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SAWS Hosts University of Illinois for Alternative Fall Break

Students from the University of Illinois at the Big Snowbird Creek trailhead with trash from a backcountry campsite.

14 students from the University of Illinois Alternative Break program traveled to North Carolina to work with SAWS this past week during Thanksgiving break. They braved the cold to complete two projects on the Cheoah District of the Nantahala National Forest between November 23-26, 2013. The group hiked in 2 miles on the Big Snowbird Creek Trail to haul 10 55-gallon bags of trash from a backcountry campsite in the Snowbird Wilderness Study Area. Additionally, the crew brushed a mile of the Deep Creek Trail in the Joyce Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness. Their contributions as a group totaled over 500 hours of volunteer service towards Wilderness. Here are a few highlights students shared:

A few biology students show off a bird's nest found on the trail.

"Learning and working in the outdoors, interacting with the leaders, and lopping."

"I enjoyed hearing the vast amount of service your organization provides, along with how much the Wilderness means to you. Getting to hike the trails and see first hand while making an impact was great."

"I enjoyed the educational aspect during our work. I thought it made our work a lot more meaningful when it was put within a context."

"Hearing real life examples from speakers about environmental issues and work that's being done."

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