Warwick Selectboard approves trail restoration funding

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2020 5:32:01 PM

WARWICK — The Selectboard approved using about $600, which was originally designated for Old Home Days events, for a trail restoration project in the Hockanum Hill Conservation Area.

Speaking to the Selectboard Monday night, Conservation Commission member Greg Brodski said the funding would support clearing away some trees near the vista of Hockanum Hill. From the overlook point there, hikers can see rolling hills to the south and east, which Brodski said is especially dramatic amid bright fall foliage and when winter-bare trees allow a view down to Wheeler Pond.

“Over the years, the overlook has been covered by trees,” he said.

Brodski initially asked the Selectboard for about $1,000 to clear some of the trees on town land to restore the overlook and trail. He said the Conservation Commission discussed the project, but decided to seek the Selectboard’s help. Although the commission has more than $7,000 in its account, Brodski said this money is designated for wetland protection.

“This is clearly a recreational purpose, so we can’t use that funding for this project,” he said.

He and other participants in Monday’s discussion said clearing the overlook would restore the natural attraction for the town. While the overlook needs to be cleared, he said the trail to the viewpoint has been fairly well-maintained through use. The uphill climb is gradual, making it a moderate trail that is accessible to many.

Selectboard member Brian Snell said he and his family have used the trail, and they, too, have noticed the degradation of the overlook as it became overgrown.

After further discussion, Town Coordinator David Young suggested using $600 that was designated for this year’s Old Home Days events, which did not take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Selectboard unanimously approved repurposing the money.

Brodski said the Conservation Commission will meet again to discuss securing the remaining $400 through donations or fundraising efforts. Once all the money is collected, he said it is simply a matter or scheduling a date for a contractor to conduct the clearing work.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.

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