September 9, 2002 - Logan Utah Herald Hournal: Thailand RPCV Saundra Schimmelpfennig works to improve Logan park

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 09 September 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: September 9, 2002 - Logan Utah Herald Hournal: Thailand RPCV Saundra Schimmelpfennig works to improve Logan park

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Thailand RPCV Saundra Schimmelpfennig works to improve Logan park

Read and comment on this story from the Logan Utah Herald Hournal on Thailand RPCV Saundra Schimmelpfennig who works to improve Stewart Park shown in the photo above in Logan Utah at:

Nature enthusiast works to improve Logan park*

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Nature enthusiast works to improve Logan park

Holli Weiss
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Saundra Schimmelpfennig has been busy for the last 10 years cleaning up rivers, restoring parks and planting native grasses.

In 1991 she coordinated the Jordan River clean-up. From 1993 to 1996 she worked to restore and beautify Denzil Stewart Nature Park in Logan and in 1999 she worked on the Hubbell Trading Post wash restoration project in Arizona.

After a stint in Thailand with the Peace Corps and working as a teacher on Navajo and Hopi reservations, Schimmelpfennig returned to Logan two months ago to work with the Utah Conservation Corps.

The Logan native, who has lived in the valley off and on throughout her life, has returned to focus her attention once again on the Denzil Stewart Nature Park at 100 S. 700 East.

“This is the only urban native park we have in the valley,” said Schimmelpfennig. “With the city building up, there aren’t a lot of these little areas left.”

In an effort to attract more visitors to the nature park, Schimmelpfennig and the Utah Conservation Corps are inviting valley residents to spend “Saturdays at Stewart’s.”

“We’re going to combine education and hands-on activities so hopefully visitors will take skills home and do it in their own backyard,” she said.

The program, which will be held every first and third Saturday of the month, will enlist the help of visitors to clean, beautify and preserve the park while learning ways to make an everyday backyard more unique. The first session’s activities were rained out on Saturday, but have been rescheduled for Sept. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. Activities include putting the finishing touches on a small amphitheater, weeding and watering the native grasses and plants, cleaning the trail signs and picking up litter will be followed by music and a picnic for all who would like to pitch in.

Future activities include a presentation from the Utah Native Plant Society on how to plant native vegetation to attract butterflies, low water and irrigation techniques and identifying common weeds.

Schimmelpfennig added that sections of the park are being “adopted out” to people or groups who would be interested in planting native grasses and vegetation in a specific area of the park. The Cache Valley Learning Center has adopted the part of land off of one side of the bridge leading into the park, she said. So far she has gotten support for activities from the Cache Valley Nature Plant Society and some supplies for activities have come from the city, she said.

A lot of work has been put into the park since it was first given to the city in 1975, said Schimmelpfennig. Denzil Stewart, a resident who owned the land before he moved to California, donated it with the stipulation the land would remain undeveloped. The Bridgerland Audubon Society worked with the city to build a bridge over the river to give access to the park. Since then a kiosk has been put in and an amphitheater is in the final stages.

Schimmelpfennig said the park is a popular area for the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to walk the trails and learn about the native vegetation. The park offers trails, access to the river and a quiet environment for visitors to enjoy, she said.

“Originally the park was just being preserved as a natural area,” said Schimmelpfennig. “But we also want to use the 4.2 acres as an educational area.”

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