Work Party Report – Spring Cleanup at the South Cle Elum Railyard

Work Party Report
Spring Cleanup at the South Cle Elum Railyard

On Friday, April 23, volunteers and State Parks personal worked together at a spring cleanup of the site of the rail yard, the interior of the substation and the historic depot. Volunteers from the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons & Riders, the horse group with is active in riding and maintaining the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, Cascade Rail Foundation volunteers, and personal from Lake Easton State Park all joined forces for a spring cleanup and doing something green to commemorate Earth Day as well.

We had an excellent turnout with Doug Schmitt, Sharon Schmitt, Nicole Schmitt, Zachary Schmitt, Terry Wade, Judy Westall, Ray Ewing and John Lidral from the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons & Riders. Representing State Parks was Ranger Tim Schmitt and Josh White, equipment operator from Lake Easton State Park. Cascade Rail Foundation volunteers included Mark Borleske and Bruce Reason.

The electric substation needed cleanup and Tim Schmidt and volunteers worked on organizing, consolidating and sorting material in the substation. This is in preparation of anticipated rehabilitation and renovation of the substation building by contractors.

Meanwhile, outside in the rail yard, John Lidral was busy operating his track hoe, cleaning out brush and debris from the rail yard and loading it into a dump truck provided by State Parks and driven by Josh White. By the end of the day, the dump truck carried seven loads of organic clean and green material for composting, a total of 11,940 pounds of material, nearly six tons! A load of debris weighing 1440 pounds was also taken to the transfer station.

Ray Ewing performed his chainsaw magic to trim back trees encroaching on the trail and manicuring other trees in the rail yard. Judy Westall, Terry Wade and John Lidral joined him in transplanting some eight trees to serve as a windbreak and a natural border between public and private property.

Meanwhile, members of the Schmitt family for their work on the Easton shack, with the substation cleanup and the overall cleanup out in the rail yard. The Easton Telephone shack, located on the right of way at the far west end of the yard, received some light maintenance and a damaged window frame was repaired and painted.

Bruce reason, president of Cascade Rail Foundation, was busy during the day, cleaning, painting and preparing the exterior of the depot for painting.

This was a most successful work party and a good way to celebrate Earth Day, perform a Spring Cleaning and continue to improve the grounds in anticipation of the John Wayne Pioneer Wagons & Riders annual ride. This year the John Wayne group will overnight at the west end of the railyard on Saturday, May 22 and ride out on Sunday, May 23. The Cle Elum stop is always a special and memorable event on the annual two-week cross state ride with the John Wayners.

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