Catherine Frondordf, BCT Projects Coordinator, checking in!
Over the past month, our Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) volunteer crews and their tireless leaders have been working full steam. They’ve dealt with pitfalls, successes, torrential downpours, and ups and downs in between. Let’s see what’s been going on…
…Our BCT teen trail crews installed wood check steps at two steep eroding slopes along the BCT in Andover, MA. Deer Jump Reservation, owned and stewarded by Andover Village Improvement Society, is a strip of conserved land along the Merrimack featuring dramatic ravines, high bluffs, majestic hemlock groves, and an open meadow. Because of the steep, glacially-formed slopes, treadway erosion occurs easily. The new check steps will reduce soil loss and assist hikers up the steep sections. The collective weight of that lumber the group installed was almost 2 tons! By the end of the second week, 44 wooden check steps and 2 water bars were set. The second crew also persevered through a particularly rainy day; when the trail turned into a small flooded stream, they grabbed loppers and hand saws and set to clearing more than a mile of trail. In the end, everyone went home safe, tired, and in good spirits.
…For Crew Leaders Kayla and Masuzyo, a portion of their time has been living life outside with the crews, which is as equally rewarding as it is hard work – meals need to be prepped and cooked, chores must be done, kinks must be sorted out, everything must be accounted for and stowed away properly before the crew can call it a day. For many of the teens, it is their first time camping; setting up a tent for the first time is more challenging than one might think! Adjusting to the outdoor life is a process and not always an easy one, especially in hot summer weather. Many a days started out damp and buggy for the crews, but that did not deter them from having a good time or getting great work done.
…To complement the teen crews’ efforts, our July Saturday Work Party took place at the BCT’s Southern Terminus in Kingston/Duxubury, MA. The group hauled out a truckload of old, decaying pallet wood that had previously been used over wet trail sections, and installed instead 32 feet of bog bridging. The property is a combination of open meadow and young forest, which provides challenges for trail marking –the volunteers set 6 new posts at intersections to walkers and bikers through the maze, as well as beat back the tangle of invasive plants eager to overtake the trail.