In Brimfield, Park Ranger Tom Chamberland, working with the Brimfield Trail Committee put together three crews of volunteers to each start on a section of the closed 2.8 mile section of the grand trunk trail to clear it of downed trees from the tornado in an effort to get the trail re opened. Three local tree companies, Northern Tree Service, Advantage Enterprises and DB Tree all donated brush chippers for this effort, who were assisted by the volunteers some who operated chain saws and others dragging brush. Of the 2.8 miles closed by the tornado, these crews were able to reopen about 1 mile of trail.
At East Brimfield Lake, two boat crews assisted by a land crew cleared approximately 5 miles of shoreline of East Brimfield Lake, filling a 10 yard dumpster to capacity. Keith Beecher, Park Manager of East Brimfield lake said “ we closed the 360 acre lake and 5 mile river trail immediately after the tornado as we knew we had trees and other debris deposited in the lake by the tornado making recreation on the lake hazardous. With this shore line clean up I am now more comfortable with opening up water based recreation on out lake and I want to thank all those who came out and help make this possible” Although most of the debris were pieces of foam, plastic and wood, the more notable exception was the recovery of a kitchen sink. Possible from a camper unit from one of the two Camp grounds located adjacent to the lake.
Southbridge had the fewest number of volunteers at 5, but none the less they continued to remove invasive plants and remove brushy overgrowth along the Heritage trail. Scott Benoit, crew leader for Southbridge said “I think the rainy humid weather really dampened the volunteer spirit of folks and our turnout out was lower than expected, but we still got a lot accomplished. Everyone worked hard and it shows.”
National Public Lands Day attractedmmore than 180,000 volunteers at some 2,000 sites across the country and in U.S. territories on Saturday, September 24 the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. To find out more about NPLD visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/ . Or to find out how you can help volunteer with any of the local public lands contact Park Ranger Tom Chamberland by calling him at 508-347-3705 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org