Sunday, July 5, 2009

Birchbank Vandalism

It's the wild, wild west at Birchbank Mtn! I (Teresa) spent the entire afternoon repairing blazes that had been painted over and brightening up all the others. As I climbed up the river bank to the loop part of the trail (after passing a labyrinth of new ATV trails a foot deep) I noticed some guys having a war. Another Airsoft game, oh for joy, because I just love being surround on the trail with guys in camo holding big guns. And I especially love the thousands of neon-colored non-biodegradable BB's they leave all over the park.

I spoke to the kids, who were based out of the encampment marked by big wooden spools just off the trail, and took a video of them all. I'll be forwarding that to the Police.

It's not just the Airsoft Games, or the ATVs, or the partying, but the vandalism that comes with it all. Near the Airsoft encampment the official white trail blazes were covered over with gray spray paint, as was one of our open space signs. Clearly someone didn't want the general public to know this was open space or where the trail was.

The picture below shows a pair of offset blazes marking a very important turn ahead, all covered over with gray.

I crossed the stream and started back down the riverbank, and soon came to the blue spray paint. Some of it was over the official white blazes, and some was just random ugliness. The blue went all the way down past the chimney to the Paugussett Trail. One good thing about the blue was that it seems to be fading fast. Cheap paint.
An then we have the particularly obnoxious bubblegum pink blazes. Ewe! There are so many blazes, every ten feet or so. Some were painted over the official white blazes. Others were splats on rocks, tiny saplings, and big trees. I spray over the pink blazes that were on Birchbank trail, using most of a can of black spraypaint. But that turned out to be just a small part of a homemade trail loop that leads, I kid you not, directly to someone's treefort and backyard off of Little Fox Run.

Calling all volunteers! Head out to Birchbank with your camera's, and take photos and videos of these people defacing our trails. Take back our park!


  1. did you contact the owner of the properties that the trails exit on to? It has to be clear that they are there and were made by someone who lives there especially the one with the tree fort.

  2. We have not contacted the owner yet. While you're out in the woods behind someone's house you can't tell which address it is until you either drive by or look at a map later on, something I did in the office today. And it's not a good idea to just march into someone's property from the back.

  3. Ok - I am soooo sorry. My little girls and I wanted to hike in the back and they got lost because the trail wasn't marked very clearly. So, we thought we would make a "pink" trail. We marked over the old looking whitish marks and honestly didn't realize this was part of public open space - we thought it was just trails marked by old neighbors or something. The house with the tree house is not responsible for the pink. We are not, however, responsible for any other damage as my girls are 5 and 9 and don't have any of that other stuff you're talking about. Please accept my sincere apologies; it won't happen again.

  4. OK Anonymous with the two girls: Any chance on cleaning that up for us so volunteers don't have to do it? These blazes need to be carefully spray painted over in a flat dark gray.

  5. It seems that you may beleive that those marks were left by us airsofters. I'll have you know that we would never think of defacing the property in any way. Those "neon" BB's are not used anymore as we advised the players using them to not. The regular white bb's are biodegradeable and we all use them. We apoligize if we suprise you or scared you with our weapons (That are marked with Orange tips). We feel that as long as we treat the space with respect, we should be allowed to use these woods.