.

“I think they (students) enjoy it,” Crumb said. “They seem to have a good time.”

CKHS sophomore Courtney Pedersen cut back overgrown weeds and sticker bushes Thursday. It was her first time helping out on the Clear Creek Trail and said it was a good way to celebrate Earth Day.

“I didn’t really know that much about it (Earth Day) until Ms. Crumb mentioned it,” Pedersen said.

Pedersen uses the Clear Creek Trail, but said she will more than likely walk, run or bike on it more in the future now that she played an active role in building part of it.

Crumb said many of her current and former students frequently use the trail because they helped create a section of it and get a better sense of community involvement.

“They get to see that they physically made something that’s going to be there for a long time,” Crumb said. “It’s sort of a buy-in to be a part of it.”

At the end of the morning, CKHS students and other volunteers were treated to lunch from Taco Bell, who has provided the meal all 16 years of the event.

In past years, CKHS students assembled boardwalk, dug post holes and built miles and miles of Clear Creek Trail. Both Crumb and Lewis said there is still work that needs to be done and they plan to continue the CKHS and Clear Creek Task Force Earth Day event for years to come.

“If there’s trail to be made we’ll be here,” Crumb said. “Once you start something you want to keep adding to it.”