Florida Trail - Building a Bog Bridge on Nokuse

On the Florida Trail, Choctawhatchee Trail Hog Field Day on March 2, 2010, people worked together then split into teams with various tasks. This video shows four Student Conservation Association (SCA) volunteers building a bog bridge over a muddy deteriorating part of the trail by Magnolia Creek in the Nokuse section. The video above is on YouTube. I'll add QuickTime and Flash versions here. See a few images from the video. See also Student Conservation Association on the Emerald Coast of Florida.

SCA web pages: http://www.thesca.org/. SCA video. Historical video. YouTube page. Facebook page.

People in this video: Wallis Mayo (FTA Choctawhatchee Chapter chair) giving out morning brownie food. Tom Daniel (Choctawhatchee Trail Coordinator/Eglin Section leader) introducing the project and explaining bog bridges. Bob Deckert (Nokuse Section leader) giving specifics of where we are and what is to be done. Trevor Knight (SCA crew leader) appears but didn't work on the bog bridge. Allyson Buccanero (SCA point person) supervising bog bridge building. John Ellis (SCA) does a lot of drilling and general work. Diana Portner (SCA) does a lot of digging and general work. Alexandra Bacha (SCA) does all the chain saw cutting plus carrying wood. Halley Brus (SCA) had to go to the airport. Caroling of wholeo.net behind the video camera causes laughs whenever she's in the way.

Terms: Sill is the bottom crosspiece, installed first and connected with rebar to the ground. Stringers rest on and are bolted down to the sills. A power mower is used for routine maintenance in clearing the trail of plants.

Notes from the day: Gosh young people are so great. I really enjoyed meeting and working with them. No difference between men and women in work. Loved it. I met the group at Forest Oak Rd. north of Hawthorn on Highway 331. The six SCA members played frizbee while we waited for the trail hogs.

I got waypoints of everything except where we took the kiosk, the campsite. I saw the trail sign south of this road. But from here we could walk into the campsite. Actually carrying this huge kiosk on two blue oxes which are large dollys. Got video of that. Then we drove me back to my car, which I drove south on 331 to the Bill Brown Wells Towers road and parked there at the gate. Long truck ride through Nokuse and the Water Management District on the private access road.

When we got to the Magnolia Creek bridge, most of the people helped carry in materials and then turned back. Trevor, Bob and John went to determine how to move a bridge above a beaver dam on another part of the trail. Trevor took Halley to the airport. Wallis, Paul, Tom, and others went back to install the kiosk. I was left with the four SCA workers. It was their first time alone. Decisions to make. I marvelled at their skill, their energy, their cooperation, their toughness. Inspiring. They mostly are college students in between jobs. They sleep in tents at Pine Log State Park. They could be sent anywhere in the US. They will get college stipends for their work.

My feet got wet, guess my boots aren't waterproof anymore. It was raw and cold, I was on the edge of cold several times. I got tired and sat down, even curled up fetally on the ground once. I had to save my batteries on the video camera though. So I ended up taking two tapes.

This view of the Florida National Scenic Trail is from NW Florida, the panhandle. Specifically the bridge is on Magnolia Creek near its junction with Lafayette Creek. It is near to #97 on this Google map. Back to Florida National Scenic Trail views.

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