JAG Program Weeks Two and Three

As the JAG Program is wrapping up its third week, more and more progress is being made. Last week we were building bridges in Devils Hopyard with Nate Peters from the Forest Service. At first the students were hesitant to step in the water, but within a few hours they were enjoying jumping in and getting their hands on the timber we were handling. Over the course of three days, the crew built two large, double-log bridges, reinforced the crumbling banks, and widened a large portion of the overgrown trail. We finished even earlier than expected with the hard working participants and spent our last day of work hauling lumber for the Glen Ellis Falls trail and lopping the overflow Pinkham Notch parking lot. Despite the pouring rain, the crew finished the work quickly and then toured both the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center and Camp Dodge. We would like to thank Nate Peters for his collaboration on these projects. It was great working with such an experienced and knowledgeable partner.
Our current project is cutting a new trail on White Mountain Community College land behind the Child Development Center. It is a very rewarding experience to create a brand new trail through a previously unexplored area. Our intent is to develop a nature trail, purposely passing by some interesting environmental features, which can be used by the children at the daycare, the students at the community college, and any public interested in the area. The crew has moved around between lopping unwanted branches and roots, grubbing out a two foot wide tread, building bridges spanning muddy creeks, and removing large rocks from the trail. It has been hard, sweaty work with mosquitos and deer flies as our constant companions, but the feeling of accomplishment when walking a well laid-out, smooth trail at the end of each day makes it worth it. The students have become attached to the project so we have extended our work there by two days to cut as much as we can. We must thank the employees at the daycare, especially Director Sue Cloutier, for the ice cold water they have been providing us with everyday. It has enabled the crew to work through the hot days and stay hydrated. We are looking forward to working on the new trail for the first part of next week and then finishing up on Mt. Jasper for our final week of the Berlin JAG Program.