EPCAMR has filled the last of it’s three seasonal temporary outdoor field positions to assist one of our partners, the Earth Conservancy, with maintaining signage, clearing brush, spray painting existing trail markings of various levels of difficulty with different colored spray paint on several publicly accessible trails in the Wyoming Valley over the next month or two. Coordination will be provided by the EC and EPCAMR Staff at the trail locations as to the direction and pre-existing conditions of the low-impact trails and more heavily used vehicle trails.
Simon Wrubel Jr., from Nanticoke, PA is another one of those seasonal Trail Markers that has been hired by EPCAMR this week to work with the other Staff on the trails. Simon is very familiar with maintenance work, landscaping, and building and grounds maintenance. He works at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in the Maintenance Department and is responsible for performing routine maintenance and preventative maintenance on the airport terminal building, airplane hangars, firehouse, and parking garage. He takes care of lawn care, snow removal, concrete/pavement work on approximately 800 acres of land. His past work experience includes work as a Maintenance Technician for the Children’s Service Center, Wilkes-Barre, and as a Maintenance Supervisor for Freeland Village Associates, Freeland, PA and many other maintenance related jobs in the region.
Simon is an active Interior Firefighter for the Nanticoke Fire Department and has been working for them since August of 2005. He knows the southern part of the Wyoming Valley like the back of his hand and has been on many calls to these lands in his career. His knowledge of the local area and familiarity with people who may be on the trails at the same time should prove helpful should the Trail Markers run into anyone or any suspicious activities while they are conducting the trail maintenance.
Simon also has been a volunteer coach for the Nanticoke Junior Trojans Mini-Football Team along with EPCAMR’s Executive Director, Robert E. Hughes, for many years. His son and Robert’s son, has played on the same team since they were 7 years old.
He’ll be joined by Elizabeth Rosser, EPCAMR’s Watershed Outreach Specialist Intern, and Gabby Zawacki, EPCAMR Trail Marker, and former Community Outreach Coordinator Intern, in the field.
Robert stated, “He came in at 9am on Tuesday morning, went through the interview process, and by 11am, he was meeting the other EPCAMR Staff in Mocanaqua, PA to hit the trails for a few hours to get off to a good start.” I’ve known Simon for nearly 10 years and found him to be a very reliable friend, someone who puts his community first, and just being a firefighter alone, aside from his other jobs, tells me a lot about his character. He puts his life on the line everyday when the fire bell rings. I’m glad to have someone with his integrity on the EPCAMR Staff, even if it’s only for this seasonal job. He’s a great guy who is already getting along real well with the other Staff in the field.”
EPCAMR wants our Seasonal Trail Markers to be very careful of the steep ridges, especially along the Mocanaqua Loop Trail and they should pay specific attention and use caution around wildlife habitats such as possible bear dens and snake areas. EPCAMR expects that pictures will be taken of the trail activities on a daily basis and of natural areas, scenic overlooks, and various points of interest or plants and wildlife along the trails. The EPCAMR Trail Markers will be wearing appropriate clothes and shoes/hiking boots and socks be worn for any trail hiking and will be prepared for quick changes in weather by bringing rain gear, if necessary. Hydration and energy are also keys to successful hiking. The trails to be marked are as follows on maps that will be provided:
The Mocanaqua Loop Trails
- Emergency Access Route
- Green Loop (8 miles)
- Blue Loop (7 miles)
- Brown Loop (6 miles)
- Orange Loop (2 miles)
The Sugar Notch Trails
1. Ridgetop Trail (3.06 miles)
2. Park Access Trail (0.64 miles)
The Penobscot Ridge Mountain Bike Trail (1.6 miles)
Trail Descriptions and links to the maps from the Earth Conservancy website
http://earthconservancy.org/Moc_Loop_Map.jpg (Mocanaqua Loop Trails Map)
http://earthconservancy.org/Sugar_Notch_Map.jpg (Sugar Notch Trails Map)
http://earthconservancy.org/Penobscot_Map.jpg (Penobscot Ridge Mountain Bike Trail Map)