Volunteering for GOSA’s Stewardship team is one of the most fun and rewarding activities Dan and I are involved in. We have made so many new friends and have met and worked with some the most interesting, knowledgeable people during our work parties.
There are currently 54 active members on the stewardship team, with some volunteering once a year and others as much as twice a week. All time donated is greatly appreciated and our members are valued for their caring attitudes, unique abilities, and willingness to work hard together to accomplish GOSA’s goals. So far this year, these great people have donated over 500 hours of their time to beautify and maintain GOSA’s five properties!
Those 500 hours are the equivalent of a $12,715 donation to GOSA in order to have that very work done! According to The Non-Profit Times, “The value of a volunteer’s time hit an all-time high during 2018 at $25.43 an hour, up 3 percent from 2017.”
Routine trail maintenance, including clearing and removal of invasive plants, downed limbs and trees, and the mowing of grassy areas and meadows, is on-going. (Of note, we get into a bit of archaeology too as numerous rock walls, old foundations, and even old farm machinery, have been exposed during maintenance work parties.)
In addition to routine maintenance, numerous projects also have been undertaken to beautify the areas we maintain. At the Sheep Farm, on Hazelnut Hill Road, bog bridges and a footbridge to span the Fort Hill Brook were recently made and installed by GOSA volunteers in the area below the waterfall. This will connect to a property to be known as Sheep Farm South. A walking trail is being marked in this area; work is on-going.
At Avery Farm North, the areas along Lambtown Road have been cleared of debris and invasives, revealing rock walls and old foundations. An area has been prepared for a pollinator garden to be planted this spring, while a nearby bog is currently being cleared of saplings, to provide optimal growing conditions for the Atlantic White cedars growing there.
The hope is to maintain areas of natural beauty for everyone to enjoy, from the woodland paths, to the open meadows, to the bogs and ponds, to the critters and creatures that abound. There is definitely is something for everyone on our beautiful properties!
New volunteers are always welcome. On the job training, tools, fun and friendship are provided!
Lynn and Dan
Stewardship Volunteer Coordinators