“In the wilderness is the preservation of the world.”
The marker at the beginning of the Hiller Trail quotes a passage from Thoreau, probably one of Mother Nature’s most well-known protectors. On this October Saturday afternoon, many more kindred spirits gathered together for a guided walk through Mattapoisett Land Trust properties adjacent to Route 6.
About 50 adults, two youngsters, and five leashed four-footed pals trekked across Route 6 from the Quaker Meetinghouse parking lot to enter Land Trust holdings.
The two-hour tour featured the blueberry patch that was saved from a fatal stronghold by encroaching woodlands and rehabilitated by volunteers and the local Boy Scout troop. Gary Johnson, president of the Land Trust, said that in three to five years, the public will benefit from the work taking place now on the blueberry bushes, which had not seen the light of day from many years prior to the land trust acquiring the property.
Taking the Hiller trail deep into the nearly 300 acres currently held by the Trust, the group picked their way along well-cut trails dotted with moss-covered rocks and dry wildflowers. Stopping at the former Able Grace property, which is now part of the Trust holdings, a vernal pond was visited. The pond is aptly named Grace Pond. Johnson explained what a vernal pond was and the type of wildlife that thrives therein.
Paul Osenkowski, active and passionate member of the Land Trust team, said that the trails are intended to be viable for walkers and hikers but discouraging to motorized vehicles such as ATVs.
The tour stopped at a wooden bridge that was built by Eagle Scout Bryan Buckley, who achieved Eagle status in part due to this building project.
Luana Josvold, clerk for the Land Trust said, “We are surprised at how many people came out today!” She went on to say that having the opportunity to show people the Land Trust property reinforces that these places are open to the public and have been preserved for the public to enjoy. Josvold also noted that protecting lands in the watershed area is another goal of the Trust.
The Trust is looking at other parcels that might be added to the current holdings in this area to expand the trails and natural spaces for public enjoyment.
By Marilou Newell