Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Break Work Parties Part 1: Paugussett Trail Improvements

Ready to start
We fully expected the first 2018 Spring Break Work Party would be cancelled due to the terrible weather forecast that started with 3-5 inches of snow, then changed to rain, then showers, and finally cool and dry. In the end, it was ideal working weather: just cold enough to keep the ticks and bugs away. You just never know. The cold, gloomy morning probably kept some volunteers away, though. 

A tough job
The group met at #34 Princess Wenonah Drive in the so-called Poet Section of the White Hills, and headed straight up the steep hill to a section of the Paugussett that has been nicknamed the "Poet Path." It's probably the least walked section of the Paugussett Trail in Shelton, in part because of the footing. The goal this week is to improve the footing by digging the trail into the side of the hill so the tread is more level and doesn't twist your ankles.

The main group got started benching in the trail, also called side-hilling. This is exhausting, hard-core trail work. But it's very rewarding because the results will be seen for decades. The trail tread is dug into the hill so that a cross section is close to level. 

Monroe Town Line at Round Hill Brook

We had enough people to also take a small crew north up the trail to the Monroe town line to clear out winter storm damage. The trail there goes through various properties, including Land Trust property, private properties under a pedestrian easement, and city open space. The Shelton Trails Day hike in June will go this way. The girls then picked up quite a bit of litter along the trail. 


Getting there...

After several hours everyone was exhausted and we called it a day. But not before walking back along the trail to review the improvements. 500 feet of trail were benched in, winter storm damage cleared to the Monroe border, and a pile of litter was removed. Nice job! There's lots more to do, though. The second Spring Break Work Party is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10, from 2:00 pm to 5:30 (raindate Thursday, same time). 

Looks good

Many thanks to the following volunteers: Anthony Gambardella, Allan Schmidheini, Hunter Smith, Mark Vollaro, Sean Beacham, Gill Dkeffington, John & Katie Killian, Luke Roberts, Lily Norris, and Nan Muldoon. 


This litter was along the trail
Also a big thanks to CFPA for letting us borrow some of their trail tools for the week.

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