Flagstaff Community Labyrinth is the trail steward for the half-mile segment of the Sinclair Wash Trail that starts at Lone Tree Road, continues eastward past the labyrinth, and ends a few hundred yards down canyon. Trail cleanup usually takes place 10AM till noon on the first Saturday of even-numbered months (February, April, June, August, October, and December). Cancellations or rescheduling might be noted here.
If you want to help, bring work gloves and a trash grabber (if you have one). An organizer will bring plastic bags for recyclables and trash. It is an opportunity to act on your love for the land, the labyrinth, our community, and our wonderful trail system. Better yet, contact the City sustainability office and volunteer to be the steward for a section of the FUTS that needs a steward! Or even better yet, starting May 2022 City Sustainability website will let you become a Stream Steward for a segment of a wash.
In this photo, a spring flood covers our trail segment. Floods deposit more trash than they remove.
Other "trash" - old bricks near the labyrinth
You will find lots of old bricks near the labyrinth. Many of the bricks have melted, or have glassy slag adhering to them, showing that these were “firebricks” used in furnaces, kilns, or chimneys.
At least 5 identifying names are embossed on the bricks. You may find more names. In order of abundance of marked bricks, the companies are: (1) H&W or HWRC: Harbison Walker Refractory Company (founded 1875, still has US factories). (2) Laclede Fire Brick Company, St Louis (operated 1854-early 1970s). (3) “ATLAS” probably Atlas Brick of Hudson NY (1910-1935+), but other brick companies have this same name. (4) Denver Fire Brick Company (1880-1935+) (5) Gallup Fire Brick Company (1926-circa 1970). (Other) Some stamps start “PCMC..” “PS…/ACO…” or end with “…MCO” or are “GRADE 71” which may indicate other brick-makers. Based on dates the factories operated, and when Flagstaff was settled, most bricks were manufactured between 1880 and 1950.
Because bricks came from at least 5 factories, they likely came from at least 5 furnaces, kilns, or chimneys in Flagstaff. This suggests that people dumped their old fireplaces and chimneys here when their houses were demolished or renovated.
In this semi-natural area the bricks are trash. You can take some bricks to a place where you can appreciate their beauty and history, but you should be aware that many of these bricks contain asbestos which, until about 1960, was added to most firebricks to make them strong at high temperature. You won’t get asbestos poisoning from being near or touching intact bricks, but when asbestos bricks crumble, they can release asbestos into the air. Breathing asbestos fibers can cause serious diseases, including cancer.