Voice of the Wapack – Spring 2024

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President’s Note

Signs of spring are showing more and more every day now. It will be nice to have it warmer. Last year at this time, Rick was working hard preparing for an eventful year. For the Voice, he didn’t have a “President’s Note”, he just wrote the whole newsletter. Thanks again Rick for all you did last year to make it memorable. This year is looking more like a typical FOW year, with trail work continuing and a few hikes. From reports so far, there has been some winter damage on the trail, with cleanup underway. Workdays will be for trail projects.

Behind the scenes, members of the Board have been busy. Our Right-of-Way team continues conversations with some landowners and associated organizations. Adding legal protection for the trail takes time. I’ve seen this throughout my history with the Friends. Anne has done the majority of the tasks involved in transitioning the Treasurer portfolio from me to her. I think most everything for that is done now. Jeanette Baker retired as archivist at the end of 2023. For now, I’m taking that on. I’ve met with Corinne Chronopoulos, the Director at the Peterborough Library about this. We discussed the long-term possibilities for the archives, including digitization. Preservation of the valuable papers and access by researchers are some of the things to consider.

One change Anne initiated is having positional email. You can now reach me directly, or a future FOW president when the time comes, at president@wapack.org. And you may see me on the trail, as I’ve adopted the Berry Pasture Trail, and will be out there dealing with fast growing trees.

– Bruce Myrick, President

Annual Meeting Topped Off Wapack Trail Centennial Year

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our 2023 annual meeting last October to celebrate the centennial of the Wapack Trail. More than 66 attended, and we filled the hall. Our special presenter was Al Jenks, owner of Windblown Camping and a neighbor and good friend of Wapack Trail co-founder Marion Buck Davis.

Al related his personal reminiscences of Marion while seamlessly weaving into the narrative the fascinating and often humorous story of how he came to found and operate the Windblown Cross Country Ski Area. We were honored to have members of the Buck family there who shared their remembrances of Marion.

After the meeting we all enjoyed each other’s company and the delicious centennial cake! The annual election of officers saw the passing of the position of president from Rick Blanchette to Bruce Myrick. Bruce presented Rick with a book on Thoreau as a gift from the FOW board members for his years of service as president. Other officers for 2024 are Rick Blanchette Vice president, Anne Reed Treasurer, and Lee Baker Secretary. Thank you to all who came to our 2023 Annual Meeting and Wapack Trail centennial celebration! As Al said at the close of his presentation, Frank Robbins and Marion Davis together created something precious that has lasted 100 years. Let’s make sure that it will be here for another 100 years, and beyond.

On the Trail

Though I was enjoying the role of president for the past 10 years, it was becoming clear to me that it was not good for the organization to have one person doing so many things. I was glad to pass one of my hats to Bruce Myrick at our annual meeting last October. Bruce is more than qualified to do a great job as president. He has been an active member since the founding of the FOW in 1980, and has been our treasurer for many years. He knows the ropes and I am sure that the organization will succeed and thrive under his stewardship.

It was my privilege to be president during the celebration of the Centennial of the Wapack Trail, the 50th anniversary of the Wapack National Wildlife Refuge, and the 40th anniversary of the Friends of the Wapack. I am particularly proud of our partnering with Northeast Wilderness Trust to protect over a mile of the trail through their new Binney Hill Wilderness Preserve, and the creation of the Frank Robbins Trail on that preserve. Key people have been added to the board – Tom Brumaghim and Bob Saari (Trails Committee), Anne Reed brought years of experience in ecommerce to manage our online store and is now our treasurer. Jon McInerney is a wiz at all things internet and is our webmaster. And Gail Coffey brings experience leading nature hikes and events for many organizations and brings many new skills to our board.

I believe that the organization is strong and ready to grow. I will continue as Trails Committee Chairman, a role that I have held and enjoyed since 1990! My responsibilities include managing our trail adopter program, while our Trail Master Mike Przybyla focuses on planning and leading work days and trail maintenance training. Mike makes my job much easier! I will also continue as newsletter editor and this year as Vice President. I hope to see you on the trail!

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