Town Trails and Forest: Forest clean up; call to “Adopt” a trail section; and more ways to help (Updated)

by beth on December 13, 2018

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Above: Troop 92 worked hard this fall to clear trails in the Town Forest. Anyone interested in helping keep the Town informed when Southborough trails need more clearing can now sign up to “Adopt-A-Trail Section”. (photo from Facebook)

There’s lots of news to share on Southborough’s Town Forests and Trails. The Stewardship Committee reached out share their accomplishments and thank supporters. That dovetailed into other news out of the Trails Committee.

First, some of you are probably asking, “What’s the Town Forest?“.

Kathryn McKee, who serves on both committees, explained:

SVT map of Turene Wildlife Habitat, Town Forest, and Breakneck HillThe Town Forest (~54 acres) is an underutilized recreation resource in town. It’s great for walking, trail running, wildlife viewing (turkey, deer, hawks, birds), snowshoeing, and dog walking. It is adjacent to the Wilfred Turenne Wildlife Habitat which is owned by the Sudbury Valley Trustees (18 acres).

Like nearby Breakneck Hill, the forest is under the oversight of the Stewardship Committee. To view the map, click thumbnail above right. (For the full SVT brochure on the Turenne Habitat click here.)

One of Stewardship’s updates is that finding the forest will now be easier thanks to new signage marking the property.

Town Forest sign at Woodland (cropped from contributed photo)Town Forest signs were made possible by a grant from the Southborough Community Fund, a forestry grant, the Conservation Commission, and assistance from the Department of Public Works. 

This week, the DPW installed a sign at Woodland Road. A smaller sign will be installed at the intersection of Walnut Drive and Oak Hill Road in coming weeks.

Still, it doesn’t do much good to know where the forest is if its trails are obstructed. That’s where the next update fits in. 

Forest Trails Cleared for walking

Under a Stewardship initiative, Troop 92 Boy Scouts helped by clear blocked forest trails last month. It was follow up on past DPW efforts. McKee wrote:

Troop 92 and volunteers cleared Town Forest trailsBack in November, Boy Scout Troop 92, its leadership (fathers), volunteered for a community service project to clear fallen trees from the trails in the town forest. With the help of the Stewardship Committee and a few additional volunteers, the group cleared 14 sections of the trail that were blocked by fallen trees. They also removed fallen trees from the historic stone wall that lines Bay Path (the main trail that connects Walnut to Woodland). It was a great demonstration of team work and a community coming together to accomplish a common goal. DPW also played a significant role in clearing a large cluster of fallen trees that blocked the main trial, Bay Path, in February 2018.

The Committee is happy to report that all the trails are cleared after the storm damage that occurred throughout the year. And, the committee is very grateful to all volunteers, scouts, and DPW for their help maintaining these trails. . .

You can see more photos of the November volunteers in action here. It’s worth noting that this is the same Troop that helped clear  major issues on the Sudbury Reservoir Trail this summer. McKee writes:

Troop 92 (with the help of their fathers, Trails and Stewardship Committee, and a few other volunteers) had a significant part in helping to clear all the fallen trees on Southborough Trails in 2018. It was inspiring to see how the efforts of a few can make such a difference. The scouts and all the volunteers are a true asset to Southborough!

Speaking of volunteer efforts leads to the next two items related to the Trails Committee.

Adopt-a-Trail-Section Program

The Town Forest is hardly the only spot with trails in town. There are a slew more across Southborough. (Click here for the list and maps.) The Trails Committee oversees many of them. It’s a lot to stay on top of – so they are reaching out for help keeping informed:

Step outside and enjoy nature with a purpose!

The Adopt-a-Trail-Section Program is an opportunity for you to get involved in trail stewardship. For families with children, this program not only offers your kids an opportunity to get involved with trail stewardship, but it can also teach them the importance of preserving our open spaces.

Help the committee stay on top of poor trail conditions on the Sudbury Reservoir Trail. Let us know if you notice fallen trees/limbs, corridors that need widening, excessive trash, etc. We will take care of any reported issues with trail clean up days or other resources as warranted.

Being a “steward” to your section is as simple as walking it every couple of months, sending updates, and submitting pictures. For details and how to register click here.

Other ways to help clear the trails

Earlier this month, the Trails Committee updated the Board of Selectmen. The discussion confirmed that members keep a list of volunteers to help out when trails need clearing. To add yourself to it, click here.

If you don’t have the time or ability for the physical labor involved, you can still support them. The Town confirmed that any donations made out to Recreation that specify supporting Trail projects will be dedicated to that purpose. 

To donate, mail checks to Southborough Recreation, 21 Highland St, Southborough, MA 01772. (Be sure to make the designation to Southborough Trail Committee projects clear.)

Updated (12/14/18 9:23 am): I mischaracterized the Trails Committee as responsible for all the trails in Town. They are responsible for many trails across Southborough. But they also provide information on other trails overseen by other volunteer groups and land managers. I also linked to the wrong information about Troop 92’s cleanup effort this summer. The link I initially included was for the same Troop’s work on an Eagle Scout project on another section of the the trail.

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