The maintenance of our trails is one of our never-ending tasks in the reserve.
When we started building the steps on our trails a couple of years ago, we first used guadua, a native bamboo, which is very common in our reserve and grows pretty quickly. But as quick as it grows it also rots very fast and we had to replace the steps already after just 1,5 years. Next we used wood from fallen trees and leftovers from neighbors to replace those steps. They lasted a bit longer, but now after 3 years those steps are also rotting and every once and a while one breaks a step on the way down to the river. Therefore we decided to invest a bit of money into our trails (1200 €) and bought a truck load of pambil wood. Pambil is a common palm tree in Ecuador which is widely used for construction work and known for its durability. An uncle of Wilo had a few of those trees growing on a cattle field and sold them to us. We have seen 10 year old pambil wood steps in another reserve and we hope it will at least last that long on our trails, too.
So now every once in a while we have to carry the pambil wood to different spots in the forest to replace steps. It’s a tough work as the wood is quite heavy, but with the help of our volunteers and interns we have already started rebuilding a lot of steps. It will probably still take a few months until the steps have all been replaced, but then hopefully the never-ending work will be delayed for some years.
Thanks to your donation on betterplace.org to help financing the improvement of our trails!
Photo credits: Sebastian Mora Mora & Dominik Kirschner