Volunteering Continues through November

Caring for the land and giving thanks

November 22, 2016

Volunteers enjoy the view after reaching the top of Silver Mountain in Lempster.

Be thankful for volunteers giving time, energy, muscle and care for the earth.  They help manage our lands at group workdays throughout the year. And the frosty mornings of November are no exception! Just remember to wear your hunter's orange.

 In early November, volunteers climbed up Silver Mountain in our Ashuelot River Headwaters Forest to a rounded, rocky top at only 2,160 feet.  The goal was to preserve the view that shows off Mt. Monadnock, Okemo Mtn, Killington, and Kearsarge, (to name a few) and some of the valleys below. Taking down some of the taller spruce trees also allows for more sunlight to reach the blueberry bushes. Remind me to check out the view from Silver Mountain in July…  should be pretty sweet.

We took a break together for lunch near the rock cairn that marks the top and end of the trail. Just one day after the results of the recent elections, we decided unanimously that the top of Silver Mountain was to be a political discussion-free zone. The workday allowed everyone a bit of an escape from politics and all were happy to talk about anything else. After a short lunch a chilly wind encouraged us to get back to work, after finishing the homemade treat shared by one of the volunteers. 

After another couple hours of hard work the view began to emerge. Only a few days after turning our clocks back, the group gathered up saws and tools and admired the large brush pile created from our efforts before hiking back down the Silver Mountain trail. The brush pile will be burned later when snow covers the ground, but the expansive view will be enjoyed for years to come. 

When we got back to our cars the sun was now close to the horizon. A few volunteers stayed to clean tools and do maintenance on chainsaws before loading up and heading out. The sky grew pink and gave us quite the color show before dark. The magnificent sunset was a great end to a long day of hard work.


Sunset captured from Lempster. Photo by Sue Lichty.


On the next workday in mid-November we focused on the entrance of a forest reservation in Grantham. Volunteers from the Land Steward Program met us at the trailhead with hot coffee and doughnuts for a morning workday. The Reney Memorial Forest needed some T.L.C. near the road where hikers can park their cars in an old log landing while hiking the 1.2 mile loop.

Some volunteers carried repurposed railroad ties to place and enclose edges of the parking area. While others cut woody brush that was obscuring signs and the area to leave your car. Brush was piled in another burn pile at the edge of the landing. By removing some brush we hope to make the parking more visible to the road. Since our forest reservations are only open dawn to dusk this reduces the chances that cars will be left overnight or parked there for the wrong reasons. 

Although the task for this workday wasn’t as exciting as some others, there was no shortage of enthusiastic volunteers. We were able to finish our planned work an hour early and avoided the rain that was forecasted to pass through that afternoon. 

No matter the task, volunteers for the Forest Society are ready to lend a hand. With over 55,000 acres owned by the Forest Society, volunteers play an indispensable role in managing these lands. This week while we plan dinners and prepare to host family, we also reflect and give thanks.

I am thankful for the land we hold workdays on and the trails that lead us to special places.  I am thankful for those dedicated, resourceful, and fun volunteers that throughout the year give back to the Forest Society and their communities. I am thankful that I get to work with these great-spirited people.


Volunteers and Forest Society staff stand together in front of the evidence of the workday.