Saturday, February 25, 2023

Winter Weed Whacking along the Winding RecPath

Taking further advantage of our snow-less winter we continued with our winter weed whacking along the RecPath.  Normally, you can't cut brush flush with the ground due to the snow, but this year, not an issue.

We worked from Constitution Blvd. North down to the schools and toward Meadow Street.  This joins up with the work done 2 weeks ago.

The above section is know as "The Missing Link".  It was one of the last sections of the RecPath built, and it goes along Curtis Brook, which is very pretty.  There's also briars that are hard to keep up with in Spring, so those were cut back hard now to make it easier to maintain in May and June when everything is growing.

Luis and Mark were using the brushcutters, while others were using hand tools.  It's a lot easier to clear things on now with all the foliage out of the way.

Did we mention that it was cold! In February! In Connecticut!  Hard to believe it was 60 degrees last Monday.  Freaky weather.  Everyone was bundled up today though. Keeping warm while working was  a challenge at times.

In addition to cutting briars we also cleaned out culverts and ditches where they weren't frozen.   Not glamorous work, but it's needed to prevent erosion during the Spring.

Some portions of the RecPath don't have enough drainage pipes and have icing problems, so the sand buckets were out if people see icy patches behind the High School baseball field.  The Path was clear today though.

After; the view down toward Meadow St.  Part of this was cleaned and lined with woodchips earlier by the Shelton Parks & Rec Dept.  (nice job).  Normally they're plowing snow, but this year they were able to help with maintenance on the RecPath.  Mark, Luis, Myisha, and Val cut briars and branches out going down the hill.

Good job & thanks to Myisha, Luis, Ellen, Val, Mark & Terry.  Lots of intrepid trail users came by while we were working.  Snow is finally in the forecast for Monday night.  Maybe, just maybe we'll have some snow for The Marshmallow March next weekend.  See the Trails Events page for additional information on the upcoming guided hike. 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Beautiful Blue Balmy February

 It was a beautiful blue morning at Pine Lake.

It was a little crispy before we started working on the Recreation Path, but clear and bright.

Mark was giving the pre- work party objectives and safety spiel before we started.  It was a good turn-out and we had some high school students (Matt and Dominick) and some Trails Committee Alumni (Rich and Sandie) who flew up from Florida to enjoy our balmy February weather.  it was headed to 50's in February.  I bet you won't see that on most Welcome to Connecticut travelogue literature anytime soon.

We divvied up the Implements of Destruction and got started.  I think Graham was trying to offer a hedge trimmer for somebody else or to go full Edward Scissorhands and use both cutters at the same time.  Once we started moving everyone warmed up.

Everyone dove into the first batch of briars.  It was great to watch others working that hard.  I could've done it all day.  We shifted up the RecPath and started using the power tools on the prickly stuff.

Rich stood around like he was a professional working on a public works crew.  We raked off the edges of the RecPath and shoulders; gradually reclaiming Shelton's 12 foot wide path with clear 2' shoulders back from the encroaching forest.

The last few years everything has been one emergency clean up after another, so it was time for a good clearing and debris removal party.  The crew moved north and worked their way up toward Meadow Street and the school campuses.

Sandie and Rich came back on their way to other appointments.  It's wonderful when we get friends and former Shelton residents who just show up in the middle of winter to help out on trail projects because they're in town and want to.


The tree that leaning in the background may be a good candidate for the Parks and Rec Dept.  The City can get a bucket truck in there from Wheeler Street, which frees up volunteers to work on the trees hung up back in the woods.

It was a good work party and a lot of things got cut.  Safety Squirrel was on the job warning trails users about trail mayhem and dangers ahead.

Thanks to Dominick, Graham, Matt, Mark, Mike,  Ellen, Val, Sandie, Rich,  & Terry for helping out.  It was nice talking to all the folks using the Recreation Path.  The more people that we have helping maintain the trails the easier it is.  Other trails volunteers may come back during the week to buck up downed logs, that are now briar free.  Some cutting now means less troublesome work in early summer.