Paving An "In-accessible" Trail
Last summer (July, 2010) the Friends of the Acton Arboretum and the Town of Acton hired Lazaro Paving Co. to improve a 500-foot section of the wildflower trail. Due to heavy seasonal rainfall, deep ruts continually defeated efforts to repair the stonedust walkway, rendering the trail dangerously inaccessible to many, especially disabled visitors.
The section of trail is 500 feet long and 4 feet wide. For several years, heavy rains cut deep grooves in the packed, stone dust trails of the "upper grounds" at the Arboretum. Level portions that develop shallow ruts can be repaired by filling with stone dust. However, on the gently sloping grades, the rushing water gains speed and digs deep ravines that pose walking hazards.
It has been difficult, redundant work for Town crews, and volunteers, to shovel and pack the stone dust season after season. In several places it has simply washed off the trail and into wetlands, hindering plant life.
Lazarro Company also installed a drainpipe to help carry water across and under the trail near the wildflower boardwalk. The Acton Conservation Commission approved the project on June 16, 2010.
Cross over the fern bridge and you will encounter the newly-paved trail that extends into the wildflower garden. With generously donated plants from the personal gardens of Bruce Carley, Sue Whitcomb, Pam Resor and Nan Towle-Millett, dozens of wildflowers were transplanted this spring along both sides of this 200-foot corridor. The varieties include: mayapple, solomon's seal, double bloodroot, Labrador violets, waldsteinia, phlox stolonifera alba, Christmas fern, maidenhair fern, bunchberry, jacob's ladder, American wild ginger, goat's-beard, black cohosh, yellow violet, miterwort, goldenseal, foamflower, wild bleeding heart, creeping phlox, golden star, ostrich fern and spicebush.
Groups of volunteers have assisted in beautifying this wending, paved trail. Conant School 5th grade Girl Scouts from Troop 72041 swept stone dust into the black asphalt surface, giving it a more natural coloring .
Eagle Scout candidate Matt Smith and his crew of Boy Scouts spread loam and grass seed along the edges of the paved trail to help prevent erosion. Unfortunately, that very night, a heavy rain required him to re-do a few parts. He put down salt marsh hay to help hold the seed in place.
In the near future the Town of Acton and the Friends of the Acton Arboretum hope to pave another section of this trail that develops deep crevices, enabling visitors of all abilities to enjoy the woodlands and wildflowers.