What we do / Featured projects

Pine Hill Park

  • Location: Rutland
  • Year completed: 2022
  • Project areas: Trails Project
  • Partner: Pine Hill Partnership

In 2022, a crew helped finish the “Maximum Capacity” mountain bike trail.

Mimi Jillella, 2022 Corps Member, has shared her photos and descriptions of her crew’s work at Pine Hill Park. Mimi has worked for three other corps and heard about VYCC from staff at those organizations who have worked with VYCC. Here is what she wants you to see and know!

“Hello! I joined VYCC in June. As a Deaf person, I have worked for other corps on ASL Crews: inclusive crews for members who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and for those who want to learn ASL (American Sign Language). I’m the only Deaf person on this VYCC crew. My crew, VYCC staff, and the project sponsor staff are very accommodating and we are working well together.

My crew’s first project at Pine Hill Park in Rutland took three weeks to complete. We built a new mountain bike trail called Maximum Capacity.

As a crew and together with Pine Hill Park Partnership staff, we built 809 feet of new trail. We worked on a banked turn by building up a large, single-tier rock wall. It was intense! We gathered many bucketfuls of mineral soil and tamped it down to create the inslope.

We spent most of week 2 collecting rocks and dumping dirt on a few more banked turns; as well as cutting trail edges, building french drains and shaping the trail. 

In week 3, we completed the trail which is 2,456 feet long! We used rock bars to remove a mega rock from the inslope of a third banked turn. We all slowly walked on the banked turn to tamp the dirt down until firm.

We joked that the trail looks like the Yellow Brick Road (Wizard of Oz) because the mineral soil is a mix of orange, gold and yellow. But we covered banked turns with leaves to hold the mineral soil in place. 

Finishing the 2,456-foot Maximum Capacity trail was bittersweet.

Nate, one of the Pine Hill Partnership trail staff, has 12 years experience with trail work. He and I are hard of hearing and we used ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate with each other. Everyone was very accommodating to make sure I heard well when they spoke. I taught my crew, VYCC staff, and project partners some ASL. 

I learned so much from our project sponsors. They taught us everything we need to know to build sustainable trails. Plus, they have been so generous! They gave us treats, had a cookout with us, and took us mountain biking!”