August 10 – 16, 2018 Vol. 20, No. 10

Summertime in the Belgrades

August 10 – 16


Article Summaries
Previous Issue
Next Issue
News Archives
Business Directory
About Us

Kids Outside On Conserved Land

Kim and Forrest Fyrberg and family hiking The Mountain in Rome.

by Pete Kallin

The summer is flying by. The weather has continued to be variable — mostly hot and humid with a few thundershowers, but occasionally really nice for hiking in the shady woods. Lots of events going on in town and also outside.

It is heartening to run into so many families out enjoying the local trails. On a recent hike up The Mountain, I met Kim and Forrest Fyrberg, their three kids, and the family dog coming down. They live in Oakland and are frequent visitors to French Mountain and Mount Phillip and were visiting The Mountain for just the second time. They love having the 7 Lakes Alliance (7-LA) Trails nearby to take the whole family out for fun, healthy, and low-cost recreation.

Slightly further up the trail, I met the Mohr Family coming down with their dog. The Mohrs have had a camp for many years on Rockwood Drive on lower Long Pond in Belgrade. Their oldest daughter is now a nursing student at Villanova but was home for the summer and the whole family was out for a healthful hike.

Heather, Angie, and Lisa at the 7-LA 5K Trail Run.

Last week was also the inaugural 7-LA (former BRCA) 5K Trail run on Roundtop Mountain. Thirty-three intrepid souls braved the rains to run a special course that linked several pieces of different trails together. Among the participants were Heather, Angie, and Lisa, three good friends from New Hampshire, at least one of whom has a camp on nearby Echo Lake. They had hiked the Roundtop Trail with their kids a few years ago and thought it would be fun to run it in the rain together this weekend. I missed the finish of the race but Mel Croft, current 7-LA Board President assured me the smiles coming across the finish line were as bright as those at the start.

The reason I missed the finish was because I was at the dedication ceremony for the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area along the Hopkins Stream in Mount Vernon. My friends, George and Linda Smith, recently donated a 125-acre woodlot to the Kennebec Land Trust (KLT) and helped KLT raise additional funds that purchased additional acreage along the stream and put up some interpretive signage.

The result is a new, 165-acre KLT Preserve that is named in honor of George's father and dedicated to teaching young people about wildlife and the importance of conserving Maine's wildlife and their habitats. They have almost a mile of kid-friendly trails with plans for more and a small covered sign-in kiosk where visitors can pick up a free copy of a short book George recently wrote called, "Walk My Woodlot With Me: A Guide For Visitors."

George Smith (in the olive drab jacket) looks on as his wife Linda, son Josh, and granddaughter Ada cut the ribbon at the dedication of the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area in Mount Vernon.

Roughly 50 dedicated conservationists, including Senator Angus King, gathered last Saturday in the rain to watch George and Linda, their son, Josh, and granddaughter, Ada, cut the ribbon officially opening the site to visitors. There is a small parking lot for the ESWCA off the east side of Route 41 about a half mile south of the intersection with Blake Hill Road in Mount Vernon.

Take advantage of the rest of the summer and get out on the lakes or hike or bike in the hills. Visit the new ESWCA in Mount Vernon. And take a kid along. You will be creating memories that will last.

Pete Kallin is a past director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance.