By GAY JERVEY
Special to the News
Last weekend’s work party at the Hook should make the area look terrific this spring.
AmeriCorps teams were superb Thursday and Friday, building six new ramps on both sides of the Hook prism. Your Rental Center in Hood River (thanks, Jesse!) and Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association volunteer operator/landscaper Steve Alford donated the use of a track hoe, which helped make all of the ramps possible.
In addition, Bill Hanel loaded and donated three huge trailer loads of nice, aged manure/compost for the tree and shrub planting. The Mosier group brought mulch, cuttings, seeds and manpower, and the project got done.
Ken and Linda Maddox were real heroes all three days as CGWA site representatives, while CGWA Executive Director Diane Barkhimer provided the brains behind the operation. Also, the Port of Hood River (Dave Harlan and Joe Pounder) donated 32 mature trees that were planted, and also helped pick up weeds and trash along the way.
MacKenzie Winchel, AmeriCorps member and landscape designer, staked the ramps and tree locations. She spent hours planning and staking the site ahead of time to make the process efficient. And, of course, prior volunteer work parties over the years had established the ramp areas and rigging sites that make setting up so much more pleasant.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Hook, it is a premier learning area for children wanting to master windsurfing. In summer, on even slightly windy day,s it is packed with cars and families helping their kids learn this demanding and exciting sport.
It serves local residents, but also kids from all over the world, whose families come to Hood River for recreation. The Hook is probably the best venue for beginner windsurfers in North America.
Neophyte kite sailors can also use the site, as it offers a safe launch area separate from the main Hood River Port windsurfing area to the east. In addition, on non-windy days, the Hook is a superb birding site. The Columbia Gorge Audubon Society may want to take note and add the Hook to its list of Oregon birding sites.
After March, it will be necessary to bucket-water the 32 trees – perhaps the users can handle this challenge during 2003. After the first year, the trees should be able to make it on their own.