Every week, Rick McGarrity and Helen Ogden trek down highway 1 to rugged Garrapata State Park. They visit eight trailheads (or gates) to pick up trash, clean graffiti, pull invasive weeds, and generally care for each site. “Nothing clears the mind better than working outdoors, especially in a beautiful place like Garrapata,” says Rick. They report their work and observations in a weekly “Garrapata Gazette,” relaying invaluable information about trail conditions and invasive weeds to parks staff. In the last year, Helen and Rick have been joined by Paula Donnelly and Stephanie Pastor, who’ve adopted several gates of their own. Together, the “Garrapata Gatekeepers” have brought weekly attention to an astounding 16 out of 21 gates in the park, improving the park for visitors as well as the plants and animals that call it home.
Join the Garrapata Gatekeepers on the 4th Tuesday of every month for a public volunteer day.
Email: Volunteer.Monterey@parks.ca.gov for more information.
California State Parks: Monterey District