Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Local National Public Lands Day Events Announced

Volunteers needed for Tornado cleanups and trail building projects.

Sturbridge: The Regional Grand Trunk Trail Committee in partnership with the Grand Trunk trailblazers and Opacum land Trust have announced area National Public Lands Day (NPLD) with work projects to be held on Saturday, Sept 24th from 8:30 am to noon and a special trail building training program in the afternoon.  Work projects include a focused tornado clean up for the waters of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers East Brimfield Lake and 2.8 miles of the Grand trunk trail in Brimfield as well as trail building projects in Sturbridge and Southbridge.  A special trail building training program will be held on Saturday afternoon at Opacum Woods in Sturbridge.  The specific project areas and registration information are:

Brimfield: Clearing trails of downed trees and debris along 2.8 miles of the Grand Trunk Trail.  Meet at the Five Bridge Rd trail head parking lot at 8:30 for registration.  Crews will be dispatched from that location with chainsaws, brush chippers and trash bags to clear the trail of woody debris and trash.  Volunteers are asked to wear sturdy shoes, bring work gloves and a water bottle.  A Pizza Lunch will be provided to all volunteers at noon.  For further information contact Park Ranger Tom Chamberland at

East Brimfield Lake: Boats and canoes are needed to patrol the lake and shoreline to remove debris blown in by the tornado.  Volunteers are also need to help unload the boats into the dumpster.  Meet at the East Brimfield Reservoir Boat Ramp located on the South side of US RT 20 on the Brimfield/Sturbridge Town Line, across the street from Velvet Green Gardens.  If you can donate the use of your boat/canoe please make sure to bring appropriate PFD’s.  Volunteers need to wear shoes you can get wet, bring work gloves and a water bottle.  Pre-registration is requested by calling 508-347-3705 or emailing Park Ranger Tom Chamberland at  Onsite registration begins at 8:30 am. A Pizza Lunch will be provided to all volunteers at noon.  A boat/canoe washing station will be set up at the East Brimfield Dam, 24 Riverview Ave after the event.

Sturbridge: Two projects are being set up by the Trail committee; work on spreading the fine gravel surface on the Arbutus park trail on the Leadmine Mt Property and building a 150’ bog bridge for the Stafford Turnpike trail on the Heins Farm Conservation lands. For the Arbutus park work small tractors, and wheel barrows are needed, as well as volunteers to clean up the trails of small tree debris from the tornado, for the Bog Bridge a few volunteers with carpentry skills are needed and general laborers to help lay out the wood planks and sleepers.  Registration for both projects will take place at the Heins Farm Trail head parking lot, 197 Leadmine Rd at 8:30 AM, bring work gloves and a water bottle, a pizza lunch will be served at noon. Pre-registration is requested by calling 508-347-6340 or emailing Randy Redetzke at

Southbridge: Work projects include invasive plant removal and scraping and painting the hand rails on the ADA ramp for the Heritage Trail located by the lower West St School soccer fields.  Meet in the lower parking lot at 8:30 AM registration; bring work gloves and a water bottle.  All other hand tools will be provided.  Pre-registration is requested by emailing Scott Benoit at

Opacum Woods in Sturbridge, on Saturday Afternoon from 1:30 to 4 PM all trail enthusiasts are invited to join Scott Linnenburger, the Sturbridge Trail Committee and members of Opacum Land Trust in a unique single track trail build training program.  Scott Linnenburger is a professional trail builder with over 15 years of trail building experience from all over the country.  Scott has been hired by the Town to develop at town wide master plan of trails and as a part of the educational outreach of this master plan process is conducting this trail building exercise.  Scott will cover the how, what and why of building sustainable single track trails which are the most favored trails of cross country hiker and Mt Bike enthusiasts.  A special thanks to the trustees of Opacum for allowing this training to go forward.  Meet at the Opacum Woods trail head.  To get to Opacum Woods, take New Boston Road from Route 20 in Sturbridge, just east of the 131 intersection. Take your fourth right into The Preserve subdivision, and then your second left on to Old Brook Circle. The Trailhead is at the end of the cul-de-sac. The program starts at 1:30 PM, please wear sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves and a water bottle. For more information contact either Randy Redetzke or Tom Chamberland.

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