I was fortunate enough to take a walk up at The Town Forest this week to see all of the incredible trail work that is being done this summer. The Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) is back for it’s second year, expanding the trail network in the Forest. The VYCC will spend a total of three weeks working. They use only hand tools and are spending the nights camped out at The Bay Park. Steve Beauregard, the Director of Public Works, said that the project costs were fully funded by grant money that the Town of St. Albans received for trail development purposes.
Beauregard says that the Town wants to see more people using the land. They are happy to encourage hikers, mountain bikers and snow shoe users. The Town would love to see more people out and enjoying it. The challenge for the Town is that they do not have the manpower to develop more trails and struggle to find the time to maintain the trails that are already there.
RiseVT was fortunate enough to connect Beauregard with Stephen Bernard, the President of The Franklin County Mountain Bike Club (FCMTBC). Bernard has the same goal of being able to access the trails and would like the FCMTBC to lend a hand in trail development and maintenance, in any way that is welcome. The FCMTBC has sent representatives to trail building clinics, so they have the skills and the manpower, but often not the tools or the access. Both groups plan to work with Nancy Patch, the County Forester, to see what information she has to offer as well.
This partnership will benefit both groups, as well as the St. Albans Community at large. Much of the land in the Town Forest is still untouched, so it offers the opportunity for trail planning and building.
What an amazing step in bringing more spaces for recreation to St. Albans!