West Hill Dam Trail Work Day, Uxbridge MA. Sponsored by J.F. Cove Insurance Agency-April 22nd
This was our 25th annual trail work day. New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) was also out there working on the trails. Due to some various issues, the Woodland Trail is no longer a loop. The trails going out to Mendon Road have now been reconfigured. The trail on both sides of the West River will now loop back to the trail that you came up on. NEMBA has been working on establishing these new loops and putting up signage.
We took down a lot of trees that were leaning over the trails. The hand saws definitely were used. We also cleaned out the water bars to make sure they continue doing their job for the next year which is keeping water off of the trail.
All totaled we put in 41.5 hours worth $1,293.55 and spent $84.67 on lunch to feed all the hard working volunteers.
Park Serve Day Upton State Forest, Upton MA-April 28th
This work day was held in conjunction with the Friends of the Upton State Forest.
We had seven BSTRA members that started tackling the mess out on the trails. There were numerous trees down across the trails along with a ton of trees leaning over the trails and piles of branches. Those last two nor’easter s did a lot of damage to our trail systems this year. Again we were using hand saws to cut down all the leaning trees, picking up all the downed branches, and cutting back where needed.
We did make a bit of a dent in clean up, but there is still more to go. All totaled we put in 28.5 hours worth $872.76. Many thanks to the Friends of Upton State Forest for providing lunch for all the volunteer workers.
Bridge Replacement Douglas State Forest, Douglas MA. Sponsored by Swerling Milton Winnick Public Ins.
This project actually involved 4 different days including Park Serve Day and some DCR work days.
April 13th: eight NEMBA members, 1 BSTRA member and a DCR supervisor brought in four, 23 foot long stringers to the site. Now keep in mind that DCR spent numerous hours getting all parts of this bridge pre-assembled so it would be quick work to put it back together again on site. It took eight people per one stringer to move it from the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) down to where they needed to be. In 30 hours we had the stringers all in place with the side posts installed.
Next step: DCR got the bridge decked and then worked on building side walls off the closest side of the bridge, filled in with rip rap, topped the rip rap with a geo-textile material the BSTRA donated, covered the geo-textile material with processed gravel.
April 29th: Park Serve Day. Six BSTRA members with two wheelbarrows, shovels, and pickax we went to work. There was more rip rap that needed to be put on the left side as you approached the bridge. While that was being done, others stared building the head walls on both sides of the other side of the bridge along with a retaining wall a bit past the bridge on the right to secure the trail tread. After that was done, we started hauling down rip rap to fill in on the other side. The only thing I can say is that is was mostly downhill with bringing material down with the wheelbarrows. After we got the rip rap to the level we wanted, we laid down a layer of the geo-textile material. Then we stared hauling down the processed gravel. It took us 22.5 hours of very hard labor to get this done. When the rain started we all headed to town for a well deserved lunch.
May 1: Installed the post caps. 40 minutes
May 11: Installed the Blackwood Lumber down the middle of the bridge. This is a test for making it not slippery. Blackwood Lumber is pressure treated lumber with a black rubber laminated to the top. One hour was spent the day before to get the lumber cut and prepared for installation. It took two people 6 hours to install the Blackwood Lumber on the bridge, that counts getting it down to the bridge!
All totaled, with what I know for hours, there was 60.16 hours of labor put into this project. (DCR put in quite a bit in the pre-assembly work that I do not know what those hours are.)
Labor value: $1,875.19
PT Lumber: $210.52
Post Caps: $89.90
Rip Rap: $443.46
Total known value: $2,693.37
Inman Hill Wildlife Conservation Area Trail Work Day, Mendon MA Sponsored by Kay Gee Sign & Graphics-May 5th
We had 6 BSTRA members and 2 NEMBA members meet up to do the final requirements needed for the Conservation Commission and clear up winter storm damage. With a wheelbarrow full of tools and plants (10 high bush blueberry plants) we hit the trails. Tasks for the day were taking out all the trees leaning over the trail, clean up trees that came down, install water bars/swales in four spots and plant the blueberry bushes. All of this was on East Trail which is .7 of a mile long.
We volunteered a total of 29.4 hours worth $918.89, blueberry bushes were $99.38 and lunch for the crew was $74.79. Grand total for this work day was $1,093.06 and a job well done by all.
Hodges Village Dam Trail Work Day, Oxford MA. Sponsored by Quissett Hill Farm-June 2nd.
This trail work day started out with some pre-trail work. That just happens sometimes. There were some trees down that needed a chainsaw to clean them up.
So on May 31st, I headed out and spent 1.42 hours getting those trees cleaned up and out of the way.
So on the morning of June 2nd, our trail work day, dawned hot and humid.
To make our mornings work more efficient, I rented a brush cutter.
Our gang of volunteers included Kathy Rich, Karen Parlin, Cheryl Fitzpatrick, Becky Kalagher, and Loni Decelles.
Surprisingly enough, with just us “girls” we were able to complete almost a ¼ mile of trail work with 10 hours of hard labor!
With $76 for the brush cutter rental and $355.96 worth of volunteer labor, this was a total of $431.76 put back into the trails at Hodges Village Dam in Oxford MA.
Upton State Forest Trail Work Day, Upton MA. Sponsored by Neighborhood Insurance Agency-June 16th
Yes, we were back at the Upton State Forest. This is the year that agencies and volunteers are going to spend trying to get all the trails cleared from those blasted winter storms. Way too much damage but at least we are trying to help out where we can.
We had nine BSTRA members, many of them also Friends of the Upton State Forest as well as at least four DCR personnel working with us. I know the BSTRA members put in 30 hours and figure that DCR also put in at least 16 hours.
We did get all of Hawk trail cut back, all of Middle Road, all of Swamp and part of Loop. That was pretty impressive!
All I know is that I was really happy to finally eat lunch, and Lurissa remembered I wanted Hawaiian pizza!
Many thanks to Becky Kalagher, Crysanda Boisvert, Carolyn Weeks, Joyce Sandvik, Suzanne Nicholas, Lurissa Marston, Gloria Duhaime, Mary McMannus, and Kathy Rich. We had Pam & Dan from DCR working with our crew and I know Jody Madden (supervisor) was working along with another DCR person of whom I did not get a name.
All totaled BSTRA volunteer hours were worth $935.10
Pell Farm Trail Work Day, Grafton MA-Oct. 12th
Would you believe that we are still clearing up trails from the damage caused by the storms from last winter?
Some of the trails that we use for our Big Pumpkin Ride needed work. Thus the late afternoon trail work day on Oct. 12th.
The access road which is nice and wide had a ton of birch trees that were bent over. So we cut down all the ones that would interfere with horseback riders.
The access road was about .18 of a mile long. We then continued through the field and continued our trail work on the trail that exits the field at the far right end. We worked until we came to an intersection and that was about another .18 of a mile.
All totaled we did about .36 of a mile. We had five people, one running a chainsaw and the others did the bull work of pulling all the trees and brush off the trail along with trimming up with loppers.
All this was accomplished with five very hard working volunteers. Joyce Sandvik, Bill Knott, Suzanne Nicholas, Katherine Petersson, and Becky Kalagher.
Using the 2018 MA volunteer rate of $31.17 our total hours of 13.3 was worth $414.56
I would like to close out 2017 by thanking all of our members, sponsors and volunteers. Without you, we would not have been able to accomplish all that we did in 2017.
* We had 19 rides (739 riders), 1 clinic, a tack sale, 3 campouts, 2 trail work days with $3,188 in volunteer labor (106.75 hours), and lunch.
* 35.5 hours of other trail work worth $1,029.50
* Wallis Pond cart road repair for $6,952.35 total. Two tenths of a mile long. Part of that total includes $1,964.33 of donated gravel from Pyne Sand & Stone of Douglas MA.
* SNETT Improvements between Lake St. Bellingham to Prospect St. Franklin. DCR used funds from two partnership grants and over $200,000 in DCR capital funds, DCR constructed a 0.6–mile segment connecting Lake Street in Bellingham to Prospect Street in Franklin. Our contribution for this project came in two forms. One, a STEP grant received from the American Quarter Horse Association in the amount of $850 and BSTRA contributed $4,550.83 to this project.
* Inman Hill Wildlife Conservation Area parking field and access road improvements. $3,000.00
* BSTRA was awarded a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant administered by the Department of Conservation by the Department of Conservation & Recreation to improve .7 mile of trail. Most of the intensive work to be done was at the end of the trail, requiring transport of materials to the work area over some pretty tough terrain. BSTRA hired CJM Construction, Inc. to perform the trail improvements which required 299.86 tons of rip rap and 81.24 tons of loam. Of that total, 119.48 tons of gravel and 18.07 tons of rip rap were donated by Kimball Sand Company, Inc. The RTP grant for $29,565.25, a grant from Constellation for $500, and BSTRA’s match of cash and volunteer labor of $13,816 made this a $43,881.44 project.
* Had a booth at Equine Affaire.
* Made donation a to the Friends of the Upton State Forest of $239.50 for trail use.
* Paid $855.74 for materials to install railings on four bridges at Mt. Jefferson in Hubbardston.
* Received the Shared Stewardship Award from DCR. Everyone has a role to play in preserving and enhancing our properties. This award is given to a Friends group, local, state or national organization, or individual including scouts and other youth volunteers, for their extraordinary service in enhancing the visitor experience, fostering shared stewardship of our resources, promoting the agency’s mission, and supporting our staff at a particular park or throughout the park system.
* Received the Massachusetts Trail Award. The Massachusetts Trails Advisory Board (MARTAB) started presenting a yearly Massachusetts Trails Award in 2013. The 2017 conference organizers called on the trails community to nominate individuals, groups, communities, organizations and agencies for the 2017 Massachusetts Trail Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize someone or some entity that has had a significant impact on the Massachusetts trail scene, either past or present through their dedication, efforts and work on behalf of the trail network in Massachusetts.
* Raised over $25,000 for trail projects.
SNETT Improvements (Bellingham/Franklin)
As part of BSTRA’s continuing commitment to make improvements to the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT), we applied for and were awarded a partnership grant through the Dept. of Conservation & Recreation (DCR). DCR used funds from two partnership grants and over $200,000 in DCR capital funds, DCR constructed a 0.6–mile segment connecting Lake Street in Bellingham to Prospect Street in Franklin. Our contribution for this project came in two forms. One, a STEP grant received from the American Quarter Horse Association in the amount of $850 and BSTRA contributed $4,5500.83 to this project.
Inman Hill Wildlife Conservation Area Parking Improvements (Mendon, MA)
In April BSTRA had some work done to the entrance road and parking field at Inman Hill Wildlife Conservation Area. The access road and field were badly rutted and in such bad shape that people were not able to get access to parking. The project entailed spreading 4 loads of processed gravel to fill in the ruts in the road and straighten out the entrance to the field used for parking. The total cost to complete this project was $3,000.
Wallis Pond Cart Road Repairs, Douglas State Forest (Douglas, MA)
This trail is a very popular trail used by many different trail users, including equestrians, dog walkers, mountain bikers and cross country skiers, and it needed some TLC. Work started on August 11th to repair the cart road which is about .2 mile long and provides access to the Douglas State Forest trail system. The trail had eroded over the years, exposing rocks and roots and an uneven surface that made it difficult for trail users and emergency vehicles. Dead trees were cut and cleaned up courtesy of DCR. BSTRA hired WHP Trucking and Excavating to perform the excavation. They removed lots of big rocks and stumps to prepare for a new trail surface of 10 loads of 3/4 inch crushed gravel. Half of the gravel needed to complete this project was donated by BSTRA’s Platinum Sponsor, Pyne Sand & Stone of Douglas. The total cost to complete this project was $6,952.35.
East Trail (Mendon, MA)
BSTRA was awarded a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant administered by the Department of Conservation by the Department of Conservation & Recreation to improve .7 mile of trail. Most of the intensive work to be done was at the end of the trail, requiring transport of materials to the work area over some pretty tough terrain. BSTRA hired CJM Construction, Inc. to perform the trail improvements which required 299.86 tons of rip rap and 81.24 tons of loam. Of that total, 119.48 tons of gravel and 18.07 tons of rip rap were donated by BSTRA’s Platinum Sponsor, Kimball Sand Company, Inc. The RTP grant for $29,565.25, a grant from Constellation for $500, and BSTRA’s match of cash and volunteer labor of $13,834.19 made this a $43,881.44 project.
Mt. Jefferson Conservation Area Trail Bridges Project (Hubbardston, MA)
BSTRA paid for the materials to have railings installed for added safety on four new bridges in the Mt. Jefferson Conservation Area. BSTRA’s cost for this project was $855.74. Also testing one of the bridges with an anti-slip method. They put down a layer of HDPE non-woven mat spread on the bridge. Secured it with pressure treated strips and screws. Covered the mat with 3/8″ crushed stone.
West Hill Dam (Uxbridge, MA)
BSTRA held a work day in April at West Hill Dam in Uxbridge, MA. Their 24th annual trail work day, in partnership with Army Corps of Engineers, was to clean up winter debris, cutting and brushing back as needed, and cleaning out all the water bars that have been installed over the years. The work was accomplished with 50 hours of volunteer labor, having a value of $1,450
SNETT Maintenance on Park Serve Day (Uxbridge, MA)
On Park Serve Day, April 29th, BSTRA’s work day brought out 17 volunteers to tackle SNETT maintenance between Chocolog Road and Aldrich St. This .7 mile section needed serious brushing and cutting back as it was very overgrown. Putting in 56.75 hours running two chainsaws, one brush cutter and everyone else stacking the brush on the sides to be chipped later, BSTRA finished the entire .7 mile. The value of the 56.75 hours of volunteer labor was $1,645.75. The Department of Conservation & Recreation came back in September to chip all the brush that we had stacked in April.
New connector trail established at the Douglas State Forest. Park Serve Day – April 23rd.
With a goal in mind, people from BSTRA, NEMBA (New England Mountain Bike Association), Troop 316 Douglas, and DCR we not only got the new trail in which covered .7 of a mile, we cleared .2 of a mile on the other side of SW Main St. and got the bases of two new bridges installed. This includes the ramp approaches to each that was built with rocks.
The bridges just need the decking and processed gravel installed on the ramps to be done.
On this Park Serve Day we put in a total of 163.5 hours with a worth of $4,741.50. Lunch was $187.20. The 19 hours of work before the work day was worth $55.10.
Grand Total: $4,983.80
Anti-slip strips installed on bridge at Upton State Forest on Park Serve Day – April 24th.
We picked a bridge at the Upton State Forest as it is a pretty busy place. This is our test bridge to see how these anti-slip strips will hold up and how well they do the job.
We all know how slippery wooden bridges can get. The cost of these strips for this one bridge is not cheap, we paid $924.75, plus the volunteer labor to install them.
In 2015, Bay State Trail Riders Association, Inc. (BSTRA) was awarded a partnership grant through the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, Inc.
Our project had two components:
1. To improve a section of Ridge Trail in the Douglas State Forest (1.4 miles)
2. To improve two sections of the SNETT in Douglas . The first section is from the state line to Wallum Lake Road (2.46 miles) and from Monroe St. to West St. (1.44 miles)
The work was done in 2015 with a grant of $13,403. The match was as follows: Cash $11,262.64; Volunteer Labor $3,968.80; Lunch for volunteers $234.97; Donation of 5 truck loads of processed gravel $1,746.49. This gives us a Total Project Value of $30,615.90
Please read the Final Partnership Grant Report for full details.
In 2013, Bay State Trail Riders Association, Inc. (BSTRA) was awarded a grant through the Recreational Trails Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR).
Our project had two components:
1. To improve the SNETT in Douglas between South Street and Monroe Street for a total of 2.67 miles.
2. Trail wide development strategy or “State of the SNETT” report.
The work was done in 2014 with a grant of $22,570. Along with a match of $14,508.25 to give this a Total Project Value of $37,078.25
Please read the Final Grant Report for full details.
Eagle Scout Project in Mendon: Earlier this year, we were approached by Shawn Clifton about his Eagle Scout Project and he made a presentation to the Board via phone confer-ence. His project entailed building a bridge to cross a stream. He submitted a materials list, map with location, and bridge plans. BSTRA approved his request and paid for the bridge building materials which totaled $1,536.83. Shawn and his team did a great job completing this bridge project.
Nov. 21st—Another Eagle Scout Project in Mendon
Parker Grant submitted a request for another bridge. This bridge is 150 feet away from the first bridge that Shawn completed. To complete this trail, two bridges were required. BSTRA also voted to support this project and paid for the bridge materials which totaled $999.86.
Partnership Grant done at Douglas State Forest
Finally, the partnership grant that we had applied for in 2010 with approval in March of 2011 was tackled this year. The grant application was to improve a one mile section of trail in the Douglas State Forest. The trail came off of the SNETT which is called the Midstate Trail & the Streeter Trail that goes out to Southwest Main St.
The grant was for a total of $9,500. DCR’s contribution was $6,330. BSTRA contributed $2,920 and a grant from the Douglas Octoberfest for $250 completed the funding. The sad news is that DCR spent the whole $9,500 doing just the first .3 of a mile. Needless to say, we did want to get this project done. So we had Speroni Excavation finish up the last .7 mile of the trail. The board approved spending $3,000 to get this work done. So, BSTRA has $5,920 invested along with another $250 from the grant to get this project done. Grand total is $6,170.
Sweetwilliam Farm Upton MA
BSTRA donated $1,500 towards the cost of purchasing and installing a 1/4 mile of fencing. This was the last section that to be completed in order to connect a 15 mile trail network. This network connects Sweetwilliam Farm (town owned) to Upton State Forest, Warren Brook Watershed, Howarth Glen Conservation Area and Grafton’s Pell Farm Conservation Area.
BSTRA also purchased two signs along with the posts and lags to install them. The signs were needed to keep all trail users on the trail easement and out of the working hay fields. The signs were installed on Nov. 24th. The installation took 3 hours and 45 minutes. So the value of the labor and the cost of the signs, posts and hardware came to a total of $241.74.
2012 Projects continued
BSTRA donated $5,000 towards the purchase of the former Sibley and Warner Farms that totaled 352 acres. This land has trails that connect to the MA Snowmobile Trail Route 71, Buck Hill/4-H Camp Marshall, the Mid-State Trail and eventually to Spencer State Forest. Horses will be allowed with plenty of parking access for trailers. This was certainly a win-win situa-on for all trail users.