Storm Damage on the Trails: How You Can Help WFTA

Old birch down near Norumbega Reservoir

Did you know that Weston has 2,000 acres of conserved land and 90+ miles of trails? Most of this land is owned by the Town of Weston, while a small portion is owned by Weston Forest & Trail Association (WFTA), a 501c3 organization. WFTA is responsible for maintenance of trails, view points and field trails on these acres, which is a lot of work for an organization run entirely by volunteers (full disclosure: I am one of them) and one-part time forester/trails manager.

Tree down on the Bay Circuit Trail in Ogilvie Forest

When a large storm hits, or even a small one, WFTA is usually out within hours to begin clean-up so the trails are again accessible to visitors. Yesterday, the Owl was already out on College Pond trails at 9 am, flinging branches off the trail and noting any large tree fall. She wasn’t the only one on clean-up duty–two DPW trucks turned into the brush dump with loads full of branches they must have pulled off sidewalks and streets. Two Junior Rangers also contacted the Owl yesterday to say that they were heading out to Highland Forest today for clean-up of trails. WFTA loves their generosity of time and spirit.

Please also know that WFTA does not encourage people to head out while the winds are still high, which they were yesterday. Also, while you’re welcome to pull branches and tree limbs off trails, only Conservation Commission and WFTA-authorized people are allowed to use chainsaws on Conservation land.

If you’re out on the trails and can pull branches and boughs off the trail, the help is much appreciated. If the branch or tree is too large, please send a photo and approximate location of the tree to westonforesttrail@gmail.com and the forester will add it to her list. Larger/high-use properties are prioritized–so if you don’t see the tree move for a couple of days, know that it will move sooner or later (see, trees do move, but only when dead and then cut up by Lynn).

The woods are lovely dark and deep…head on out…oh, and wear boots.

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