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Volunteer News: 2018 Earth Day Cleanup!

It happened again — another Earth Day Cleanup at Cascades East!  

And, thanks to a group of intrepid volunteers, it was a success!

Besides being kind enough to wake early on a Saturday morning, they jumped right into the task of pushing wheelbarrows up a hill to the old dump site.  They would then spend a fair amount of time removing broken glass, metal, tires, rubber tubing, etc. from the area. Being New England, and given a winter that just wants to hang on, all this was done while there was still about an inch of snow on the ground.

After filling a wheelbarrow, they headed back down the hill with their prize collection.

We then sorted through the materials to set aside recyclable metals from material that would end up in the dumpster.  (Thanks to another volunteer, the metal ends up at a recycling center the following week.)

After a brief break and some conversation, the volunteers would head back up the hill and repeat the process.


Despite frozen hands, hard work, and repetitive activity, they continued to work.  And chat!

All this was followed by a rather fun and relaxing cookout at Cascading Waters!  We had a chance to talk about the event, talk about future events, and chat like old friends around a campfire.

An absolutely wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning and a bit of the afternoon.

To all those that participated – THANK YOU!

You have made a difference!

Volunteer News: Trail Work Elves

Volunteering with Greater Worcester Land Trust and Greater Worcester Land Trust Volunteers come in many forms!

There are volunteers that love organized, group events.

There are volunteers that enjoy participating in an event, but sort of on the sideline.

There are volunteers that quietly work away on a project on their own.

There are volunteers that see something that needs doing, and they just do it.

And, there are volunteers that quietly tend to a project and we never know who they are!

It never ceases to amaze me how many volunteers are out there in the wilds of Worcester helping to steward GWLT lands.

Several years ago, when we began work on refreshing the Tetasset Ridge Trail and other trails associated with God’s Acre, I first noticed an amazing thing – work we planned on continuing during a subsequent Trail Work event had already been done!  There were Trail Work Elves! We would return to where we ended the trail work and discover more had been completed or the trail was “tidied” just a little more. Temporary bridges were placed over wet areas, trails were lined with downed branches, and there were signs the trail had been used.  It was incredible!

Since that time, Trail Work Elves continue to do their work!  We never see them, but we see the work they do!

This silent Corps of Volunteers continue their work to this day.  There are times we receive a notification informing us that a downed tree is blocking the trail, or that vegetation has overgrown onto the trail.  We plan on a Trail Work event to tend to the matter, and lo and behold – it is already done!

To all those secret volunteers – THANK YOU!

Your work is much appreciated.

And for those of you that LOVE big, organized events, get ready for the GWLT Earth Day Cleanup on Saturday, April 7th from 8am to noon.  This is the morning we continue our cleanup efforts at Cascades East. And, then follow-up with a cookout at Cascading Waters!  It is a time to do some hard work, help cleanup a GWLT property, and share a meal with friends.  

(It is also very likely Tracy’s cookies will be available…)


Volunteer News

Did you ever wonder how those beautiful GWLT signs and timber frames were made?

Did you ever wonder if there was a place in Worcester where old school hand tools are in use?

Did you ever wonder if you could feel the joy that comes from working with wood while   listening to a cascading waterfall?

Wonder no more — there is a place where all that happens — right here in Worcester!

Several years ago, when I first became involved with the Greater Worcester Land Trust, I also wondered where those big beautiful property signs came from.  And then, I participated in my first Sign and Timber Work morning.  What a thrill!

There I was, watching GWLT volunteers shape a log into a square post by using hand tools I had only seen in books and movies (yep – Little House on the Prairie type stuff!)

A volunteer was standing on a log using an adze.

Another was using a chisel and mallet to shape tenons on a cross bar.

Someone else was painting lettering on a beautifully routed sign.

There was so much activity! And because of the silence of the tools, there was conversation and laughter.

The morning was an absolutely amazing experience.

After some schooling on the use of an adze, I had the opportunity to try my hand at log hewing.  And, it was fantastic!  I was certainly no expert, but there was no pressure to excel immediately.  In time, the motions of my hands and the tool became a little smoother.  I was hooked!

Then I discovered that sort of thing happens on a regular basis.

And there is more!

There are times when we must collect black locust logs from the forest at Cascades West.  That sort of morning gives you an opportunity to use the Junior Log Arch to drag the log through the forest, or to use a two-man crosscut saw to cut the log into 8-foot sections, or to debark the logs using a bark spud.  At some point, you will be carrying the log using a two-man log timber carrier after you used a peavey to move the log into place.

What a blast!

All while working side by side with volunteers that are also enjoying the experience.

These are certainly things you do not expect to do in Worcester, but you can, thanks to volunteer opportunities with GWLT!

GWLT Sign and Timber Work mornings happen every other Thursday morning from 9 am to noon at Cascading Waters (135 Olean Street).  Be sure to check the event listing on our Facebook Page or our online calendar to confirm the date and location.  (The location will change if we are installing a completed sign — which is just another awesome experience with GWLT!)

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