It all started with a simple request.

Could GWLT enhance the trails at Patch Reservoir?

Colin, of course, said “Sure!”  And, so we did. But, not without the help of many, many enthusiastic volunteers!

First, several mornings had to be spent wandering the property looking for a potential trail system.  As it happens with GWLT, an intrepid volunteer stepped forward and flagged the new trail!  And, it was no easy task – there was some rather thick brush just where the trail needed to be.

A few months later, a group of volunteers participating in the Worcester State University Make A Difference Day were looking for a Saturday project.  And, this location was perfect for that group – right around the corner.  That group of student volunteers spent hours tidying the existing trail and clearing through some of the dense vegetation on the newly flagged trail.

Despite their efforts, however, there was still work to do.  It was a long trail!

The next thing you know, WSU volunteers are looking for another Saturday project.  And we had just the location (again!).  However, this time we had enough resources to invite others as well.  So, in addition to the WSU students, a group of Worcester Polytechnic Institute students showed, a father and his two sons working on scout merit badges showed, a group of hearty GWLT volunteers showed.  And, it was fun!  And, productive!

The group of volunteers was so large, we accomplished quite a bit in one morning.  The group at the front of the pack cut thorny vegetation and moved large branches out of the way as they progressed along the trail.  The middle group concentrated on clipping the vegetation the first group left.  The last group of four worked on tree and log removal.  The group effort was amazing!  By the time we finished a section of trail, it looked like a well-worn footpath.  Phenomenal!

There was only a small section left to clear.  But, it had to wait.  But, not for long!

As it turned out, two students from WPI were looking for Community Service hours, so they headed back the following week to work on the unfinished section.

A Thursday morning volunteer event completed the final stretch of the new trail!  We added some finishing touches to the vegetation clearing, removed some small stumps not noticed during the other trail work events, and added the red blazes!  It was a fantastic morning!

If it were not for all those volunteers and groups coming together, the trail would still be on our “Wish List”.

The power of volunteers is amazing.

As a small non-profit organization, volunteers are invaluable.

My hope, though, is they all return to enjoy the trails!

Interested in volunteering for GWLT? Find out more on our Volunteering page!