Dick Monahan remembered on Bennington Lake trail

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Park ranger Jeremy Nguyen Saturday affixes the label designating the trail section at Bennington Lake being adopted by the family and friends of Dick Monahan, a Walla Walla native who regularly walked the trail.

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Led by Mike Hood, Mike Monahan and Troy Robinson, with son Boyer Robinson in stroller, friends and family of Dick Monahan set off on a litter patrol along the Bennington Lake trail adopted in his name. The Saturday dedication marked the first official adoption under a new program started by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

BENNINGTON LAKE -- A new adopt-a-trail program had a distinguished name affixed to its first enrollee Saturday.

Family and friends of R.F. "Dick" Monahan gathered at Bennington Lake to dedicate a section of the trail system in memory of Monahan, a local attorney, civic leader and nationally recognized horse-race promoter who died in December.

The group is one of the first to take part in the new adopt-a-trail program for the trail system running around Bennington Lake, Mill Creek Dam and Rooks Park, which is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Park Ranger Jeremy Nguyen said that the program has also gained its first corporate sponsor, the Walla Walla YMCA, which will have members doing litter patrols along the Meadowlark Trail. Another private party who wished to remain anonymous has adopted a section of the Whitetail Trail, a gravel path that runs along the lake's eastern side.

"Dick would have loved this, he was the grand guru of the trail," said Monahan's widow, Brenda Monahan, who was among the large group of relatives and friends at the trailhead Saturday.

People who adopt a trail volunteer to walk their section of trail once a month between April and October to pick up litter and mark hazards, Nguyen said. The Corps provides volunteers with litter pick-up sticks, trash bags, gloves and other equipment along with an inspection sheet to note anything that needs the attention of park staff. Patrols are reduced in the fall and winter to a single patrol a month in December and February.

Nguyen said anyone who would like to volunteer to adopt a trail section can contact the Mill Creek Project office at 527-7160 or call him at 527-7165.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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