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Making a difference restoring Madigan FIT trail

Tyler Casey, an intern with JBLM Fish and Wildlife, and his daughter, Amelia Casey, help cart invasive species to restore the Madigan FIT Trail on Make a Difference Day Oct. 22. Photo credit: Hailey Dunn

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD - And it's a wrap! On Make a Difference Day 2022, volunteers of all ages turned out to do restoration work on the Madigan FIT Trail on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Forty-eight engaged volunteers, including several scout groups, worked hard on the removal of invasive Himalayan blackberries, holly, Scotch broom, Reed canary grass and other invasive species that will make this trail more accessible.

"With the enthusiasm of the volunteers, we really made a difference," said Cathy Hamilton-Wissmer, JBLM Directorate of Public Works Sustainability Outreach coordinator. "The Directorate of Public Works Environmental has partnered with the JBLM Volunteer coordinator with the Directorate of Human Resources for the past several years for Make a Difference Day. This enables the JBLM community to get out and restore a green space, bringing folks together to explore places that they may not be aware of within the cantonment."

The Madigan FIT Trail is a padded, running trail along Murray Creek. The trail runs from Old Madigan housing to the Madigan Army Medical Center. A lovely green space alongside a groundwater-fed creek, that has little stops for situps or burpees. It's not too long, and there is plenty of parking located across from the old Madigan and the Fisher House.

JBLM professional biologists provided direction and education to volunteers about the ecosystem around the Madigan FIT trail and Murray Creek. This trail is home to native species such as sword ferns, Douglas firs, huckleberry, cottonwood and more. These plants were being impacted by the ivy and blackberries along the trail, and access was being impacted.

National Make a Difference Day was created in 1992 by USA Weekend magazine and joined by Points of Light. National Make a Difference Day is held on the fourth Saturday in October. Millions of people have united in the common mission to improve the lives of others.

JBLM's goal is to not only provide restoration and beautification of the trail, but to celebrate the connection between people and green spaces, inspire environmental stewardship and encourage use of these spaces for education, health benefits and recreation.

With support from JBLM volunteers, it is possible to keep these green spaces healthy and available for future mission and future generations.

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