Almost half the land in Marion is protected land, and in and around that protected land are miles of trails that traverse some of the prettiest and most peaceful corners of the town.
The Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission sent two of its own over to the Great Swamp loop trail, also known as Mecke Woods, to clean up leftover storm debris and trim back the overgrowth from the roughly 1.2-mile loop and spur trail that meanders about the 75.57 acres of MOSAC-owned and managed land.
Usually only the sounds of squirrels scurrying beneath blueberry bushes and birds singing are heard echoing throughout the canopy of trees, but on the morning of Saturday, July 21, the noise of landscaping machinery interrupted the tranquility for a short spell as MOSAC Chairman John Rockwell and MOSAC member Alan Harris donated their sweat (and a few drops of blood to the mosquitos) and a few hours of their time to widen the way of the public land situated off Joanne Drive.
Acquired by the Town in the 1990s, MOSAC acquired some Community Preservation Act and state funds to spruce it up for folks, Rockwell said, “And we did some work to open it up and make it more accessible.”
The paths were overgrown, and a few trees had fallen across the way from the storms earlier this year, Harris explained, while giving his lawnmower a short break. “We want to make sure people can walk without collecting too many ticks,” said Harris.
Most of the trail is wide, open, and unobstructed by roots and rocks, making it perfect for runners, pets, families with children, and generally clumsy people to enjoy.
Those who turned out to help were treated to refreshments, including homemade gazpacho and Harris’ homemade sugarcoated donuts, which were worth every single calorie.
Parking for the trail is alongside Joanne Drive, located off Point Road. A trail map can be found by visiting www.marionma.gov/open-space-acquisition-commission and then by clicking on “Trail/Road Maps” on the menu to the left.
By Jean Perry