Gravel is a gift of gold from Dutra Group

Donation kickstarts retread of ADA section of Shoreline Trail

Making sure that all individuals—including those with mobility disabilities—can enjoy China Camp’s trails is a top priority for Friends of China Camp. So when a stretch of Shoreline Trail designated as compatible with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) specifications got rutted and worn, we launched a major effort this spring to whip it back into shape.

Led by our resident trail boss (and FOCC Board Member) Ed Westbrook, and following specifications supplied by the Accessible Trails Coordinator for California State Parks, a plan for Shoreline Trail was established. Work would focus on the route’s ADA-approved segment, stretching from Back Ranch Meadows Campground to Miwok Meadows. The project would require literally hundreds of tons of potentially costly material for retreading the trail.

Like a good neighbor, Dutra is there

Volunteer Missy Westbrook rakes gravel during Shoreline Trail restoration.

But FOCC Executive Director Martin Lowenstein knew whom to call: Dutra Group, owners and operators of the nearby San Rafael Rock Quarry. Headquartered just outside the east end of the park, Dutra Group already had long served as a supportive neighbor and generous partner, donating gravel for China Camp projects in 2016 and 2019. 

With this year’s request, Aimi Dutra Krause, Dutra’s Director of Community Relations and Governmental Affairs, reiterated her company’s commitment to its partnership with Friends of China Camp. Ms. Krause then greenlit an in-kind donation of 140 tons of gravel for the first phase of the Shoreline Trail project.

Once the Dutra donation was okayed and gravel delivered to the worksite, our volunteer trail maintenance crew started the process of rebuilding the tread to ADA specifications. The crew was well versed in what needed to be done, as many of the volunteers took part in a similar upgrade to our other ADA-approved route, Turtle Back Nature Trail. Work continued for several weeks before efforts halted for the season. The surface of Shoreline Trail has now been restored from the campground to Bridge 4, on the way to Miwok Meadows. The surface has “cured” (hardened) sufficiently to be used safely by everyone from mountain bikers to visitors in wheelchairs.

Friends of China Camp thanks Aimi Dutra Krause and her team at Dutra Group and the quarry for their steadfast generosity and support of our efforts to keep the park an inviting and accessible destination for all.—reported by FOCC Executive Director Martin Lowenstein


Photos: joyce abrams, harriot manley