Avid nature lovers take note: the Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission has added a new option to the town’s Senior Property Tax Work-Off Program – spending time out in nature.
“Our former member of the commission, Joe Keogh, thought of including open space trail maintenance as part of the Senior Tax Work-Off Program run by the Council on Aging,” said MOSAC Chairman John Rockwell. “We really like it because it gets folks out on our properties, who will then tell their friends about these great places to take a walk.”
MOSAC has seven properties in mind for some light trail maintenance and trail conditions reporting: Grassi Bogs, Boyd’s Land, Great Swamp Woods, Goldavitz Bogs, the Town Forest, Hales Brook, and Washburn Park, all lovely places in Marion that attract those who like to go bird watching or simply taking quiet walks through the woods.
“It also helps us out as we have no budget for trail maintenance,” Rockwell said. “This will keep the trails from getting grown in, and alert us to any serious problems that arise on the properties.”
So, obviously, there’s more to this deal than just walking and basking in the natural beauty so abundant in Marion – nothing too technical or backbreaking – but definitely tasks better suited for those with a strong set of legs, a pair of good walking shoes, and an adventurous side.
Some of the tasks involve light pruning of branches and brush encroaching on the trails, removal of any small trash found along the way, and reporting of any evidence of abuse of the property such as ATV use, dirt bike use, or vandalizing, and any storm-related damage. Walking and inspecting the properties should take around 45 minutes each visit, and participants would never be required to operate any power tools.
And aside from the obvious benefit of a reduction in one’s tax bill, it’s got other bennies, too, as Rockwell pointed out.
“It’s light exercise for folks, and that’s always a good thing,” said Rockwell.
The Senior Property Tax Work-Off Program offers residents age 60 and up the opportunity to earn a maximum of $750 towards their property taxes in exchange for performing various tasks for the town. Applications are made available in October at the Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center, and further information can be sought by contacting Sue Schwager at 508-317-9577.
By Jean Perry