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man cleaning the trails

Lawrence Furbish of the Sanford Trails Committee works on the Mousam Way South trail.

Photo: Dave Parent

By Lee Burnett, submissions editor

Earth Day activities got started early this year with storm damage cleanup last weekend. Additional outings are planned for Saturday and Monday.

The Rotary Club and Bridget Salantri are leading a litter cleanup at the Route 4/Route 109 roundabout beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday at Lil’ General Store. Fast & Happy Bicycles is leading a cleanup party beginning at the shop at 463 Main St., Springvale, at 11 a.m. Saturday. And Great Bay Services is leading a litter cleanup party beginning behind Sanford Mill at 61 Washington St. at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, the actual Earth Day.

Trails Committee chair Lawrence Furbish said he’s gratified by the number of people who have volunteered to help clear blowdowns from the April 4 snowstorm.

“I think the damage to the trails from the storm was far and away the worst I have ever seen. But the volunteer response has been fantastic,” he said. At least 16 volunteers participated last weekend. “I have seen many examples of trail sections that have been cleared by unknown volunteers. Truly an extraordinary outpouring of support.”

Furbish invited all volunteers to report their hours to Trails Committee member Sam Parady at sparady2002@gmail.com because there is a possibility that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse the city.

Though much work to date has been accomplished with chainsaws, plenty of other work remains.

The Fast & Happy team is offering free hotdogs and beverages to anyone who shows up and is encouraging folks to bring work gloves, rakes, leaf blowers and garbage bags.

“The trail system is a gem of our community. We are happy to coordinate an opportunity for trail users to chip in and help restore them,” said Jim McDonald, owner of Fast & Happy Bicycles. “We have hosted similar events in the past and we always have a great time.”

Volunteers will break into small teams to target various trails, including sections of the Rail Trail, Hazen Carpenter Trail, YMCA trails and the trails adjacent to Holdsworth Park. Tasks will include raking and clearing of debris along the trail and trail shoulder, stacking and/or removing cut limbs and brush as a result of recent chainsaw work, and garbage pickup as necessary.

This is a fair-weather event and will be rescheduled in the event of rain. Check the Fast & Happy Facebook page or call/text the event coordinator Kristen Cyr for details 207-318-4682.

The Great Bay team is offering coffee and donuts to anyone who shows up at the side patio on Monday. The plan is to fan out from the Mill Yard from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to pick up litter and debris on Pioneer Avenue, Washington Street, Emery Street, and Gateway Park. Depending on the number of volunteers. efforts could expand to other parks and streets.

“Come early to mingle over coffee and donuts before we head out or come back after your hard work to enjoy a complimentary lunch,” according to their press release.

To volunteer email Cory Long at CLong@GreatBayServices.org. To donate or support this event, email Chrissy Swenson at CSwenson@GreatBayServices.org.

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