Sunday, August 12, 2018

Trail Work

I think my tally by the end of 2018 is going to show that I've spent more time working on trails than riding trails. And that's okay...

It turns out, I like doing trail work. However, at times my OCD kicks in and I find myself trimming and grooming as if I've got several hundred acres of bonsai trees.

This all started a few years ago when I realized that the local trails were getting completely overgrown and unusable. I'd do some maintenance here and there, but the place was really in need of lots of work. Some areas had tangled thorny vines that grew so fast and so thick that the trails were just gone and there were trees down and a couple of super sketchy "bridges." I learned that the trails were on city land and were under the jurisdiction of the Open Space and Recreation Committee.

Well, after a few emails to the OSRC asking about any upcoming trail work I found myself being sworn in at City Hall as my ward's OSRC representative. I didn't get a badge and a gun, but I did get to have some legitimacy to the work I was doing, and I've been all in: brush mower, chain saw, weed whacker, contractor trash bags, and lots of sweat.

Of course, part of my motivation is selfish, I want trails for running/walking/riding right around the corner for me, but I want others to have this as well. I really hope the neighborhood kids get out there also. Some of my best childhood memories were of riding bikes in the woods with my friends. Plus, the only way to protect the open spaces is to get the kids involved who will eventually grow into adults who care about trees, trails and the environment in general. But, it's really all about trails for me...

That being said, there's lots more work on the horizon, and it's reached the point where I'm reading about arboriculture and tree biology...

I'm constantly thinking of what needs work next, and every vine that starts to stretch too far and every branch that starts to dip too low gets a critical eye of appraisal. I had some great plans for this year but so much of the early season was spent trying to clear the many, many, many trees that were down from the back to back to back Nor'Easters in March (2018). That's okay, there's still plenty of time left this year, and my goal of connecting to Beverly Commons WILL be realized. Stay tuned!

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