Work Day: May 22 — Culvert your tracks!

The finished swale with buried culvert

Little kids like to create water channels in the mud as they learn to pick a path in life towards being a rice farmer or a Corps of Engineers civil engineer. In Norwich, some big kids also like to channel water!

The leaders assemble at 7:30

On Sunday, May 22, 2022, five stalwart trails volunteers assembled at 7:30 am at the Brown Schoolhouse Bridge, spanning the Charles Brown Brook across from Parcel Five to address a spring-fed soggy area just uphill from the bridge on Brown Schoolhouse Road. The plan was to dig a trench in which to lay a perforated drain pipe, surrounded by crushed stone and filter fabric to channel the water out from under the trail. Bob Fisken provided the piping and Jim Faughnan brought the crushed stone, Both brought wheel barrows, as did work leader, Nick Krembs.

Unfortunately, a large stone that was stuck in the suction of the muddy excavation sat in the way of the trenching efforts. Three crowbars and a come-along attached to a chain extracted the reluctant boulder. Mountain biker, Jon Criswell, lent his back to the effort, as he encountered the scene.

This was occasion for celebration with a donut break, catered by Nick.

Donuts by Nick

After emptying Jim’s pickup truck, covering the pipe with stone, covering the stone with filter fabric and covering the filter fabric with soil, it was time to open the trail to its first customers, after first pulling the sign warning bikers about the now-mitigated hazard!

The crew comprised:

  • Jim Faughnan
  • Bob Fisken (with Bela)
  • Steve Flanders
  • Nick Krembs (work leader)
  • John McCormick

It took five of us three hours to do the work. Here we are standing on the hidden result!

The culvert spewing spring water

Story and photos by Stephen Flanders

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