National Trails Day is June 3: Let’s Go for $5K for WFTA
Celebrate National Trails Day and National Land Trust Day (two in one!) on June 3, 2023. Yes, they both exist–just ask google. In reality, for Weston Forest & Trail Association, it’s just another day taking care of the amazing open space of Weston. I think it is fair to say that everyone in this town and in the surrounding area appreciates our beautiful trails, trees and right now, common yellow throats, blue heron hatcheries, and pileated woodpeckers.
Weston is fortunate to have an open space guardian, Weston Forest & Trail Association, which got its start in 1955 with the dedication and strategic planning of some amazing volunteers. You can read all about that in Pamela Fox’s From Farm Town to Suburb. Full disclosure before I go on and on and on about Weston’s 2000 acres of protected land…the Owl is a trustee and vice president of stewardship for WFTA but receives no financial compensation from the organization. You can learn more about the composition of the board here.
Other things to know: WFTA is a 501c3 and has no paid staff but some part-time paid help. The Executive Board, which numbers six, puts in a huge number of hours caring for trails, protecting easements and trail rights, building bog bridges as well as managing the finances and education outreach for this amazing organization (oops, bias again). The Owl personally spends at least 20 unpaid hours on the trail each week–no, not unpaid, since the song of red-winged blackbirds, the peepers and the crunch of leaves are salary beyond measure.
On the other hand…
Did you know that your Weston taxes do not support Weston Forest & Trail? And that the organization is responsible for keeping clear more than 90 miles of trails, some of them muck-filled and others requiring constant mowing (think about the field trails of Coburn Meadows or the rail trail to transfer station link). WFTA also maintains the Bay Circuit Trail as it winds its way through the west side of Weston. WFTA built the nature classroom at Case Estates (with help from many volunteers) and created a Junior Ranger program to involve kids in getting to know the natural world.
Which all leads me to this since I know you all are mathy. We have 427 members of Weston Forest & Trail Association as of the end of May (see report on the WFTA page). Not all of them are Weston residents. And yet Weston has 3,700 households (more or less). Does anyone see where I am going? Bueller? Bueller? Everyone loves Conservation land, no? Public lands need maintenance though and that is where you and Weston Forest & Trail Association come in.
The Owl Challenge: Let’s raise $5K for WFTA by the end of June. Yes, that’s $1K more than I asked for last year (and which the town came together and raised. We did a 4K, let’s do a 5K this year, okay? If every household gave just a $1, we would be almost there–you do the math …let’s see…5,000-3,700… where’s my danged calculator? You can donate online here. You can also send a check but why would you? Yes, tax-deductible.
Invest in the Open Space you cherish. And thank you to all who have already given–WFTA appreciates all the supporters and volunteers and those who care for the easements and trails that cross Weston. If you use any of Weston’s trails, please consider supporting WFTA and its work for the Weston community.
Learn more about Weston Forest and Trail Association here.
And then get outside.