Focal Point: Bay Circuit Trail & Eastern Mass Regional Trails



Thanks to an ever expanding partnership between REI and the Appalachian Mountain Club, we have been able to hone in on stewardship needs of the Bay Circuit Trail (BCT) and other trails in Eastern Massachusetts. In the coming year we hope to realize the vast potential of volunteer engagement, conservation, and trail stewardship in this region due to the company’s generous support.

The AMC has had a strong presence in Massachusetts since its founding in 1876. We continue to broaden our partnerships in efforts to preserve and maintain the valued public spaces in the area.  Through staff and volunteer efforts in trail construction and maintenance we have established strong relationships with the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation, The Trustees of Reservations, numerous land trusts, and more.  In September 2012, AMC and The Trustees of Reservations announced a new collaboration to assist the Bay Circuit Trails Alliance in the completion, enhancement, and long-term protection of the 200+ mile Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway. 

With generous grants from REI in 2012 and 2013, we have been able to offer a variety of introductory trail work programs, open to the public for free, in eastern MA and RI. These day-long programs, several of which took place on the BCT, captured the attention of many individuals new to trail work and conservation volunteering. AMC staff and local AMC Chapter trail leaders partnered to deliver these programs in the hopes of fostering new sustaining trail volunteers in the region. Turn-out for these events has been fantastic and, with several more still on the schedule for 2013, we are optimistic about the overall impact this will have on the local trail networks.    

REI recently awarded AMC a grant to further support our trails and conservation efforts by helping us strengthen our Volunteer Trail Program’s infrastructure and expand our programming and outreach to volunteers. Focusing on the BCT and other trail networks in the region, we plan to bolster ongoing Adopt-A-Trail programs, offer numerous trainings for local volunteers, coordinate community service events, lead local school/camp/college/scout groups on trail stewardship projects, collaborate with the regional volunteer and state land management agencies, and serve as an on-the-ground point of contact for trail and conservation issues in eastern MA.

Stay tuned for more exciting news and developments on our work on the BCT and trails in eastern MA. Interested in getting involved in one of our upcoming Introduction to Trail Maintenance events? You can find additional information at www.rei.com/boston or at www.outdoors.org/volunteer.