JAY – Teacher John Schoen introduced an idea Monday that caught selectmen’s attention.
Schoen, an alternative education teacher in the Jay school system, said he would like to get his students involved in management of the town’s recreation land behind the high school.
Schoen said he’d like to work with a forester and the student forestry/wood harvesting program at Foster Regional Applied Technology Center in Farmington on the project.
He’d also like to see a portion of the land be cut by oxen so that students can learn the traditions of the past with minimal impact on the environment.
His students wouldn’t be involved in the cutting, he said.
They would work on soil erosion prevention and trail maintenance and other environmental matters.
“I think it would be a great program with the kids,” he said.
Gifted and talented teacher Rob Taylor is also interested in getting his students and his Envirothon Team involved.
Forester Steve Gettle said before anything is done the town should get a forestry management plan done. He has told selectmen that and Town Manager Ruth Marden is working with the state to put specifications together for proposals to develop plans for the three town lots. Schoen said he was only interested in student involvement in the land behind the school
Marden said the Jay Development Committee has talked about getting more activity happening on the recreation land including cross-country skiing, and biking and walking paths.
Schoen said there are already some beautiful trails out there.
Gettle also told Schoen that there are resources available to teachers to help them plan lessons around management of land.
“My rough idea is to have students involved,” Schoen said.
Resident Hyla Friedman said it was a “wonderful” idea to get the youth involved.
“Something has to be done for the youth,” she said.
Schoen said next year would be a planning stage.
Liability issues and other concerns would be addressed before anything was done.
“I’m very much in favor of this project,” Selectman Barry McDonald said. “I just want to make sure all of our bases are covered.”
Any money that is made from harvesting the wood from the recreation lot has to go into the recreation reserve, Marden said.
The town manager will work with the parties to develop a plan of action for the project.