Senior moment: Students' project adds to hiking trails
Riley Keenan and Alex Evans have organized donations of materials and service, as well as a crew of volunteers, to implement Phase II of the Bow Community Trails Project, the majority of which will be completed this week.
Phase I, completed last year, involved installing trails that led to the football field, and this year's project will wind the trail around the campus to athletic fields in the back.
The project, funded by a New Hampshire Moose Plate grant of $7,850 and a donation from the UPS Foundation, includes the widening of trails and removal of roots, as well as adding wood chips and planting a number of flowers, trees and shrubs, said Mary Ann Gaschnig, who is the school-to-career coordinator at the school.
The goal of the project is to make the trails available to the community for recreational use such as walking, cross country running and skiing and bird watching, Gaschnig said.
“The idea is to make this an accessible trail system for the community,” she said, “and it is a conservation project as well.”
The trails will also be used for educational purposes at the high school, Gaschnig said.
Keenan was responsible for getting the plants for seven different areas of the trail, and he enlisted the help of the Bow Garden Club for ideas of what to plant and how to lay it all out.
“I gave him names of some of the plants, and Riley drew out the designs,” said Kerry Buckley, vice president of the club.
Buckley was impressed by Keenan's efforts.
“He's worked hard, very hard,” she said. “It was a huge amount of work.”
Evans had the daunting task of recruiting volunteers to help for two days of work. Students were able to earn community service hours, required for graduation.
Bow High School Principal John House-Myers said the idea has been in the works for several years and is happy to see it come to fruition.
“It'll really add a lot to the community,” he said. “It's going to be unlike anything we've had here before.”
House-Meyers said students put a lot of work into the project.
“I'm really pleased with it,” he said, “a lot of students have been here the whole day.”
Both Evans and Keenan were happy with the results of the first day.
“The watering has been tough, but everyone worked hard,” Keenan said.
“It has a nice, professional feel to it,” added Evans.
Both Gaschnig and House-Myers said the spirit of community was evident throughout the project.
“Like anything, nothing gets done without the support of a lot of people,” House-Myers said. “It's one of those village kinds of things.”
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