BUCKFIELD — Selectmen approved a Middle School student project Tuesday night to develop the old railroad bed trail as a recreational, historical and cultural resource.

Teacher Gretchen Kimball presented the proposal to the board saying that seventh- and eighth-grade students have been taking on projects such as the school vegetable garden, and placing flags on the veterans’ graves in town cemeteries.

She said students will create and place quarter-mile markers along the abandoned rail line to create a Appalachian Trail-type route. Species of plants will be identified and marked along the trail.

The project will incorporate English language arts, social studies, math, science and art as students do research and problem-solving.

A kiosk is planned at the trail head in the village where students would place educational material to promote trail ethics, awareness of the history of the trail and other student work.

Students will begin the project around spring break and culminate at next fall’s harvest supper, Kimball said.

In other news, selectmen were not ready to incorporate the proposed changes to the town’s personnel policy handbook.

Selectman Eileen Hotham said if the policy was changed immediately, it would not be fair to employees who would be affected. Some employees would lose vacation or sick leave time, because they wouldn’t have time to use it. The discussion centered mainly around accrued sick time and vacation time payback.

Hotham said she wanted people to use the time given rather than selling it back because people need breaks from their work. After more discussion concerning questions on the new policy, it was voted to have another workshop at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 2.

Resident Vivian Wadas asked if residents could question the policy before it became law, as she had several questions. Board of Selectmen Chairman John Lowell told Wadas she could attend the workshop and participate.

Town Manager Glen Holmes said he had invited RSU 10 Superintendent Tom Ward to attend the next selectmen’s meeting on March 15.

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