Falmouth trail work brings together users, Bowdoin students

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FALMOUTH — A group of nearly 30 volunteers took to the trails this weekend to ensure residents have access to some of the highest quality trails in the area.

Eight groups, led by Falmouth residents, spent three hours Saturday cleaning up and improving the trails in the Blackstrap Hill Preserve. The groups included 19 Bowdoin College students participating in the college’s 14th Common Good Day, a campus-wide service day where students have the chance to volunteer for a number of different service projects.

This year students had 57 different trips to choose from; 500 students took advantage of the opportunity, said Luke Mondello, assistant director of the McKeen Center at Bowdoin College.

The students working at the Blackstrap Hill Preserve helped complete work on six different stream crossings, five “you are here maps,” repaired and dug water bars (trenches to help minimize erosion), cleared brush and put up blazes on six miles of trails.

Andy Meyer, co-steward of the Blackstrap Hill Preserve, said that the groups were made up of hikers, bikers, snowmobilers, skiers and snowshoers – what he called an interesting collaboration.

“These are groups that don’t always work as well together,” Meyer said. “What is good for a hiker is bad for a biker. Snowmobilers likewise have different needs. When we do the trail work collaboratives we try to make the whole system work for everyone.”

Meyer said that the group of more than two dozen completed nearly 100 hours of work on the trail system, but there is still work to be completed.

There are no more collaborative work days planned for this fall, but Meyer said there will be a series of days during the spring set up to do work on the trail system. Anyone interested in being added to the Falmouth Land Trust’s distribution list to learn more about these efforts should visit their website.

He said that he hopes that future work dates include a similar mix of trail users to make Falmouth’s trails ideal for everyone to use.

“I think it’s cool the collaboration representing different interests,” he said. “I think that Falmouth and Falmouth-area residents are fortunate that we have across Falmouth between 50 and 100 miles of trails. These are just amazing jewels, resources that everyone in the area has access to.”

Amber Cronin can be reached at acronin@theforecaster.net or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.

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Falmouth resident John Jones, right rear, and a team of Bowdoin students joined nearly 30 other volunteers cleaning up the trails on the Blackstrap Hill Preserve on Saturday.