SHELBURNE – A decades-long discussion of building pathways between neighborhoods finally achieved unanimous approval by the Selectboard last month and made opening the first trail last week possible.
Residents spent two recent weekends shaping a primitive walking path connecting homes off Spear Street with those off of Webster Road, called the Shelburne Heights connector by the town.
The trail was shaped to protect the environment and preserve the scenery, according pathway champion Mike Ashooh.
On a recent rainy walk along the connector, which is less than a half a mile long, Ashooh pointed out the work done by community members and talked about how trails help conserve and protect land.
He indicated an area where volunteers redirected an informal pathway to prevent erosion. Residents had informally used pathways that were tread without considering the environmental impact.
When Ashooh joined the Student Conservation Association as a young man, he worked on various trail projects for the National Park Service in Alaska, Colorado and California.
“If you put a trail on the side of a hill, the water flows across and out of the trail,” Ashooh said. “It’s not rocket science.”