What a nice surprise!
Yesterday, I opened up Forest Notes, Society for the Protection of NH Forest's magazine to see an article that I had sent to them in July.
Monadnock Trails Week brought together 82 volunteers for five days of trail work
from July 12-16. It was the best turnout in the history of the event, with volunteers
logging 1,027 hours on the mountain, improving the hiking experience
for all who will visit in the coming year.
One of those volunteers was first-timer Jackie Stetser, a Forest Society volunteer land
steward for Cottrell Place in Hillsboro who decided to give Monadnock Trails Week a try—
despite some initial trepidation. Following is an excerpt from Stetser’s blog (www.monad
‘The Time Just Flew By’
Improving Monadnock’s trails in a 5-day blitz took
brawn, humor . . . and lots of doughnuts
Trail Work by JACKIE STETSER
Maybe it was the word “work.” I don’t
know. I just wasn’t sure that I wanted to get
involved. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to turn
my favorite fun activity into work. I did not
know if I was strong enough to do all the
work. What if I’m asked to move rocks, I
wondered? Heavy rocks are not what I want
to be moving!
John Bigl (land steward for the Monadnock
Reservation) put me at ease, letting me
know that I had options on what I would be
doing. A group of 11 of us worked on building
the bridge on the Parker Trail. We raked,
cut back brush and branches and created a
new section of trail. John (Stetser, Jackie’s
husband) worked with Dave Anderson (the
Forest Society’s director of education and
volunteers) carrying 16-foot-long planks for
the bridge. We worked for six hours, and the
time just flew by. We laughed, told stories
and ate together.
I found that trail work is nothing to fear.
It’s a great way to meet people who love
nature, and give back to Mount Monadnock,
my favorite place to both work and play!
State Park Manager Patrick Hummel
recently wrote (in his Monadnock Weekly
Report blog): “The touching part of our ongoing
relationship with this mountain is
that we, as a people, have also been there
when Monadnock needed us. Monadnock
needs us just as much as we need it; the
mountain needs you. There is a continuous
130-year history of people and organizations
fighting for this mountain. The Town
of Jaffrey stood up and protected Monadnock
from private enterprise and exploitation. The
State of New Hampshire stepped up and
protected Monadnock from private logging
operations that would have stripped her
eastern sides bare. The Society for the
Protection of New Hampshire Forests was
not only there to save Monadnock from
private housing developments, but it also
has continued to conserve land as recently
as 2012, protecting another 400 acres of
our beloved peak.” (The Forest Society
now owns more than 4,000 acres on
Monadnock, leased to the State to run as a
Giving back to Monadnock was a special
time for me. I’ll be back next year even
stronger. I know that I’m capable of doing
trail work. Actually, just about anyone
could! I was able to stop when I was tired,
and no one cracked a whip or brow beat me
into doing more than I felt capable of doing.
Yes, it was a very meaningful, fun day!
I left the state park knowing that I was a
part of something important.