April 16, 2022 BSTRA Property Trail Work Day

Our first trail work day of the season was on our BSTRA property in Douglas and entailed a bit of pre-trail work. That was 4.85 hours of chainsaw work that I thought was safer to do without people around, especially that first tree that was uprooted and hung up on another tree by the first stream crossing.

We had 14 people show up at 8:30 and by 9am we were in the woods working the clearing the trails. I am real happy to say that we cleared the main connector trail and most of the other small loop trail.

Thank you to the following who definitely made a difference: Julie Taddei, Darlene Falcone, Chris DiMasi, Becky Kalagher, Lynn Paresky, Bill Knott, Kathy Rich, Valerie Clark, Gloria Duhaime, Cheryl Fitzpatrick, Sue Sanders, Phil Rutledge, Karen Parlin and Rose Zariczny.

Rose was kind enough to pick up our lunch order. It was well enjoyed be everyone at the Depot Street parking lot.

It’s amazing how nice it looks now. With the trail cleared to both stream crossings, I can start the process with having plans drawn up and applying for a Notice of Intent (NOI).

We put in 48.5 hours on the trail work day. Combine that with the 4.85 and we have a total of 53.35 hours worth $1,758.42.


April 23, 2022 Park Serve Day Douglas State Forest

Not only was this part of the Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR) Park Serve Day, it was also Celebrate Trails Day! So we attended the party with our gloves and trail tools in hand.

We tackled brushing and cutting back the TNT trail on the south side of the Douglas State Forest. Chuck Stone (DCR), Phil Rutledge and Becky Kalagher were using brush cutters to cut back the small bushes while Barbara McCumber and Nancy Heath used rakes behind us to clean off the trail.

The other group with Kelly Berthume, Valerie Clark, Jane Rutledge, Bill Knott and Cheryl Fitzpatrick went ahead and cleaned up the bigger stuff. High branches, tree limbs that had fallen and other brush that was easier cut with loppers. They did the TNT plus some of the Eagle Bridge Trail and Laurel Trail.

The TNT trail is .46 miles long and I am happy to say that we did get it all brushed back. Those of us running the brush cutters did cry “uncle” by the time we did get to the end.

Many thanks to Rose Zariczny who came down and picked up our lunch order and brought it out to us.

All totaled we put in 41.16 hours worth $1,356.63 plus $115.08 for lunch. It was a great job by all those that attended.


April 24, 2022 Park Serve Day Upton State Forest

Continuing to celebrating Park Serve Weekend! We worked at the Upton State Forest on Sunday with the Friends of the Upton State Forest.

With 14 people we broke out into groups. I know there was one group working on the grounds, another hit the trails by the park and our group headed out to Old Hopkinton Spring Trail.

Our group had six people, Cheryl Fitzpatrick, MaryEllen Coyne, Chris DiMasi, Jen & Cecilia Hoyt and Becky Kalagher. We cleaned back the connector trail between Southboro Road & Westboro Road. We then proceeded down Westboro Road (picking up trash as we went) until we could get into the Old Hopkinton Spring Trail.

We worked on cutting that back and trimming up for horse height until we got to the new flagged trail to the right that will make a loop. We got that trail opened up past the two bridges and part way up the hill. At that point we made the decision that the trail needed to go to the left and follow the hillside contours rather than continuing straight up the hill for trail sustainability reasons.

We headed back as it was now noon time and picked up the rest of the trash that we “missed” on the way out.

After another hard morning of trail work, lunch was certainly appreciated.

The other volunteers that showed up were Alisa Gilchrist, Elizabeth Hickman, Bill Taylor, Deb Deschenes, Angie Knott, Ellen Arnold, Joyce Sandvik and Suzanne Nicholas.

Of all the workers, seven were BSTRA members, three were both BSTRA and Friends of Upton State Forest (FUSF), two were FUSF members along with two members of the public. All totaled we put in 45 hours worth $1,483.20. The FUSF also kept us all very happy by providing pizza for lunch!  It was greatly appreciated.


May 21, 2022 Trail Work Day Oxford MA

There was a bit of apprehension as the weather was calling for 90+ degrees. Good news is that we got lucky. The weather was overcast and cool in the morning with a gradual warm up. The 90+ happened much later in the afternoon. It was not too bad, but humid.

Our goal for the day was to get the trail along the French River called “Arrow on Fire” cut and brushed back. The middle section was getting quite tight. Total length was 4 tenths of a mile long. Good news, we did met our goal!

I was running the brush cutter and was hoping that one tank of gas would do it. It just about did. Thank goodness that Cheryl brought along her battery operated hedge trimmers to finish up the last section at the end. And talk about timing, her battery died just as she finished up that end section.

The rest of the crew used loppers and hand saws to tackle the rest of the brush and small trees.

We had about five different people pass us while they were using the trails and every single one of them thanked us for the work we were doing. I thought that was very nice of them to acknowledge that!

Valerie headed out to pick up our lunch order and we all had lunch on the other side of the gate in the shade!

Many thanks to the following for volunteering their time to improve the trails: Valerie Clark, Barbara McCumber, Neil & Shirley Standring, Phil Rutledge, Becky Kalagher, Cheryl Fitzpatrick, Chris DiMasi, Darlene Falcone, and Sue Sanders. All totaled we put in 36.17 hours worth $1,192.16