Grass roots efforts are changing the landscape

A new effort is underway that is bringing the City of Camas and a Boy Scout troop together. Their goal is to improve the shared-use path that wanders along the south side of Lacamas Lake.

Dubbed the “Heritage Trail Beautification Project,” this partnership will address the heavily used area’s need for ongoing stewardship and maintenance.

Members of Troop 565 have already begun working to improve the trail. This involves invasive species removal, trail widening and general clean-up. The Lacamas Shores Homeowners’ Association has jumped on board with its support, and members, many of whom own homes with views of the lake, will be providing assistance. More help from citizens is also being sought.

A similar type of effort has been taking place on the trails in Lacamas Park for several years. According to an article published earlier this year in the Post-Record, volunteers with the Lacamas Trail Advocacy Group, formed in 2012, has spent hundreds of hours maintaining the trails — from picking up garbage to filling potholes. Inspired by their love of nature, they do it to improve safety for other users and support healthy forests.

These are two examples of grass roots efforts involving people who are passionate about the community and keeping the area’s parks and open spaces pristine. It is the type of effort that city leaders should work to duplicate to improve other areas, a good example being the Camas Cemetery, which has recently received some harsh criticism for its recent lack of overall general upkeep.

These types of public-private partnerships are often successful and should be encouraged because they tap into citizens’ desire to keep their community a wonderful place to live, work and play.