Town issues guidance for trail use: Encouraging social distance and making the most of it

by beth on March 30, 2020

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Above: Southborough’s official advice on how to use trails includes information on helping the Town while exercising by picking invasive garlic mustard plants or getting a head start on spring clean up. (image bottom right cropped from pic posted to flickr by mypubliclands)

The latest missive from the Town feels timely. While listening to Governor Baker tell the press today that people need to get outside for their mental health, I was reading the Town’s guidance on making the most of Town trails.

The flyer issued this afternoon is headlined “Enjoying Open Spaces While Maintaining Social Distance”. It points residents to Southborough’s trails and offers guidance on keeping safe while using them.

Advice includes:

  • social distancing on trails graphicPlease be friendly and courteous to other visitors and step aside so others can pass while keeping the 6’ distance
  • If you encounter a bridge, please pause before crossing if someone is coming the other way
  • If you are on a long board walk you can turn away from the other person to pass without breathing on each other
  • Please refrain from touching benches, map boxes, kiosks, and other physical structures unless absolutely necessary! . . .

Please stay on marked trails! Deviating off marked trails may cause damge to wildlife habitat, especially nesting birds.

It also covers “What to do while enjoying the beauty that is Southborough open space!” For those looking to add some fun, the Town advises turning a hike into a nature scavenger hunt. 

For those feeling civic minded, you can do a bit of trail cleanup (while wearing gloves) and/or plucking garlic mustard plants: 

  • garlic mustard plantIt’s garlic mustard season! Growing season is here and this little invasive is coming in hot.
  • It’s early enough in the season that you can leave the plant on site, preferably on a rock where the plant cannot root. You can also bring a bag with you and properly dispose of them.
  • Pull in your yard, a nearby roadside, or along a trail!
  • Send us an email to let us know if you completed any on town owned land

You can open the pdf here.

Residents are encourage to share pictures of their outdoors fun with Conservation Agent Melissa Danza (mdanza@southboruoghma.com) who created the document.

(On a related note, I’ll be posting separately about the Conservation Commission’s concerns about Chestnut Hill Farm’s trail closing and Danza’s follow up on the issue.)

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