First Ten-Mile Stewards Day a Great Success

November 30, 2020

On a sunny November day, 12 brave volunteers became the founding members of the Ten Mile Stewards team. They arrived at the Old Smith Ranch Trail ready to start their Saturday with some hard work! However, their first task was to take care of some donuts from Drop In Donut and sip hot beverages.


After they got through that tough ordeal, they got to the real work of the day. A few volunteers diligently removed stray bits of trash, while others pruned vegetation in the picnic area at the viewpoint, re-revealing the beautiful view of Ten Mile dunes. Later, volunteers hiked part of the beautiful 2.1-mile trail, pruning back willow and tan oak as they walked. Other volunteers focused on removing invasive plants like bull thistle, French broom, pampas grass, and non-native blackberry. A task of great honor was oiling Betty’s Bench, which was dedicated in July to honor longtime Mendocino Land Trust volunteer and supporter Betty Stechmeyer.


The folks who generously spent their Saturday helping the land included several dedicated volunteers:  Pat, Chuck, Lynne, Mark, and Art. A few first-time volunteers joined the efforts as well. Mendocino Land Trust board members Richard Shoemaker, Chet Anderson, and Megan Smithyman were also part of the hard-working crew.


The Old Smith Ranch Trail opened in July, and it provides safe public access along the South Bank of the Ten Mile River. The trail is part of a much larger project still underway to permanently protect the 1,309-acre Smith Ranch. This property includes important wildlife habitat: coniferous forests, riparian woodlands, shrublands, sand dunes and brackish marsh. All of these habitats provide safe harbor  to endangered and threatened wildlife and plant species, including tidewater goby, coho salmon, steelhead trout, Point Reyes horkelia, and Howell’s spineflower.


Much thanks to these volunteers for being founding members of the Ten Mile Stewards team!


Want to join the team? It will meet the third Saturday of every month. Mark Dec. 19, 2020 and Jan. 16, 2021 on your calendar, and contact Mendocino Land Trust’s Volunteer Coordinator Monika Richardson at or (707) 962-0470 to ensure you get all the details and updates.  This important effort depends on community volunteers like you!