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20161203_113648webNicks and scratches from the multiflora rose was just one outcome from the work accomplished on Saturday morning, but nobody seemed to mind. It’s satisfying seeing all the brambles and brush cut away from the wall and in a windrow, waiting for a tractor push into a pile. And that’s just what happened along the loop trail at Mandell Hill along the stone wall just over the style near the Ellison birding platform.

Come check it out!

Linda cutting brush and brambles along the stone wall.

Linda cutting brush and brambles along the stone wall.

Many thanks to Harrison, Linda, Rod and Cynthia for making it possible!

Here is a short video tour of EQLT’s Mandell Hill located at Barre Road in Hardwick.

Rich Valcourt, Jr., standing at the left side of the photo, is explaining how the timber sale was designed.

Rich Valcourt, Jr., standing at the left side of the photo, is explaining how the timber sale was designed.

This morning we got to walk through the Kohn’s woods, looking at the results of their recent timber sale. First we heard directly from Judy and Henry about their goals for the land, including their interest in providing places for wildlife of all kinds to live and increasing the diversity of tree species on the land. Henry and Judy are especially interested in restoring American chestnuts because they used to make up about 25% of the northeast’s woods before the blight struck in the early 1900’s. The property still includes many chestnut sprouts.

Looking at an American chestnut that has the blight, and the tree has sent more sprouts up around the base.

Looking at an American chestnut that has the blight, and the tree has sent more sprouts up around the base.

The Kohn’s forester is Rich Valcourt, Jr., and he completed the management planning and timber sale details. The woods are mostly mixed oaks and white pine in the canopy. The existing seedlings and regeneration is mostly white pine. Rich discussed the soils, and how their character influences what trees grow best on the site. Currently on the side slopes there are a mix of oaks, with young white pines growing up underneath. By removing mature trees, there is more sunlight getting to the forest floor and helping the young trees to grow.

We also looked at the woods road network. The trees were moved by using a forwarder, that’s a machine that picks the trees up into the bed rather than dragging them along the ground. The roads were in good shape and didn’t show signs of erosion or excessive compaction.  The same roads will be used for future timber sales too.

20161112_104521webThank you to Henry and Judy for inviting us to see the results of their recent timber harvest, and Rich Valcourt for leading the walk. This woods walk was co-sponsored by the East Quabbin Land Trust, MassConn Sustainable Forest Partnership, Green Natural Resource Management, and the US Forest Service.

Thanks to Harrison, Tom, Becky, Matt, Annie, Gary, and Cynthia and Rich for their efforts today at Pynchon's Grist Mill Preserve.

Thanks to Harrison, Tom, Becky, Matt, Annie, Gary, and Cynthia and Rich for their efforts today at Pynchon’s Grist Mill Preserve.

Today we made great strides in expanded the cleaned up area along the Sucker Brook pond at Pynchon’s Grist Mill Preserve. Thanks to the hard work of Matt, Harrison, Tom, Annie, Rich, Becky, and Cynthia.

The pond edge was cleared, trimming the herbaceous growth and cutting the woody shrubs to the ground. The view over the pond is clear. The wood duck boxes are ready for the return of the ducks next season.

Gary, cutting dead white pines cleaning out the area near Sucker Brook and the pond edge.

Gary, cutting dead white pines cleaning out the area near Sucker Brook and the pond edge.

We spent a lot of effort in pulling burning bush, barberry and bittersweet from under the dense white pine stand. The goal is to get the area cleared enough so that it can be mowed next year, expanding the area where the invasive plants are being controlled.

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Roasting hotdogs over the fire in the Coxhall Kitchen Garden.

Roasting hotdogs over the fire in the Coxhall Kitchen Garden.

Sunday night was a terrific night for a small fire in the Coxhall Kitchen Garden. There was still a breeze as the sun went down – just enough to help get the fire going. Then the stars came out as we enjoyed the waning fire.

We each had at least two s’mores! Plus a few hotdogs beforehand, making it a perfect evening over the open fire. Thanks to Lucinda, Ann, Gabriella, Nathaniel, Paula, Sadie, Quinn, Penny and Cynthia for heading outdoors and sharing s’mores!

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Making s'mores!

Making s’mores!

 

Taking off on the 5-mile Classic.

Taking off on the 5-mile Classic.

The 5th Annual Station Loop Ramble was a huge success despite the rain, that came and went all morning. Nearly sixty runners took off on the various races this morning – nine youngsters raced in the Kid’s One Mile, twenty seven folks ran the 5-mile Classic around West and Unitas Road to loop back along the Mass Central Rail Trail, and twenty three people took off on the 5k Run/Walk along the rail trail and around the streets of Wheelwright!

Click here for a slide show of pictures from today’s race.

Overall Male and Female winners of the 5-mile Classic, Patrick Caron and Karla Steele.

Overall Male and Female winners of the 5-mile Classic, Patrick Caron and Karla Steele.

The course record for the 5-mile Classic was broken again this year, with a time of 28:53, by Patrick Caron.

Overall male and female winners of the 5k Run/Walk, David Maher and Jennifer Hoche.

Overall male and female winners of the 5k Run/Walk, David Maher and Jennifer Hoche.

 

5-MILE CLASSIC
First Name Last Name Time Town
Patrick Caron 28:53:00 Needham
Matthew Twarog 29:06:00 Hubbardston
Tom Steele 30:57:00 Rutland
Matt Lau 35:22:00 Petersham
Karla Steele 35:22:00 Rutland
Morgan Whitney 39:01:00 New Braintree
Max Leroux 39:02:00 Barre
Gerard Fallon 39:55:00 Hamilton
Gene Rich 40:49:00 Gilbertville
Eric Winn 42:36:00 Wakefield
Audrey Snay 42:56:00 West Brookfield
Neil McManus 43:05:00 Gardner
Chris Laursen 43:16:00 Barre
Pamela Clark 45:02:00 West Brookfield
James Morrissey 45:08:00 West Boylston
Kathleen O’Connor 45:12:00 Holden
Deb Gauley 45:50:00 Plympton
Elaine Dill 46:47:00 Monson
Keith Gauley 47:35:00 Plympton
Chris Powell 47:43:00 Melrose
Alan Gray 48:19:00 Gardner
Jenni DiMauro 48:41:00 Barre
Joseph Haseltine 50:10:00 Lunenburg
Holly Wielsma 51:23:00 Spencer
Paula Ouimette 52:26:00 Gilbertville
Virginia Reed 55:24:00 Ware
Jessica Powers 56:19:00 Ware
5K RUN/WALK
First Name Last Name Time Town
David Maher 22:51:00 North Brookfield
Harrison Lewis 24:08:00 Barre
Jennifer Hache 24:59:00 Lowell
Bailey Metcalf 25:17:00 Gilbertville
Sarah McCue 26:45:00 Boylston
Jessica Laprel 26:46:00 Framingham
Stavros Gorgees 28:15:00 North Brookfield
Angela Amer Moya 28:28:00 Hubbardston
Cristen Comptois 29:46:00 Hubbardston
Olivia Breault 31:22:00 Hubbardston
Paul Breault 31:24:00 Hubbardston
Evelyn Saunders 32:33:00 Gill
David Broschart 32:49:00 West Brookfield
Blake Lenhardt 34:23:00 North Brookfield
Amanda Blakle 34:46:00 Gilbertville
Claudia Broschart 34:52:00 West Brookfield
Lynn Tupper 36:00:00 Barre
Louis Gutterman 39:54:00 North Brookfield
Brandy Murphy 41:44:00 Leicester
Sara Subik 43:01:00 Barre
Josef DellaGrotte 50:22:00 Barre
Meghan Rodier 51:27:00
Jennifer Bothwell 52:00:00 Somers, CT
KID’S ONE MILE
First Name Last Name Time Town
Maxell Lewis 8:20:00 Barre
Carlee Rich 9:12:00 Gilbertville
Caitin Rich 9:20:00 Gilbertville
Eric Snay 9:53:00 West Brookfield
Connor Snay 10:23:00 West Brookfield
Sadie Ouimette 11:13:00 Gilbertville
Quinn Ouimette 11:52:00 Gilbertville
Penny Ouimette 12:52:00 Gilbertville
Timothy Rodier 13:25:00

The newest East Quabbin Land Trust preserve is Henry’s Grove in Hubbardston. Through the generosity of Judith Bothwell and Joyce Lofgren, and partial funding from the US Forest Service Forest Legacy Program, these 94 acres are permanently protected from future development and open to the public for passive recreational activities. The installation of parking and a trail loop are part of EQLT’s 2017 stewardship work plan.

Our first guided hike brought visitors across the land, over to the East Branch of the Ware River. The current trail access is several hundred yards south of 56 Lombard Road at the old log landing. Pull your car off to the side of the road at the crest of the hill.

Judith Bothwell (on right) during a hike of Henry's Grove in September 2016, sharing insights to the land and their family's commitment to conservation.

Judith Bothwell (on right) during a hike of Henry’s Grove in September 2016, sharing insights to the land and their family’s commitment to conservation.

 

Walkers enjoying the trail at Henry's Grove.

Walkers enjoying the trail at Henry’s Grove.

 

A colorful mushroom found along the trail.

A colorful mushroom found along the trail.

 

Don’t miss our 5th Annual Station Loop Ramble on Sunday, October 9th. There are many ways you can participate: Kid’s One Mile, 5 mile Classic, or the 5k Run/Walk.

If you don’t want to run, please come and cheer on the runners!

2016 Station Loop Ramble flyer

 

Tom is weed whacking the brush clearing out the electric wires along the old pasture edge.

Tom is weed whacking the brush clearing out the electric wires along the old pasture edge.

A hardworking crew of seven converged at Mandell Hill on Barre Road in Hardwick Saturday morning. The work day goal was to clear the existing electric fences from the whole summers worth of plant growth. There was multiflora rose, bittersweet, golden rod, grape vines, and lots of other stuff to cut out.

Wounds from the work day!

Wounds from the work day!

We were focusing on a small, 2-acre paddock downslope from the main entrance way at Mandell Hill. We expect to bring some llamas in to graze the paddock this fall. Having the electric fence up and running is essential before the animals can safely come to start their work. This is an exciting experiment to see if these large animals can help us with brush control!

Taking a break during the morning of brush cutting. Thanks to Jeff, Tom, Harrison, John, Becky, Ric and Cynthia for their hard work!

Taking a break during the morning of brush cutting. Thanks to Jeff, Tom, Harrison, John, Becky, Ric and Cynthia for their hard work!

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