The pandemic has forced many ACR programs to ‘go virtual’ over the past year, but preserve stewardship is an in-person and on-the-land endeavor.

Understanding the need for ongoing boots-on-the-ground support and with a generous spirit, Justin Dierkhising, owner of Justin Dierkhising Construction Management Services of Petaluma and an ACR Business Partner, saw an opportunity.

In partnership with Martin Griffin Preserve staff and with a team of hardworking volunteers, Justin envisioned, designed and built two new trail bridges that cross creeks on ACR’s Martin Griffin Preserve.  The existing bridges were old and no longer safe for the many hikers, volunteers and school groups that use the structures on a trail called the Zumie Loop, which winds through a tranquil redwood forest.

Generously, Justin underwrote all costs, donated his design and construction time, worked with a pro-bono engineer who ensured the bridges’ safety, and even borrowed an ATV from ranch-owner friend.  

 

Justin has significant experience managing the construction of many restaurants, medical buildings and commercial spaces throughout the Bay Area, including the West (Sonoma) County Health Centers’ new 10,000-square-foot medical office building in Guerneville.

“I just wanted to build a trail bridge…something in nature. Something my family and I could walk over and visit many times in the future,” says Justin of his vision. “I’m thrilled at the result and so glad the preserve team is, too.”

Community spirit is at the heart of Justin’s project. “I knew my friend’s son Peter Canale was looking for an Eagle Scout project. He did a great job, as did his troop,” said Justin of Troop 74 Petaluma.

Over eight consecutive weekends, Justin, Peter, and friends and family (adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols) hauled in materials and constructed the two new bridges on-site and by hand.

The timing couldn’t have been better: just a week after the bridges’ final completion in mid-October, the preserve—like much of the Bay Area—witnessed substantial rainfall. “They survived the Atmospheric River!” exclaimed Land Steward Steve Trivelpiece upon visiting the bridges at storms-end.

Staff awaits the day when school groups and hikers return to the preserve and cross the bridges, perhaps stopping for snack on the steps or a quiet moment of reflection in the redwood canyon.

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Learn more about Justin Dierkhising Constructions Management Services >