PSU Students, Faculty Team up with Local Volunteers in Trail Clearing Project

October 19th, 2010 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
A local hiking trail is a little easier to navigate after a joint effort between Plymouth State University’s GEO Club and the Plymouth Conservation Commission (PCC). Plymouth Mountain is a popular hiking spot for many students and community members in the Plymouth area, and on Saturday, October 16, a group of seven students and PCC members joined forces for trail clearing, brush removal, and installation of trail markers and signs. GEO Club leader Patrick May, a PSU Social Science associate professor, said student volunteerism is a rich tradition at PSU.

volunteers attaching trail sign to tree on hiking trail
PSU students and community volunteers working on Plymouth Mt. Trail hanging new sign for Pike’s Peak overlook. L-r, Sarah Brennan, PSU GEO club, John Haslam, PSU GEO Club (holding ladder) and Paul Wilson, Plymouth Conservation Commission, attaching sign.

“Clearly, many PSU students love to hike the local trails so they value the need for sustainable use of conservation lands and welcomed the opportunity to give back to the local community,” May said. “The students are very excited at the prospect of adopting this trail maintenance as a regular service commitment throughout the seasons and for years to come. This sort of hands-on experience perfectly suits the mission of PSU.”

Paul Wilson of the PCC said he appreciates the volunteer efforts in keeping the trail usable.

“Many hikers who use the trail regularly do not realize the labor involved in keeping the trails cleared and well-marked, Wilson said. “This effort by the PSU GEO Club students and advisors who willingly gave their time is deeply appreciated by the Plymouth Conservation Commission, and stands as an example of the best sort of cooperation between the town and the university.”

May also noted that he hopes the volunteer work can be expanded long-term to include many of the skills that are taught in environmental planning and geography courses, including trail planning, surveying, mapping and GPS/GIS technolnology to better integrate technical experience with classroom work. The GEO Club has also dedicated some money from its fundraising efforts to assemble a supply of tools for trail work.

The GEO club also plans to volunteer with the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) at Cardigan Mountain for the annual end-of-the-year work day October 30.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu