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North Jersey Volunteers: All Together Now
When the lumber required to build this bridge needed to be quickly hauled to the worksite, the trail community responded to get the job done.
Many years ago, a wonderful rustic bridge was built along the Two Brooks Trail in the Pequannock Watershed by the North Jersey Trail Crew. However, time and weather compromised the structure, and it became quite wobbly. Fast-forward 10 years to this fall and a reconstruction project undertaken by the West Jersey Trail Crew and a full complement of volunteers from across the region.
Estelle Anderson, Central North Jersey Trail Chair, was responsible for recruiting enough hands to quickly get the material into the worksite, knowing a full load of lumber left alongside the road would “disappear” overnight. After only six people had signed up for the task, a full-scale recruitment effort began; ultimately, 29 willing haulers showed up to help. We had people from across New Jersey respond to our call: volunteers and staff from Pequannock Watershed, Wawayanda State Park, Hudson Valley Hikers, NJ Search & Rescue, Norvin Green State Forest (South), and our own Conservation Corps. And, of course, the West Jersey Crew was out in full force.
The workday started with the lumber being delivered along Clinton Road. Crew Chief David Day immediately set up his chop saw, cutting all the necessary pieces. Bob Jonas, Central North Jersey Trail Chair, coordinated the load with volunteers at the trailhead, who hauled the material to the worksite, one-half mile away. Fellow Crew Chief Monica Day directed and coordinated volunteers at the worksite. Thanks to all that cooperative effort, a truckload of lumber was carried where it needed to be within a few hours. Brownies and cake were enjoyed by all!
The replacement bridge was then constructed by the West Jersey Crew over three weekends, creating a safe and proper crossing of the brook. The work included a significant amount of sidehilling to improve the trail approach, with the fitting reward of more brownies from Monica and a great sense of teamwork and accomplishment.