Looking at Logan Clare's scout project at Nells Rock made me think back to what the trailhead used to look like. Once Upon A Time the Abby Wright Open Space was the City's bulky waste dump.
And this was the good stuff; old pipe, broken catch basins, demolition debris, stumps. The City at one point planned on creating a landfill for sewage sludge in the the wetland at the center of the property. Before 1998 this was Shelton's second largest open space and a number of people said what can be done to improve it.
A very attractive Chordas Pond and L'Hermitage Condominium were across the street and it seemed like a no-brainer to clean up the park. A number of attempts were made to beautify the property and open it up to the public, but it was always against a certain amount of social inertia that the property was good for nothing except a dump and that there was no reason to spend resources to fix it up.
Royce worked with his scout troop (and his dad also named Royce), to clear out a parking area off Nells Rock Road, cut brush, install a split rail fence to limit vehicle access and prevent illegal dumping. Here's Bill Dyer offering positive encouragement on Royce & Royce's fence building efforts in April 2005.
This helped get people in and enjoy the trails on the property. Eventually the Bridges and Highways, and Parks and Recreation departments hauled away the old pipes and debris for a proper disposal. Road millings were brought in to create a parking surface, and over the years numerous work parties and scout projects have improved things bit by bit.
The trailhead has been improved, kiosks installed, trails extended to other parks and open space parcels, various improvements by City Departments and on-going work by volunteers. Abby Wright and the Nells Loop Trail went from being a potential landfill to one of the City's most popular open spaces. And this was all because someone rolled up their sleeves and said we can do something to clean up this mess. Thanks Royce for showing that scouts can create positive changes in their communities.