Work Day: Upper Ballard Trail, August 23, 2020

On August 23rd Norwich Trails volunteers gathered at the Parcel 5 trailhead parking lot at 0800, to extend at the top and rebuild at the bottom a 55-foot long bog bridge in a perennially wet section of the upper Ballard Trail. An earlier crew had completed substantial work on this structure when they elevated it from the mud and replaced sections of it on July 12. Participating were:

  • Jim Faughnan (organizer)
  • Bob Fisken
  • Steve Flanders
  • Peter Griggs
  • Aderiti Gueba
  • Kyle Koehler
  • John McCormick
  • Jane, John, and Simon Phipps
  • Gerry Plummer
  • Cathie Redpath
  • Lindsay Wieland
  • Cody Williams

The work began well in advance of this date, when work leader, Jim Faughnan, purchased the required materials and cut elements to length and pre-drilled decking to expedite construction in the field. Earlier in the month, volunteers pre-positioned the materials on the west side of the Charles Brown Brook and re-located the temporary footbridge to assure no conflict with the construction of the new bridge over the brook.

Organizing the work at Parcel 5 parking.

On this day, 14 volunteers carried materials and tools about ¾ of a mile to the site, using a variety of methods.

While one crew tore the rotting decking off the lower end of the bridge, another crew added stringers and footers to the top end of the bridge. The bridge received about 24 feet of new decking in its 12-foot extension. A third crew went up the trail to perform reconnaissance and lopping any branches that were poised to impinge on the trail.

The crews had finished their work and carried out the tools and extra materials by 1000, demonstrating the efficiency and experience of those involved.

The temporary bridge across Charles Brown Brook

The crew assembled at the conclusion of the work session and celebrated with a variety of poses!

Story and photos by Stephen Flanders

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