Cynthia Fowx squished her sneakers into the gooey, muddy path at Devil's Den Preserve in Weston on Tuesday. She walked around the trail where the wet mud would have soaked her socks.
You can join Fowx, the conservation coordinator at Devil's Den, on June 4 to help stop erosion at the preserve by putting down gravel and water bars as part of the Connecticut Trails Day Celebration.
The recent heavy rainfall in Weston has caused areas along the trails to flood, and hikers have been avoiding the mud by walking around the trail. Water bars, or large pieces of wood or stone, will be put down perpendicular to the trail to slow or divert water.
The trail has more than 40,000 visitors per year, so maintenance is important for a better hiking experience. A well-maintained area can help keep feet dry, increase the life of the trail and give emergency access in the event of an injury. Devil's Den Preserve covers 1,756 acres in Weston and Redding and contains woodlands, wetlands, rock ledges, streams and swamps.
Volunteers will also place stepping stones along stream crossings to allow hikers to pass safely.
The Preserve Work Day will run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers are asked to register by Tuesday, May 31, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 203-226-4991, Ext. 116. Volunteers should bring water and dress for the weather. Tools, work gloves, additional water and food will be provided with support from REI Norwalk.
Devil's Den hosts four work days each year two in the fall and two in the spring. There are also ongoing volunteer opportunities to maintain the trails, such as the Adopt-a-Trail program. Through this program, volunteers commit to visiting the preserve at last once each season to carry out basic trail maintenance. Equipment and supplies can be provided.
What are your plans for the Connecticut Trails Day Celebration?
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