WLCT’s Tuesday Trail Team turns 10 in 2024 and we’re reflecting on the various people who have made this spectacular volunteer crew such a success. We’ll be sharing our conversations throughout the year.
Today we highlight Steve McGuiness, one of TTT’s first volunteers. Among other skills, Steve taught woodshop, providing him just the right background to be tapped for this on-the-ground work.
Question: What was your first Trail Team project?
Steve: In 2014, the Land Trust was working at Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. While the meadow restoration would eventually take much of Trail Team’s time, the work started with the bridge over Angeline Brook. The trails at Herb Hadfield cross Angeline Brook in 3 places; until 2014, all 3 crossings were bog bridges. The widest span utilized tree trunks, put in place by the Boy Scouts. I think we’ve rebuilt that bridge now 3 times, as the property gets more use!
Q: What has been the most challenging project? What’s the most fun?
Without a doubt, Westport Woods was both the most challenging and the most fun. Converting the property to a conservation park was an enormous, and lengthy, task. For a year, maybe a year and a half, every Tuesday was spent at Westport Woods.
The property had been abandoned for years. There were outbuildings full of junk that needed to be removed before the buildings could be taken down. We cleared old trails and removed massive amounts of invasives–the burn piles were huge!
Once the property was under control, we went to work creating a park: planting trees, creating the meadows, and building new trails–including the Children’s Discovery Garden and accessible woodland trail. It’s been a joy to watch the grounds bloom into a real destination property.
I think the other Trail Teamers who worked at Westport Woods would agree: I take great pride in our work creating the Conservation Park.
Q: What are you looking forward to?
I’m excited to see the Trail Team continue to flourish. WLCT has helped provide recreation space for the Town of Westport, maintained trails, and stewarded the land for public use. This is made possible largely through the work of volunteers. The Trail Team has really grown, in size and in our capacity to do transformative work for the Land Trust. The folks who take part in the Tuesday Trail Team like to be outdoors and work with their hands and they like to be connected to the community.
Q: Give me one word to describe the Tuesday Trail Team
The Tuesday Trail Team meets each week at 9am; folks of all abilities and experiences are welcome! For more information contact Land Steward Nate McCullin