SCA NH Corps is featured in Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
JAFFREY — A short walk from the entrance to Children’s Woods on Stratton Road, there are a group of people busily working among huge logs of hemlock. The logs have been felled and dragged to their current location to become the base of a walking bridge. Six volunteers are steadily stripping the wood of it bark, or firing up the chainsaw to cut notches in already-prepared logs to start to piece them together. The whole operation runs smoothly. So smoothly, it’s surprising that this group is made up not of long-experienced foresters or trail workers, but recent college grads who have been spending their year with the AmeriCorps and Student Conservation Association.
In July, the Jaffrey Conservation Commission secured a $8,089 grant from the U.S. Department of Resources and Economic Development, Bureau of Trails to conduct trail work in Children’s Woods and Carey Park. The funds allow for the construction of a new bridge, the implementation of some erosion controls on the trail, as well as general trail clean up and maintenance.
The volunteers come from all over — Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Michigan — but have become a well-oiled machine, living together in communal cabins with few amenities, teaching through education programs in the winter, and when the snow melts, beginning their “hitch” season. They go out for small stretches at a time to local state and town forests to do a variety of trail work and get the practical experience of building bridges and boardwalks, dams and trails. They will only be in Jaffrey for ten days, before finishing and moving on to the next location.
“It’s a combination of travel, learning new skills and being outside,” said William Baumler of Marco Island, Fla. “It’s the best office I could ask for.”