Tree Grubbing, that is!
Saturday felt like an elementary school field trip, in a completely great way. 30 students from our campus’ residence life boarded vans and drove to the beautiful Sedona, AZ. Specifically, Slide Rock State Park.
My roommate and I signed up for this community service project, not knowing that serious manual labor was in store for us! We were told that we would be helping the rangers with the park, and to wear tennis shoes and shorts. First we learned about the history behind the park, which is mainly just known as a natural water “slide” in the gorgeous red mountains.
But the water in this tourist attraction exists because of the original settlers, the Pendley’s, who created the water flow as an irrigation system for their fruit orchards, which we would be working on.
Baby apple trees are planted each year from clones of Mr. Pendley’s originals. They are enclosed in little cages, which had been completely overrun by weeds. Our group split up into pairs and dug up all of the weeds, re-covering the cage with mulch. It wasn’t glamorous, that’s for sure. (Did anyone else ever have to pull weeds as a punishment when they were younger? Guess that finally came in handy.)
After a couple of hours of working on the baby orchards, we had free time to picnic and explore the creek. My roommate and I packed these little “GoPicnic” lunch boxes we had found at Target, and it only added to the elementary feel of the day.
I didn’t realize I had picked the Gluten-Free box, but everything was pretty good. The trip leaders had provided snacks, a selection of donuts, oreos, chips ahoy and cheetos so I was glad we already packed our own healthier alternatives. Apple slices, multigrain crackers, sunflower butter. We were just happy to sit in some shade and relax after a little more manual labor than we had bargained for. We really just wanted to get down to the water though! It had been pretty sunny and warm, and look at how beautiful this creek is:
All in all a rewarding experience. You can’t go wrong with a day in the sun and water.