On a crisp overcast late autumn morning I joined many others to help do some trail maintenance on the North Country Trail. The Spirit of the Woods had a big morning planned and since our Great Lakes Hikes annual gathering was happening nearby some of us decided to join them on their project. They also had volunteers from the Ferris State Outdoor Club helping out. The project was to rebuild boardwalk that had been wrecked in a massive treefall and to improve nearby trail making it accessible to people in wheelchairs too. That meant widening existing trail in some places and smoothing it out everywhere. For 3 hours, which seeemed to be the length of the entire project, everyone worked at various tasks and quite a bit seemed to get done. I'm sure the organizers were happy with the results. I know we felt good about the work. That's one big reason why people do this type of thing. To help improve something that others will use and know you have had a tangible effect on the thing in question: that you made a difference. This little video should give you an idea of what it can be like to help in such a project and perhaps you will want to take part in similar projects in your local (or not so local) area.
You can find the photos you saw in the video (along with captions) in this photo album.
You can learn more about the North Country Trail at the trail's Official web site.
A version of this video can also be found on YouTube.