The Fail Trails --- Why Intent is NOT always enough

Great Tools combined with Intent (power) do NOT always equal great Results

Case in Point: Pepper Spray at UC Davis
imageThey had a tool (pepper spray), they had power (which they mis-construed as intent) and as we all know the results were not as expected.
The officers in charge, the UC school system and notably the dean of UC Davis have ended up in a bunch of slippery muck.

Case in Point: Fail Trails at Soaring Eagle Park
imageMuch like the people that will try to use the trails at Soaring Eagle Park will be when they bear the brunt of these great tools (rakes and mattocks) combined with power (which they misconstrued as intent) combined with free labor and a gaggle of neer-do-wells and the result will not likely be what they expected. They too will end up in a bunch of slippery muck.

What the trails SHOULD look like
What they ACTUALLY look like (post raking)
Snug and Smug in their Snuggies
While these Neer-do-Wells are Snug & Smug in their Snuggies this Winter the real trail users will be dealing with the mess they created.
imageInstead of seeing orange tinted evidence of their ill-fated efforts (like the UC Davis Pepper Spraying cops). All they will see is chocolate brown because they (these neer-do-wells) raked all the orange leaves off the trail.
My Hopes for the Neer-do-Wells
My hope - they never return
My sub-hope: they do return to see the damage they have wrought ... After it has rained for a few days.

My assumption is that they actually want people to use the trails.
Contrarian View: It's possible this is not their intent.
I hope these neer-do-wells see the fallacy in their thinking. They are not helping the trails. In fact, they are doing irreparable harm. Mud and muck will accumulate on the trails … and on peoples clothes. People will avoid these trails and perhaps create bypasses to get around the “work” these neer-do-wells did.
  • My recommendation for the trails: Leave the leaves in place. They are part of the natural process of decomposition and part of the experience of enjoying the trails and enjoying nature.
  • My suggestion for future activities by the neer-do-wells: Go to your local hardware (at least they can do some good by shopping local) and buy a bunch of brooms. Then head over to the Burke-Gilman trail and start sweeping. People walking, running and riding bikes on those trails appreciate a nice clean surface. Help them!
Image Credits: Business Insider, Ward Productions


Arnie said…
Jeff - I volunteered on the WTA work party on Grand Ridge today and it turns out one of the employees of King County parks was the one that used a leaf blower on the Soaring Eagle trails. He said that the theory is that while leaving the leaves on the trail may have some very short term benefits, the conventional wisdom is to clear the trails so that the mud underneath can dry out more quickly. In addition, when the leaves start to de-compose, they create a layer of decomposing compost that creates more mud and seals moisture under the leaves...

No idea which theory is correct - just passing along the explanation from the "do gooder"...