In October, V-O-Cal will end the 2019 season with its first-ever project in Sonora, a Gold Rush town of approximately 5,000 people nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We'll build a new trail in Dragoon Gulch, a network of trails through oak woodlands that's walkable to downtown Sonora but still feels remote.
Lots of fun and a sense of community
We anticipate having a great mix of V-O-Cal regulars, other volunteers from greater Bay Area, and local residents who will be doing their first V-O-Cal project. We hope you enjoy not only the trail system itself but other tastes you'll get of Tuolumne County. Local businesses are donating food, including Diestel Family Ranch (meat), Indigeny Reserve (hard cider), Columbia Mercantile 1855 (nice cheese and crackers), and Gold Country Honey Farms (honey). On Saturday evening, you can wander into downtown Sonora for its monthly 2nd Saturday event; art galleries and other shops stay open later, and many offer live music. After the galleries and shops close, you can stay downtown for a free outdoor concert from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m., part of the Sonora Chamber of Commerce's After 8 Summer Concerts series. Downtown Sonora is walkable from our "center camp" at Woods Creek Park. See below for more information about 2nd Saturday and the After 8 Concert, plus a walking map of downtown Sonora.
Great opportunity for out-of-towners
If you're not from Tuolumne County and are thinking of extending your stay in the area before and/or after the project to enjoy more of what this region has to offer, the Tuolumne County Visitor's Bureau is a terrific resource. It prepared a welcome sheet specifically for V-O-Cal volunteers, which suggests ideas for an extended stay; that document is attached below. In addition, its Web site is full of ideas of things to do--from outdoor recreation to arts, history, and culture--and planning tools. Monday, October 14, is a work holiday for some people (Columbus Day); why not spend the day after the project continuing to enjoy the Sierra? (Camping is not offered on Sunday night.)
Online photo gallery
If you’re new to V-O-Cal and would like to get a sense of how “center camp” runs, check out these photos from the project in Sonoma in July 2019: https://trailprojects.shutterfly.com/.
How to sign up
Volunteers must be age 14 or older. Volunteers under age 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
When you sign up, please do the following:
- Sign up for every option below that applies to you. Options are presented by days: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. You are welcome to volunteer for as many days as you like. Saturday and Sunday are the days we'll be working on the trail. We also need volunteers at center camp (Woods Creek Park), including in the camp kitchen, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It is important that you sign up for each day you plan to volunteer.
- We buy and prepare food for breakfast and lunch (provided on both Saturday and Sunday) based on the number of people who sign up to volunteer on each of those days.
- We buy and prepare food for Saturday's dinner based on the number of people who sign up for the dinner option.
- We plan the number of V-O-Cal certified crew leaders to supervise the trail work (and the number and type of tools) based on number of people who sign up for trail work on Saturday and Sunday.
- Tell us your preferred T-shirt gender and size as part of the registration process. (You'll be asked these things on the same page where you provide your contact information.) If you register early enough, we will try to get you your preferred T-shirt gender and size as a memento of the project. Because of the way SignUpGenius works, it turns out we most clearly receive your T-shirt preferences if each volunteer signs up separately (i.e., under her or his own name), so we ask that you do that; it appears multiple people can sign up using the same e-mail account. Please let us know if you have any questions about or issues with this process. (There is no requirement to wear the T-shirt on the project weekend; it is simply a gift to thank you for volunteering.)
What comes next?
After you register, updates will be communicated to you largely through this Web site. Stay tuned for a fact sheet (really, a fact booklet) that will provide even more detail about what to expect of the project weekend (e.g., the specific schedule, what we recommend you wear and bring with you).
Thank you for planning to be part of this project!