Summerstown – No less than 29 members and friends attended the Annual Clean-up Day organized by the Friends of the Summerstown Trails (FOTST) this past Saturday. This was the best turnout for this event which has been held for the past six years. One member even showed up with his three young daughters, prompting Board Member Vic Leroux, who greeted the participants, to mention that this was the first time that such young volunteers, representing the future of the Friends, had participated in this activity.
The volunteers were upbeat and eager to tackle the work to be done, motivated by the sunny and windless conditions of the day. Because of the work done in previous years by FOTST and the regular maintenance carried out year-round by the Township of South Glengarry, there is less garbage and other debris to be found on the trails and in and around the parking lot. Also, the general population is more aware of the importance of this recreational site for the community. Consequently, rather than picking up garbage as in previous years, all of the volunteers were put to work on the trails, in order to make them ready for the coming season, which is a much better use of volunteer hours.
In addition to clearing dead branches and fallen trees on the 20 plus kilometres of XC ski and snowshoe trails, the volunteers also did regular maintenance work, in the form of cutting back the small branches and vegetation that grows back every year. Special attention is taken in trimming back the “eyecatchers” in order to make the trails safe to enjoy.
At the end of the day, one of the participants declared: “Now all we need is snow.”
Watch out for the opening of the trails: as soon as there is enough snow on the ground, the trails will be groomed. As was the case in previous years, FOTST will be offering weekend rentals of XC ski and snowshoe packages at an affordable rate and will also offer beginner and intermediate XC ski and snowshoe lessons in January. The trails are situated on Summerstown Road, 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401. Check our website at www.summerstowntrails.com for more information.