On Earth Day, April 22nd, Chris and I lead our National Park Trust stewardship-based outing in collaboration with our Environmental Science Club (ESC) to do a trail cleanup/maintenance at Burritt on the Mountain. 

We lead a total of 15 students to participate in this event through our partnerships with the National Park Trust, HBCUs Outside, ESC, and our fraternities and sororities on campus. When we arrived at Burritt on the Mountain, we were greeted by their Volunteer Team Manager, Laura. She gave us a brief history lesson on Burritt and how it was donated to the City of Huntsville by the doctor who once lived there. With a newfound appreciation for the area’s heritage, we set off towards the trail we would be revitalizing. 

We were given gloves, shovels, rakes, sheers, and other essential equipment. We removed a lot of Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), an invasive species that had taken over the edges on both sides of the trail. Additionally, we addressed safety concerns by removing large rocks and fallen trees that posed tripping hazards. Any litter we encountered was promptly disposed of, ensuring the trail remained clean for all to enjoy.

This Earth Day outing was truly eventful, it allowed us to connect with other students on campus, and learn about the history of Burritt and its history to Huntsville’s local community. Through the connections we created during the event, with volunteers and each other, we realized that Burritt on the Mountain is a place to continue our environmental advocacy. We’re excited to continue our work there, inviting more students to join us in the mission to conserve and cherish this treasured Huntsville location.