The slick cardsman pulls out the deck, spreads out your choices and you are confronted with 52 possible cards! Well, when it comes to the Little River Trail System that covers the historic upper Common Pasture; we have whittled it down to five (5):
Cooper North Pasture Nature Trail
Crow Lane Nature Trail
Gloria Braunhardt Little River Nature Trail
Little River Nature Trail
Woodman Farm Nature Trail
These incredible wild places are surrounded by Newburyport’s urban environment. And yet, when on them; the feeling is inescapable that you are in the most remotest parts of nature. There are exotic habitats of vernal pools and wetlands, a cornucopia of wildlife and different environments covered on a trail from deciduous trees to evergreen; from open fields to deep forests. And each trailhead is easily reachable.
We need volunteers to help keep these paths clear and safe. Some mowing will be required and that will be present as a service from Parker River Clean Water Association. But the real issue is to make sure that the bird watchers, hikers, nature lovers and dog walkers will not be endangered by ticks. These creatures hang off of the tips of brush and trees and grass ready to drop off onto unsuspecting visitors (canine and human) to our beautiful and historic Common Pasture; and the Little River – a major tributory of the Parker River Watershed and a contributor to the health of the Great Marsh.
The second goal is to pick up human detritus, ancient and recent; that have accumulated over the years or recently: auto parts, farm equipment, tires and trash and the strangest: dog poop bags. The objective is to leave the forest pristine for all to enjoy.
Volunteers need the following: clippers, loppers, and yes, a hand saw! (Better than a machete for convincing stubborn overgrowth to keep back!) To protect from exposure to ticks, always spray the body first, then after dressing; the clothing. Ticks know how to burrow through layers of fabric and will not hesitate to do so!
Be sure to empathize the trail user! As you walk the paths, did something brush across your face, or legs or try to poke you in the eye or leg? That’s Mother Nature being rather enthusiastic (and trying to offload her excess bugs, ticks and trip-generating plants!) Sadly, most draping over the trails are invasive and don’t even belong in New England. Suggestion: slash without mercy for every nature lover’s safety.
The major cleanup headquarters will be at the Crow Lane Trailhead. Take Crow Lane off of Low Street until coming to the entrance to the City’s stump dump facility. Keep straight until you arrive at the trailhead just left of Mount Lavender. (The city’s landfill) There is plenty of parking and easy access to all the trails. A trail map will be provided. Water, coffee, and tea will be available at 8:30 A.M. Trash bags will be provided. Cleanup is from 9:00 to 12:00 noon. We invite you to stick around a little longer just to experience these paths! Especially since the mower will probably be working longer as we must cover the bushier parts of 5.4 miles of trails.