Sunday, August 4, 2013

Doling Out The Thanks

Visit #808, 809, 810, and 811. (#810), Saturday 3 August 13, 12:20-4:30PM, 6.8 miles.
Temps in the low 80's, sunny.

With Paul Bernier's help, the trails have been swept reasonably clean of trash and all the fallen trees cleared away. I'd been informed that the trails adjoining Hubbard Park, on the east side of Percival Park Road, were neglected and in need of some trimming. I thought now is the time to do it as the Hubbard Park trails won't suffer much and I'll clean Percival Park Road of trash as I walk north.

The Metacomet Trail travels east through Hubbard Park, crossing the north end of Merimere Reservoir and continues east to the Chamberlain Highway, crossing the Elmere Reservoir. It includes some trails on the Leiner Property (more on that later). Technically, these trails are in Berlin. But since they're accessible from within Hubbard Park, many people use Hubbard Park to reach them. So why not touch them up a bit?

As you can see from the photo above, the first 200 yards or so has some tunnel like sections which are quite inviting. I brought lopping shears and worked for an hour on Monday, clearing just the south side of the trail. I found a bicycle in the woods at trailside and dragged it back to the park, leaving it on the asphalt. Sometime during the week the parks crew must have found it and carted it away.

I returned on Wednesday, again with the lopping shears, and trimmed the north side of the trail. This time I brought a camera, and collected more trash.

For visit #810 on Saturday, I brought the chainsaw and removed the big stuff. I worked my way from the trailhead up to the Leiner Property, which is an 11 acre parcel. This sign explains it all:

Here's much of what I cleared away:

Again, I picked up trash along Percival Park Road as I walked each direction.

The trails in that area are far from complete but I hope to finish the work in 2 weeks during a vacation.

I often walk up the road from the park to the trails at the south end of Merimere Reservoir, and frequently glance at the water tank on the hill. When I did so this week, I noticed someone managed to paint a 12-15 foot tall marijuana leaf and slice of pizza on the side. Whoever did this either stood on a vehicle or brought a ladder.

Well, credit has to be given to the Meriden Parks Department because they clearly wasted no time in painting over the graffiti. I didn't have my camera with me the day I spotted the art, I can only post an "after" photo. Click on the photo and you can clearly see the fresh paint. I actually pondered painting it over myself but before I came up with a solution on how to reach 15 feet off the ground, and actually executed my plan, the city boys well did the deed.

Having been beaten to the punch on that and being saved a lot of work and aggravation, I decided to show my thanks to the Meriden Parks Department by taking care of some other graffiti. Many people either walk or drive up the road from the park toward Merimere Reservoir and beyond, and they have to pass scribblings painted on the I-691 overpass support columns. I made the passing less of an eyesore on Sunday, with 30 minutes of work.


Becomes this:

And another, final thanks to the Meriden Parks Department. In last week's post I reported on the lame output of the water fountains at the playground. The parks crew took care of them in a jiffy as well. Here ya' go:

They work like a charm now.

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