MANCHESTER — The Manchester Conservation Commission recently installed 62 cedar bog bridges on KLT’s Gannett Woods hiking trail adjacent to Shedd Pond. The project, a cooperative effort of the Manchester Conservation Commission and the Kennebec Land Trust, will greatly improve the current trail network, control erosion into Shedd Pond and protect water quality. The project was funded by an $18,000 Maine Department of Conservation Bureau of Public Lands Recreational Trails Program grant and a $5000 Davis Conservation Foundation grant.
According to commission chairman Garry Hinkley, the Maine Conservation Corps trail crew constructed the bridges with assistance from volunteers, including the Manchester Boy Scouts and KLT members, and with support from Lakeside Orchards. Manchester Conservation Commission member Annie Reiter and KLT volunteers and staff wrote grant applications, planned the project and coordinated the materials and labor.
Theresa Kerchner, KLT executive director, noted that Shedd Pond provides critical wildlife and plant habitat, as well as recreational opportunities for hunters, fishermen, hikers, cross country skiers and others. “Shedd Pond is one of the largest undeveloped ponds in Kennebec County," she said. "KLT’s Gannett Woods property, which includes Shedd Pond, is adjacent to the 700-acre New England Forestry Foundation Allen Whitney Memorial Forest and KLT’s 40-acre Wyman Hill Property.” Gannett Woods and Allen Whitney can be accessed from Scribner Hill Road in Manchester.
Hinkley noted that phase two of the project, to be completed next year, will include reconstructing and hardening the trail on the east side of Shedd Pond for nonmotorized access, including mountain bikes and horseback riding, as well as improving the snowmobile trail.