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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Volunteers come together to clean trails

  • The hiking trails around Heber Springs were a flurry of activity on Saturday as over 120 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided about 500 hours in service on trail maintenance and improvements.
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  • The hiking trails around Heber Springs were a flurry of activity on Saturday as over 120 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided about 500 hours in service on trail maintenance and improvements.
     
    Volunteers assembled and installed two large footbridges, cut roots and branches, spread gravel, and placed rocks over wet areas on trails at Sugarloaf Mountain.  Near the fairgrounds, part of a new Wildlife Trail extension in the Greers Ferry Lake Trail system was blazed with chainsaws for approximately ¼ mile along the old Missouri North Arkansas railroad bed.
     
    The volunteers included men, women, children, and teens ranging in age from two to eighty from congregations at Quitman, Searcy, Batesville, Mountain View, Jacksonville, Jonesboro, and Paragould in the Searcy Stake.  Stake President Bruce Berkheimer said “We encourage members to give service in the community and to be mindful of and help those in need as Christ did.”
     
    Sarah Morriss of the Mountain View Branch who volunteered along with her husband and three children remarked, “This was a fun adventure for our family to spend time serving together in God’s beautiful creation.  We appreciate opportunities to show our children that serving makes us happy.”
     
    A special Day of Service is scheduled annually in April by LDS Church stakes all across the southeastern U.S. to perform large service projects.  The service project was coordinated by Searcy Stake leaders Shawn Oliver of Heber Springs and Ed Barrick of Searcy in consultation with the Sugarloaf Heritage Council and the Greers Ferry Lake Trail Council.
     
    Frank Barton, president and co-founder of Sugarloaf Heritage Council said “Your members are absolutely amazing. They always deliver more than they promise.”  He added, “It was a marvelous work and a wonder.” What the council estimated would take about two years to complete is now useable six months from the start date thanks to the volunteer efforts of council members, local volunteers, and the church service project. Barton also recognized the support of leaders from the city, county, and ASU-Heber Springs since the Council’s inception in 2007.
     
    Frank Wimberley, president and founder of the Greers Ferry Lake Trail Council, said, “We are very appreciative of the work done by the large group of church volunteers who finished in four hours what would have taken us most of the summer on the new trail.”
     
    Lunch was provided by the Sugarloaf Heritage Council and served by volunteers from the organization.

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