'Volunteers like Bill are one in a million': Meet the man maintaining Mount Pisgah trails
EUGENE, Ore. - Bill Montgomery quietly goes about his work at the park he loves the most.
"It ends up being a pretty good workout," he says, shoveling gravel onto the trail.
Whether they know it or not, hikers at Buford Park and Mount Pisgah Arboretum enjoy Montgomery's handiwork with each step.
"The main reason I do this is so that people can come out and enjoy this park," he said.
Montgomery is a volunteer's volunteer. After 20 years of doing projects with the Friends of Buford Park, he turned his attention six years ago to the trail system at Mount Pisgah.
The trails needed his help.
"Improving the trail allows a lot more people and a greater variety of people, older-younger, to enjoy it," he said.
Montgomery teamed up with county crews last year when they restored trail number 4 up the east side of the mountain.
He feels the project was one of the best.
And there's a lot of competition: Over the last 6 years, Montgomery estimates he has put in 4,000 volunteer hours working on the trails.
"I don't tend to look at it except at the end of the year because otherwise I go: What am I doing?" he said.
What he is doing is work Lane County doesn't have the budget to do itself. The parks rely on volunteers for maintenance.
And among those volunteers, Montgomery stands out, sayd MIke Russell, the county parks manager.
"Volunteers like Bill are one in a million, and I can't say enough about the work he has done," he said.
Montgomery just hopes it will encourage more hikers to discover the mountain in our backyard.
"I just want more people in the community to realize what a gem we have here," he said.