It has been an interesting year for The Watershed Center as it has been for many organizations. At the waterworks, sugaring on the Ridge trail started and finished up early. Soon after, the onset of the pandemic led to significantly increased use of the trail system which has held up well, but parking at the entrance on the Plank road was often filled to overflowing. Trail users remained respectful and friendly. As the fall approached, our resident beavers were very active and dammed the Norton Brook below the dam resulting in the main trail being flooded.
After due consideration, one attempt was made to reconstruct the culvert and extant beaver baffle; with the beavers promptly helping to undo the work in a single night. The decision was made to construct a bypass trail leading to the southeast side of the dam, and that trail was opened in late October. It may be that we will cede the old path to the beavers, but for now we wait and see.
As in previous years, several rounds of chainsaw training were successfully conducted. Quiet research by various naturalists continued, monitoring rat snake and bird population, the effect of white-tailed deer on understory growth.
Out of respect for everyone’s health, the board of directors cancelled our planned annual meeting this past spring, and we unfortunately will not host our traditional solstice celebration. We plan to resume gatherings when the current pandemic has been brought under control.
As ever, to continue to preserve and maintain this resource, we rely on people to join The Watershed Center and to make donations. We encourage each of you to join or renew your membership, encourage others to join, and strengthen the Wateshed Center community.
John Peters, President