Recent maintenance work on the West River Trail tackled clogged drainage ditches and fallen trees. Trail workers cleared drainage areas and chainsawed downed logs. A huge thanks to trail volunteers for their hard work!
Don’t be concerned about all the dead plant material you are seeing from the trail along the Riverstone Preserve area! This past Tuesday morning, lower section steering committee members Kathleen, Alex and Malcolm, had a tour of the results of the invasive plant treatments that were done on the Riverstone Preserve last fall, with Dan Healey of Long View Forest (who directed the treatment) and Jackie Comeau from the VT Dept of Fish & Wildlife (who monitors the work for the EQIP grant funds from the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) . In order to receive grant funds to pay for follow up treatments, at least 90% of the invasive species that were treated last fall had to have been eradicated. As the photo illustrates, the effect on invasive plants was dramatic. Long View Forest will do a follow up treatment on the japanese knotweed and black swallow wort later this summer, and a third treatment in 2020. After that, volunteers will be needed to keep these plants (that will inevitably make a come back) at a manageable level. Along with the knotweed and black swallow wort, asiatic bittersweet, honeysuckle, multiflora rose, barberry and buckthorn were treated. It was lovely to see lots of ferns and other native plants springing up around the treated invasive plants–evidence of the effectiveness of the targeted treatment. For more information about this project, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers needed for West River Trail work day! Wednesday May 15 4 PM to 6:30 PM
We will meet at 3:45 PM on Wednesday, May 15 at the Marina Trailhead and plan to head out on the trail at 4 PM. We will mostly be doing drainage clearing, though a few people will be chainsawing downed logs. All in all the trail is in great shape, but we need to clear the leaves and debris out of the drainage ditches along the wetter areas of the trail. Bring mud boots, gloves, bug dope, water and an iron rake or hoe if you have one. We have extra tools, if needed. Optional gathering at the Marina Restaurant afterwards! For more information, contact email@example.com. We look forward to working out on the trail with you!
Would you believe that dozens of people each day were out on the West River Trail? Windham Regional Commission has expanded its pedestrian count program to the winter months, and recent data both surprised and pleased us. Counts on the West River Trail in Brattleboro from December 11, 2018 through New Year’s Day 2019 were only about 15 percent lower than the long term average for non-winter months. It was probably the short days as much as, if not more so, than the cold though that kept people from getting out. We came to this conclusion because while weekday counts for that period were lower than average, weekend counts, when people are more likely to have an opportunity to get out during daylight hours, were exactly the same as the long term average for data recorded in spring, summer, and fall. On Christmas Day we recorded 110 “trips” on our West River Trail counter. A “trip” is one person passing in one direction on the trail. At a place like the West River Trail where most people go out and back, we can estimate the number of persons using the trail to be about half the number of trips. This would mean about 55 people were out on the West River Trail on Christmas Day, about 50 on New Year’s Eve day, and about 68—our highest daily number—on December 29.
Charlie, Jennifer, Sue, Jason and Malcolm, our enthusiastic trail crew for the day, got a lot accomplished. They planted a post for the chain at the Rice Farm Road Trailhead and cleared the area for the new kiosk (for which we recently received approval from the Dummerston DRB!) Grass was trimmed and overgrown brush was pruned back a mile along the trail from each end. Drainage ditches and culverts were raked out, leaving the trail in good shape! A big thank you to our volunteers!
We are having a Trail Work Day on Saturday, October 20 from 10 AM to 2 PM. We will meet at the Rice Farm Road Trail head. We’ll be doing some trimming along the trail, weed whacking under the power lines, clearing drainage ditches of leaves and debris, planting a post, putting up some new signs, etc. Wear boots, bring water, snack, work gloves. We will have tools, but you are welcome to bring your own, such as a shovel, clippers, pruner, rake. Lunch will be provided. It will be fun! We look forward to seeing you and are so grateful for your help. For more information or to let us know you’re coming, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
The River Loop on the Riverstone Preserve will be closed on September 29th for 1 day only. There will be signs about the closure posted at the junctions of this trail with the West River Trail, and at the Rice Farm Road and Marina trail heads. We are sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we deal with the important issue of invasive plant mitigation on this special piece of land between the river and the West River Trail.
Save the Date! West River Trail Volunteer Work Day.
Saturday, October 20 (with rain date Sunday, Oct 21).
Time: probably 9 AM to 1 PM.
We will put in a post, put trail markers along the trail, clear ditches, do some mowing. Stay tuned for more info as the date gets closer. Hope you can join us!