Thanks to donations made by friends -- both individual and businesses -- of Bay State Trail Riders Association, Inc. (BSTRA), there were a number of significant improvements made to trails in Massachusetts’ state forests and parks this year. BSTRA completed the following projects, enhancing local trails used for recreation and fitness by a variety of non-motorized users.
SNETT Improvements (Bellingham/Franklin, MA)
As part of BSTRA’s continuing commitment to make improvements to the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT), they applied for and were awarded a partnership grant through the Department of Conservation & Recreation to work on a section of the SNETT in the towns of Bellingham and Franklin. This section is located between Lake Street in Bellingham and Prospect Street in Franklin and is just over a half mile long. BSTRA contributed $5,400.83 to this project.
Inman Hill Wildlife Conservation Area Trail 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 lots of 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, MA. The total cost to complete this project was $6,964.76.
East Trail (Mendon, MA)
BSTRA was awarded a Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant administered 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 3/4 inch crushed gravel, 86.73 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 $15,716 made this a $45,000+ 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 in Hubbardston. BSTRA's cost for this project was $1,000.
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.
Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT), Uxbridge
On Park Serve Day, April 29th, BSTRA's work day brought out 17 volunteers to tackle SNETT maintenance between Chocolog Road and Aldrich Street. 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 came back in September to chip all the brush that was stacked in April.
BSTRA is run completely by volunteers, so all donations are put 100% into their trail projects. BSTRA has a track record of dependability, credibility and accomplishment, putting more than $551,000 into trail projects since 1989. The Shared Stewardship Award was presented by the Department of Conservation and Recreation to BSTRA earlier this Spring for the tremendous contributions they have made to the trail community. Their projects have made improvements in forests and parks in 34 towns across Massachusetts, as well as in Rhode Island and Connecticut. All this would not be possible without the support of BSTRA’s friends and sponsors. Go to www.bstra.org to see more about this nonprofit organization and their mission.
Trails play a remarkable role in all our lives. As one of our greatest assets, trails enable us to explore, travel and savor the world’s natural wonders. They are the best way to see nature’s hidden treasures and the easiest way to encourage kids, as well as adults, to adopt healthy lifestyles. For these reasons, BSTRA is committed to keeping the communities’ trails preserved and maintained for outdoor recreation and fitness.
BSTRA invites you to join them in their efforts to do great things for the trail community.
BSTRA hopes you will consider donating to them to help them do good in 2018 for the trails used by so many people for outdoor recreation and fitness. There are many worthwhile nonprofits deserving of your consideration, and BSTRA hopes that you will select them as one of those you will be supporting. Your donation can be made online or through the mail. Go to www.bstra.org/donate for more information.