Weather in Falmouth was nice while it lasted

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FALMOUTH — Winter finally happened.

After weeks of unseasonably warm temperatures and dry weather, the streets, sidewalks, fields and trails are covered with the first snowfall of the year, just as 2015 is coming to end.

So how did residents take advantage of the unusually mild late-fall weather?

Not much differently than usual, it seems.

Lucky D’Ascanio, director of parks and community programs, said she and her staff did not notice an increase in residents using the town’s trail systems or parks, with the exception of dog owners.

“With the dry weather that we did have through Christmas, we saw more people walking their dogs at Community Park,” D’Ascanio said.

D’Ascanio said there were some changes made to public places because of the nicer weather. For example, the gates to Community Park on Winn Road were left open five weeks later than usual because of the conditions. However, she said the second and third fields at the park are now closed.

D’Ascanio also said the nets at the town’s nine tennis courts were not taken down until recently because people were still playing outdoors.

“We were definitely seeing people playing tennis through November, maybe even until early December,” she said.

For those who will miss walking on the trails now, D’Ascanio said there is an alternative. The Walk Safely program, which is hosted at the Mason-Motz Activity Center on Middle Road, is a free public program that allows winter walking in a warm, safe environment.

The program is open during regular business hours, and all participants need to do is sign in and get a walking badge. Participants walk the halls and in the gymnasium. D’Ascanio said 11 laps of the hallways equals a mile.

The Walk Safely program began when the parks and community programs department moved from Town Hall to Mason-Motz last spring. It is an extension of a program held each weekday morning when high school is in session.

Starting at 6:30 a.m., people of all ages and abilities are welcome to walk in the gym or on the track.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or