Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bud Light-Do Good. Have Fun at Pinnacle Mountain State Park

At a recent Arkansas River Trail task Force meeting, Pinnacle Mountain State Park superintendent Ron Sallee mentioned a volunteer event sponsored by Bud Light. I envisioned the typical "pick up some litter and eat" event, which is certainly not a bad thing, but what I found when I did a ride-by on Saturday was far more.
The Pinnacle Visitor Center is a favorite destination for road riders, and a great many more pass through the park along Pinnacle Valley Road and Highway 300, not to mention the popular Jack Fork mountain bike trail, so the park is particularly important to the cycling community.
Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light has teamed with Keep America Beautiful to sponsor 2014 "Do Good. Have Fun" events across the country, and a restoration of Pinnacle Mountain State Park was one of those events.

Bud Light and local distributor Golden Eagle sponsored the park restoration.
Volunteer registration and lunch took place near the launch ramp below the Pinnacle Visitor Center.
 I mildly chastised the half-dozen folks at the registration desk/ party site for not working hard, but was told that they had already registered 75-80 volunteers and had dispatched them to between 20 and 25 projects around the park. A good morning's work, ladies!

Nope, not a CD cover. This crew was clearing debris and trimming back the brush along the Jack Fork Trail.

I'll admit that I've never seen speed limit signs being washed, but these young women were getting it done! Attention to such details can make the park really shine.

I was surprised by the extent of the work being done. The volunteers even painted the Visitor Center!!

This event had to have saved the Park some maintenance dollars, and likely accomplished things that would never have hit the budget.
Thanks go out to the volunteers and to all of the sponsors of this program. Sure, the volunteers got a lunch and a beer our of the deal, but us park users are the real winners.
Its location in highly populated Central Arkansas and the variety of activities available make Pinnacle Mountain State Park a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. This volunteer-powered makeover will enhance the experience of all of those many park visitors.  
Since I've been writing in this space and taking part in various committees and advocacy efforts, one thing comes through again and again--there are a lot of people out there who donate their time, talent, energy, and money to make things better for the rest of us. While various governmental agencies and taxpayer funded initiatives provide much of the infrastructure that we enjoy, volunteers on committees and work crews often drive the projects and policies, do the trail work, pick up the litter, and raise the money to keep things moving and in good working order.
Thanks again, folks. Good work.

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