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

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Trail Survey

Please take a moment,  and take the survey concerning the trails here in Sturbridge.

Thank you.


  1. Who polices the trails, and at what cost?

  2. What do mean "police"? Volunteers have built them.

  3. The lands were bought with our CPA/CPC money, raised by a (yes it was voted for at some town meeting/meetings) surcharge on our property taxes.
    Who "polices" them, means, as in the Webster's Dictionary's definition:
    "(of a police force) Have the duty of maintaining law and order.
    Enforce regulations or an agreement in (a particular area or domain)"
    Law enforcement, rescues, ambulance runs, etc. are now and will be required to cover more territory more often.

  4. By the way, people might like to know just how much money we still owe on the properties where the volunteers are working. Maybe, if we don't spend any more, what we already bought will be paid for in 2030. Gulp.

  5. The Town of Sturbridge has a police department and EMS. Trails are trails, and don't have a forest ranger.

  6. These are a few miles of beautiful trails in a small town, not a National Park. If police are needed the towns police and the state police are available.

  7. Yes, they (police, etc.) are available for the miles and miles of roads in this town, and now will be policing more lands, more often at a higher cost to the tax payers.
    And there are those who want more and more trails, and more, and more...

  8. No, you're wrong. The police won't be driving down the trails, or walking thre trails unless the town wants them to. The trails are within the borders of the town and our police are here for all those within our borders. On a trail or a road. No extra cost. But the TA, police chief or Tom Chamberland would be the people to ask.

  9. Why would you want someone to question a fact? Do you not know that our police have actually been out there at one time or another? The miles of trails have opened more territory to be covered and more opportunity for people to be out in the woods. That's a fact. If they get a call, do you expect the emergency crews to ask Tom Chamberlain or the TA before they go in?

  10. Doesn't it cost more in time and money to cover more places within our borders - more trails in the woods - finding those who have wondered off those trails, etc.?

  11. I think you have misunderstood. EMS / police resond to any need in the town. Anywhere. It was meant for you to ask the TA, the chief, or Tom to get more definitive answers to your questions. Of course, I am sure the police hsve been on job at any of our trails.

  12. Within our set borders, more territory to cover, especially in the wooded areas, cannot help but increase the cost in time and money for police and rescue.

  13. Seek and You Shall Find the Answers (maybe)Monday, January 02, 2012

    Ask questions, people. Find out exactly where the 3% surcharge on your property taxes is going. Ask how much was spent, as well as what percentage has been spent on each allowed category. You might find that quite a small percentage has been used for affordable housing. You may also learn just how much we have borrowed against the 3% and still owe for the properties used for open space and trails, and for things such as a slate roof,etc.

  14. It isn't free.
    CPA money is your money. At one time the surtax money collected for CPA was matched 100% by the State. Now it is 23%. Current debt is over $4 million and reaches out to 2030. Be careful at Town Meetings when it is suggested that CPA money can be used. It isn't free.

  15. time to repeal our participation in the cpa. ?

  16. How many of you remember the following story? How many of you feared through the long nights for the little girl lost in the Sturbridge woods? There is a danger and a cost in having isolated woodland trails. The girl in this article wondered off a trail while on a school outing.
    From the New York Times:
    "Brooklyn Girl Is Found Safe In Woods in Massachusetts"
    Published: May 07, 1994

    "Displaying survival skills that impressed local people familiar with the outdoors, a 14-year-old Hasidic girl from Brooklyn who disappeared on Wednesday when a school outing in a Connecticut state park went awry was found today by the police in dense, swampy woods, frightened and tired but praying by the side of a tree."

    "Suri Feldman had carefully rationed her sandwiches so that they sustained her for the two days and two nights she was lost. She found ledges to keep her dry during occasional drizzles. When search helicopters flew overhead, she tried to signal them with the flash on her camera."

    "'We were concerned that this was a city girl with no survival skills at all,' said Chief Kevin Fitzgibbons of the Sturbridge Police Department. 'But speaking to her I have nothing but absolute amazement for the girl.'

    "The thin, slight teen-ager had wandered along forest roads more than three miles from the point in Bigelow Hollow State Park where she became separated from her classmates. She was still a mile and half from the nearest human outpost, the Sturbridge town dump and recycling center."

  17. The rest of the story is she "got Lost" for attention from her family.


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