Duke on deadline:
Volunteers and a miracle

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Kevin Duke

Photos by Kevin Duke and Chuck Hill


It's the season for giving and I was reminded once again this week of that spirit in Green Valley.

I was out at Canoa Preserve Park Wednesday, to do the story about the construction of the new fitness trail at the park. For yet another project in GV, it's the volunteers who get things done. They were busy Wednesday, going out of their way and donating their time to improve the park and the quality of life in our community. Raking and smoothing the new trail, flagging the path and marking and trimming trees, the folks out there will be invaluable in getting the new trail done.


Tom Hausam (left) and Bill Adamson trim some of the trees back from the path for the new exercise and biking trail at Canoa Preserve Park, expected to be completed by spring.

Mark Flint, trails program coordinator for Pima County, estimated that our volunteers will put in hundreds of total man hours by the time the trail is completed in the spring. Those hours will be well spent, with the trail a permanent legacy to the volunteer spirit for those that call Green Valley home in future generations.

Some of them I've met before. Chuck Hill and Bill Adamson are well-known in the cycling circle here, having tirelessly worked (again on a volunteer basis) with the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee. They've built bike lanes, printed maps, helped to establish new trails and generally made it safer for cyclists throughout the area. They are masters of publicity for the organization, always keeping me updated with the latest developments in the Green Valley cycling scene.

It was Hill that called me to get out to the park while the work was going on Wednesday. I'm sure once it's completed, they'll be some of the first to try it out. Here's to them and all the volunteers in GV.

A Christmas story

Adamson went above and beyond the call of duty that day, meeting me at the parking lot and taking me in his four-wheel drive out to where they were working on the trail. Not once but twice. You see, once I got back to the office from the park, I realized that my digital voice recorder, on which I record every interview for all my stories, was nowhere to be found.

I checked my camera bag, my car, turned my desk upside down nothing. A call to Adamson and his wife prompted a search of his truck nope. There was only one possibility left. I had somehow dropped it out in the desert.

Knowing that my car would have a tough time getting to where we were along the new trail, Adamson immediately offered to meet me back out there, and drive me out to find a needle in a haystack, a little black recorder in the sands of Southern Arizona. It didn't look good when we arrived, as areas where we had walked where now under three feet of freshly plowed earth. We began trying to retrace our steps from that morning, with the reality beginning to set in that I was probably out of luck. But lo and behold, about 15 feet away from the newly graded path, there it was, sitting right where I had set the camera bag down three hours before.

"Look, look, it's a Christmas miracle!" I exclaimed in disbelief. "You can go home and tell your wife you did your good deed for the day." Like I said above and beyond. Thanks Bill, you're a lifesaver. Merry Christmas everyone!


Volunteers Dorie Carroll (left), Bob Epstein, Tom Hausam, Gale VanHoorn and Bill Adamson get their instructions for trail work Tuesday from Steve Anderson, Pima County Parks and Recreation Planning Manager.