North San Juan Early Head Start families walk trail, raise funds |

North San Juan Early Head Start families walk trail, raise funds

North San Juan Early Headstart members strolling the South Yuba River Independance Trail on October 13, to raise money for their programs.
Submitted to The Union |

North San Juan Early Head Start program members enjoyed the sights and sounds of the South Yuba River Independence Trail Monday, walking the west side of the park trailhead, a pathway dating back to the county’s Gold Rush era.

Around 20 parents and children as young as four months old completed the trail as a pledge for more than $200 in donations they raised to fund Early Head Start programs of their choice.

“They picked to do the Independence Trail because it represents some of their values,” program manager Stormy Nelson said. “In our area, nature is tied with discovery and on Columbus Day that fit well. So it was about their quest for independence in education and their values. So they felt that was more valuable then a trike-a-thon, and they would be better served to take them on a hike through nature.”

The stroll-a-thon, which went from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, allowed parents and their children to enjoy a day with other Early Head Start members at a treasured local trail.

The Independence Trail, originally built during the 1860s as a 17-mile ditch owned by the Excelsior Ditch and Canal Co., carried water for mining operations from the Yuba River to China Ditch near present day Lake Wildwood and Smartsville.

The ditch was only in operation 25 years for mining purposes before it was turned into an irrigation canal for the Nevada Irrigation District, then abandoned again in the 1960s.

Early Head Start member Melanya Gonshorowski brought her two children on the trail and said the walk got her kids out and active, and gave her and other parents some much needed exercise.

“It was awesome,” Gonshorowski said. “We timed it around their naps. We brought extra strollers, and we all got to fit into the carriage my dad refinished. It’s a big trail for them even though it was easy for us. We live in the woods already so we really value nature. We could have chosen to go up to the trailer park or onto the pavement but I wanted to take people out to the trail we often drive by on our way to town.”

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email or call 530-477-4236.

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