2022 In Review

Held 13 Rides with a total of 503 riders attending.

Held 2 Campouts. Held 1 Tack Sale. Held 1 Clinic.

Fundraising  Committee raised $25,946 for trail projects.

Held 6 scheduled Trail Work Days with a total of 191.33 hours.

Trail work done outside of the scheduled trail work days 246.96 hours.

Total Trail Work Hours 438.29. In MA the towns were Douglas, Grafton, Hopkinton, Hubbardston, Oxford, Mendon, Upton and Winchendon. In CT the town was Thompson. Value $14,446.03

Total Trail Project hours 48.82 (this was overseeing projects being done, work on ones that will be done, assessing areas for future projects.)

Had a booth at Equine Affaire.

106 hours attending meetings. (Open space, friends of a state forest, land trusts, webinars on trails, or public hearings representing horseback riders).

1,595.8 hours total for all volunteer work. Value $52,598.

Donated $500 to Wyndham Land Trust to preserve 90+ acres in Thompson CT (they allow horseback riding!)

DCR’s Partnership Award Program: We applied for and was approved for the matching partnership award program to purchase a flail mower for the Douglas State Forest. The sickle bar they were using to keep the brush cut back on the trails died. BSTRA paid $3,820 and DCR matched that amount (2 to 1) with $7,640 for a total of $11,460

Total of trail work and trail preservation for 2022 was $52,170.53 (cash $37,412.66)




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


August 2022 Hinterland Trail Project Grafton MA

The section we tackled is .2 of a mile long and at the bottom of a very long uphill trail. Because of this and no maintenance on the trail tread, it was quite a mess. The trail tread was up to a foot below the original surface, rocky and had standing water because the water had no place to go once it got to down to the end of the trail.

We hired CJM Construction Co. to do the work. They spent 5 days completing the job. Volunteer hours 6.25 worth $206. CJM Construction $14,750. Kimball Sand Co. $5,411.74 Donated load of gravel by Kimball Sand Co. $476.61. Total project value $20,844.35


September 2022 BSTRA Property Trail Work Days Douglas MA

On Sept. 21st Phil Rutledge and myself each armed with a chainsaw tackled all the big stuff that had to be cut. One was a 3 forked huge dead pine that was quietly rotting right where the trail was to go. The other messy place was an area that some years ago a microburst had hit.

It took us 2.5 hours to get it all cut up. We left the clean up for the 24th trail work day.

On Sept. 24th (National Public Lands Day) we had 7 people show up with hand saws, pole saw (Chris’ new toy!) and back pack blower. We set out moving all the cut up tree parts, trimming up and Phil Rutledge behind us with the back pack blower to clear the trail.

We finished up everything in 1.5 hours. That included walking back the way we came to add a few finishing touches and admire our work! Total  hours 10.5.

Many thanks to Kelly Berthiaume, Phil & Jane Rutledge, Chris DiMasi, Ed Nobrega, Celeste Nobrega and Becky Kalagher. All totaled for both days we put in a total of  15.5 hours valued at $510.88


Eagle Scout Project Hopkinton MA

Ash worked with the Trustees of Reservations, Blackstone Valley Chapter NEMBA and BSTRA to get this project done. This piece of property had a wet area and Ash wanted to build a boardwalk to mitigate the problem. BSTRA donated the geo-textile material ($180) and 4 hours of volunteer work ($131.84) to help finish up the boardwalk and install the geo-textile material and pea stone to make the boardwalk slip proof. Total by BSTRA $311.84


Oct. 10, 2022 Red Pine Trail Project Douglas State Forest

October 10th started the trail improvements to the Red Pine Trail. This trail starts right out of the Wallis Street Parking lot. About 700 feet in there is a wet area that needed to be addressed. This section has an intermittent stream and is also a low area that just doesn’t dry out.

I am happy to say that the trail improvement work was finished in three days. Now we are just waiting for our order from Bedford  Reinforced Plastics to be finished up and shipped to us so we can get the boardwalk installed. For now there is room to go around the stones that were placed where the boardwalk will be installed.

700 feet of trail was greatly improved. Engineering design for wetlands $5,243.66. CJM Construction for labor/machine work $8,300. Erosion control $715. Pyne Sand & Stone Co. gravel $2,583.31. Donated gravel $855.69. Total to date is $17,697.66. We are still waiting for the boardwalk to be shipped so we can get that installed.


Oct. 15, 2022 Hinterland Trail Work Day Grafton MA

On Oct. 15th four people gathered to put the finishing touches on the work that had been done on this trail. Since the fill was deep in areas, we wanted to shore up the sides with rocks plus where the work ended, we wanted to shore that up also so the water running down the trail above it would be diverted off the side so as not to erode the new work. Thank you Bill Knott, Valerie Clark, Becky Kalagher, and Karen Parlin for a job well done. A total of 8 hours worth $236.68 was volunteered.