Surprisingly enough, when looking at what we did for rides, we did more than I thought we were going to be able to.

Most of our normal trail work days were impacted this year. But as you can see down below, we did manage to get some trail work projects done.

I would like to close out 2020 by thanking all of our members, sponsors and volunteers. It was with your help that we did get done what we did this year against a few odds!

We had 16 rides (568 riders), 3 campouts, trail work of 135.82 hours worth $4,476.63. We installed geo-textile material and pea stone on two bridges with a total of 20.32 hours worth $664.26 and supplies of $117.29 to install.

Trail mapping with a total of 8.75 hours worth $288.40

Meetings concerning trails of 21.98 hours worth $724.46

Received a grant of $1,069 from the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor. This was used to digitize BSTRA’s historical records of our work to transform an abandoned railroad and document the ongoing efforts to make and improve it into the Southern New England Trunkline Trail. We also created a video of the SNETT that showcases the work that has been done and capture multiple users enjoying the trail. The money was used to purchase a storage hard drive and a video camera. A total of 64.44 (worth $1,638.71)hours was put in to make the video and to do all the scanning.

That gives us a grand total of $6,195.02 that was put into trails by BSTRA in 2020!

Our Fund Raising Committee raised over $38,000  for trail projects!


Trail Work Mendon MA

Well we haven’t had any scheduled trail work days because of Covid-19. But trail work does have to get done if you are running a ride in July.

I have three hours with the brush cutter and 8.45 hours of cleaning up stuff across the trails and cutting back branches and brush.

This is the behind the scenes work that does happen to be able to put on a ride. I had a total of 11.45 hours of trail work worth  $377.39. That is using the 2019 figure from Independent Sector value per hour for volunteer labor of $32.96.


Hinterland Trail, Grafton MA – Aug. 1st.

This trail is slated for some improvements as it is pretty washed out and needs some tender loving care. If one looks at the topography of the trail, it actually runs down hill for pretty close to ¾ of a mile. So part of the improvements will include areas to get the water off of the trail instead of running down it and keeping the erosion cycle going.

Our job was to do some brushing and cutting back and getting rid of a few downed trees to get it ready for the trail work that will be done in October.

We had a very success afternoon and finished all the work that we wanted to do. Many thanks to Carolyn, Tristen and Justin Weeks, Bill Knott and Becky Kalagher. All totaled we put in 9 hours and 40 minutes of volunteer work worth $32.96 and hour for a total of $318.72



Eagle Scout Bridge, Douglas MA – Oct. 2nd

On Oct. 2nd, I joined Chuck Stone and Cary VandenAkker out on Eagle Bridge Trail. We had another DCR person, Gunner with us too. Later in the morning two more DCR people showed up.

Our biggest headache was getting the side rails off because of broken and stripped screws. And because of that, they went through batteries really quick. That meant a trip back to head quarters to pick up some charged batteries and get some more screws.

Usually for installation of the non-woven geo-textile material you would use pressure treated batten strips. But this bridge was built in 2006 which makes it 14 years old.

In the near future the decking on that bridge and side rails will have to be replaced. Thus we just used the old side rails to secure the material.

We started at 9 am and worked to 11:50. The DCR guys finished up after lunch as we were short a few buckets of pea stone to spread on the bridge. And those were brought in by their ATV, way too far in the woods to carry, so I was good with that!

We had a total of 12.82 hours put in for the morning work worth $422.55. Not sure how much more time was spent by DCR to get the pea stone out there to finish it up.

Thanks to Dauphinais Concrete for donating the pea stone. BSTRA donated the material worth $48.

We now have a safe non-slip bridge for horses and all other users!!



Trail Work, Thompson CT – Oct.

This project started on Sept. 22nd. Valerie Clark and myself tackled part of phase one of cleaning up some trails. The objective was cleaning up trash. We did a pretty darn good job for 2 hours 8 minutes each.

Using trash bags and a wheel barrow, we actually filled up Valerie’s truck. We did get the metal separated out of the huge burn pile which hopefully we can get out of there at some point..

The area looks much better. Valerie let me know that there was 200 pounds of trash that we picked up plus the six tires. It was a very satisfying job to accomplish.

I did some preliminary trail work on Oct. 7th. I spent 2.5 hours with the chainsaw going through one section of the trail just cutting everything that needed to be cut up. This way, on the day of the trail work day, there would be something for the volunteers to do while we tackled the next section across Baker Road.

And what a work day it was. We had 15 volunteers show up. And by 12:30 we had both sections on either side of Baker Road opened up. One side is about  .7 of a mile and the other side is .5 of a mile. That gives us a total of 1.2 miles of trail that was opened up.

The second section on the other side of Baker Road that team two tackled was really bad for the first 150+ feet. We had a tangled mess of thick brush, grape vines, bittersweet vines all with trees down on top of this.

To put it in perspective, four of us working on this mess just broke through it at the same time the other crew caught up with us. All totaled we put in 47.5 hours worth $1,565.60.

A big high five to our work crew: Valerie Clark, Becky Kalagher, Bill & Angie Knott, LouAnn Murphy, Kathy Rich, Chris DiMasi, Phyllis Alexander, Jane Bennett, Cheryl Fitzpatrick, Darlene Falcone, Janet Abbott, Patricia McElligott, Barry Greene, and MaryEllen Coyne.

And a huge thanks to Valerie and Dave Clark for paying for our lunch order. It was really appreciated as we had all worked up a pretty good appetite.



Sweet William Bridge, Upton MA – Oct. 12th

Six of us got together to do another bridge project on town owned land. This bridge is on Sweet William Farm Conservation property located on the trail at the bottom of the hill from North Street.

This bridge is 26’ long and it now has a new non-slip surface consisting of a layer of 16 oz. non-woven geo-textile material and a layer of pea stone on top.

Total time for installation (not counting preparation of materials time!) was 7.5 hours. The hardest part was hauling the 12 buckets of pea stone down to the bridge. Our volunteer time is worth $247.20.

We spent $20.12 for the pressure treated lumber to make the battens that secured the material. $21.15 for a 1 pound box of stainless steel deck screws. And the amount of material used for this bridge cost $28.02

Thanks go to Dauphinais Concrete for donating the pea stone.

Our intrepid work crew consisted of the Weeks family (Jeremy, Carolyn, Tristen & Justin), Becky Kalagher and Suzanne Nicholas.