AMC NH-JAG Returns to Mt. Jasper and WMCC

Last week we commenced work with students from the Berlin JAG (Jobs for America's Graduates) program. The crew from Berlin consists almost entirely of returning crew members. These students are not only returning to the JAG trails program but also to projects they’ve worked on in the past- every worksite this month has been worked on by JAG students in the recent years.

A portion of the staircase we built on Mt. Jasper
Our first week was spent building a staircase on Mt. Jasper. This trail was cut and has since been maintained only by Berlin high school JAG students. If you’re a frequent reader of the trails blog, you probably know that most moderately steep grades can benefit from rock stairs. There are a lot of moderately steep sections of the Mt. Jasper trail, so there is no shortage of work for the JAG crews past, present, and future. By the end of the week, the staircase was 21 steps long and nearly finished. We’ll return to Mt. Jasper for the last week of the program to finish up the staircase and… probably start yet another small staircase just up the trail.  

Bridge built at WMCC last week
After Mt. Jasper, it was time for a break from rock work. Last week we moved down the road to the nature trail behind the daycare center at White Mountain Community College- another ongoing Berlin JAG trails project. This year, our job was to replace a very rotten bridge with a brand new bridge and to replace some ‘corduroy’ in a muddy area with a bog bridge. Corduroy refers to logs laid parallel in the trail to provide a drier but very uncomfortable walking surface. As we pulled those mostly rotten logs out of the trail, the tread became increasingly muddy and soon we were standing in smelly slop rising over our ankles. A single bog bridge was going to be totally insufficient for the length of the mess we had made! Fortunately, there were lots of rocks lying around so stepping stones were an easy solution. By the end of the week, the bog bridge and stepping stones fully spanned the mud pit and a sturdy new bridge stood in the place of the old rotten one.

On the hike in to work each day, it’s rewarding for the students to walk over their own projects from past seasons. Up next, we will return to a project on the Rattle River Trail as we join forces with the Forest Service trail crew.