Out on the Trails

by Matt Reed, Trail Maintenance Committee

Our Trails Crew volunteers helped with two main projects this year: trails maintenance and keeping our open space fields from being closed in by invasive plants, shrubs and vines. We’ve worked through all four seasons, twice a week, most Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Our work hours total is approximately 1,500 for the year — not counting the monthly Saturday work parties.

Besides the annual trimming/cutting of the vegetation growth from our trails, we began a program of installing secured cedar log “steps” on the steepest sections of our trails, to date at Short Beach, Van Wie, Red Hill Woods, and Hammer Preserves. These make trails easier to manage for hikers, and in some cases, help deter soil erosion in the trail. Any feedback about this effort would be appreciated.

We’ve contracted tractor brush-hog work to clear most of our fields, but have added a walk-behind brush cutter to our tool kit for the field edges that are typically home to strangling invasives. Twice-a-year cutting of our cleared areas has made the mowing work much less difficult. But in deference to the Monarch butteries who pass through Branford annually, we have set aside stands of milkweed in Medlyn, DeLeo, and Zielinski fields for cutting after their migration.

Trails Crew plans for the upcoming year include a once a year trimming of our BLT trails and continued maintenance of our eight open space fields.

Many thanks to the dedicated, hard-working, and patient “Regulars” of the BLT Trails Crew who have put in so much time and effort this year.

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Branford Land Trust
P.O. Box 254
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 483-5263
info@branfordlandtrust.org

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