It may have been gray, damp and chilly, but the weather didn't dampen the spirits of the twenty extraordinary volunteers who celebrated the first day of spring by participating in phase one of the wetland restoration and trail rehabilitation project in the Bourne Town Forest.
Though the work was hard, the enthusiasm
generated by all who attended was pivotal in the
completion of the moving and reshaping of nearly
64,000 cubic feet of soil out of and around the
wetland and the construction of 8 large retaining
walls that will prevent future erosion of soil and
silt from an old fire road into the valuable natural
resource. The fire road itself was completely closed
and 1 new mile of multi-use trail was built around
Among our diverse group of volunteers was Neil Gaspar of the Bourne Conservation Commission who put his constructions skills to use along with Cape builder and contractor Steve Shakin, and NEMBA memba Ted Rowan, a science teacher from Falmouth High School who felt the project was important enough to bring along some gung-ho students for an educational field trip. In all, over 175 hours of manpower was donated to the wetland rescue this day.
A last minute financial glitch that could have forced a lengthy delay of the project was avoided when community businessman Matt Trask of Communica learned of the plan and saved the day with a generous donation. In fact it was so generous, we were able to provide our volunteers with a hearty barbecue lunch, including all the trimmings, beverages and snacks for refueling throughout the day. The AmeriCorp volunteers knew they had scored big upon learning they would get to "doggy" bag the leftovers, which were quite considerable. Most importantly we felt the project received enough positive press to be able to convey the plight of all remaining wetlands as an endangered species that must be protected.
Phase two of the project will include more trail closure and rerouting, placement of educational kiosks and benches at a viewing site, along with a major planting of native species into and around the banks of the wetland to stabilize the banks and encourage optimal function. Deb McCulloch
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