Freeport seeks help repairing walking trails, bridges

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FREEPORT — The Conservation Commission is looking for volunteers to help with trail maintenance at Florida Lake. 

According to Mike Stumbo, the conservation steward of Florida Lake, the commission built trails and bridges around the lake more than 15 years ago and, since then, the bridges have decayed and fallen apart. 

“It’s a real safety hazard,” Stumbo said. 

Maintenance priorities include building and installing signs along the trails, replacing the washed out bog bridges on the south end of the lake, fixing broken bog bridge planks, general trail maintenance, and adding bog bridges in soft spots. 

Altogether, Stumbo estimates 100 feet of the area’s bridges require attention. 

“We could use as many volunteers as we can get a hold of,” Stumbo said. “It’s not easy work.”

L.L. Bean will manage the project, providing building materials and volunteers. The Recreational Trails Program from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry also supplied the commission with $11,000 in grant funding for additional materials. 

According to Town Planner Donna Larson, an additional $4,800 will be matched by the town.

The commission needs assistance taking decayed bridges down on Aug. 25, so the trails will be ready for L.L. Bean to come on Sept. 16 to help build new ones. 

Anyone looking to be involved in the project is asked to contact Larson by email

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

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