NORWAY — Eight members of the 2015 Oxford County Conservation Corps, a service-learning team of 15- to 17-year-old trailbuilders, began work at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway Friday, July 17, under the guidance of their team leaders from the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond. This year’s crew represents Buckfield High School, Gould Academy, Hebron Academy, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, Telstar High School and Dixfield High School.

Roberts Farm Preserve, a project of the Western Foothills Land Trust, offers nearly 7 1/2 miles of non-motorized trails open daily, year-round. The preserve was purchased in 2008 using Land for Maine’s Future Funds and has provided the community with free access to grassed and groomed trails since 2010.

The team will be working to finish trail work and two bridges for a new trail, named the Rust Trail, to honor Rustfield’s founder Henry Rust, which will wind behind the historic Pike-Roberts farmstead and SAD 17’s Garden to School fields to connect to the Stephens Trail. The Rust Trail is relatively flat and will provide skate/ski opportunities as well as a gentle running, mountain biking and walking trail.

The trail was built by volunteers and designed by members of the WFLT Trail Committee and trail designer Michael Cooper, who was also commissioned to improve drainage on several stretches of other trails.

The group will be on-site through July 24 and will build two small temporary bridges for the new trail, install signposts and open up a new snowshoe trail/mountain bike corridor.


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