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Ventura County Focus | West County / Ventura County
Focus : OJAI

Volunteers Back to Spruce Up National Forest

April 30, 1998|JASON TAKENOUCHI

They're back.

Barely six months after their organization's last visit, retirees from across the country have returned to volunteer to help clean up Los Padres National Forest in and around Ojai.

The 20 volunteers--who pay $410 to cover tuition, lodging and meals--will repair trails, fix signs and rehabilitate rundown campsites. Their weeklong visit is the second Ojai trip organized by Elderhostel, an international nonprofit organization that provides service opportunities to people 55 years and older.

Forest Recreation Officer Charlie Robinson said the retirees' work is important in keeping campsites and other forest facilities in good order.

"If it weren't for their efforts, a lot of this work would go undone or would be on a much slower schedule," he said.

In addition to performing trail maintenance, the volunteers will make about 10 campsites wheelchair-accessible.

Retirees who took part in the Elderhostel trip in October were the first to make such conversions.

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