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Locals join Champlain Area Trails to clean trails for Earth Day

CATS volunteers cleaned up the Cheney Mountain Trailhead on Earth Day.

CATS volunteers cleaned up the Cheney Mountain Trailhead on Earth Day.

— Over forty volunteers participated in the two Earth Day Projects that Champlain Area Trails (CATS) coordinated on Saturday, April 21.

In the morning, they cleaned up the trailhead at the Cheney Mountain Trail in Moriah before hiking to the summit to see the great views. Afternoon volunteers hiked on the Woods and Swale Trail in Westport and then picked up roadside litter as they returned to the trailhead along Sherman Road. They also cleaned up Halds Road by the Coon Mountain Trail.

“The weather forecast was for rain but instead the sunny weather reflected the joy and cooperation of all the participants,” Chris Maron, Executive Director of CATS, said. “At the Cheney Mountain trailhead, it was amazing to see everyone join in to clean up an unsightly area. They removed dumped piles of yard waste, bagged up trash, pulled rusty old refrigerators out of the woods, cut the tall vegetation, and rolled out several tires.”

“Hiking the Cheney Mountain Trail was a great reward for our efforts,” Bill Johnston, a volunteer from Wadhams, said. “After climbing the short and sometimes steep trail, the views are incredible. I especially liked looking out at the new Champlain Bridge.”

The afternoon project in Westport was the first public hike on the new Woods and Swale Trail.

“We really just wanted to get people out to see the trail,” Maron said. “It provides an easy opportunity to see a diverse forest, walk near the wetland swale, and then return along Sherman Road.”

“We want to thank the volunteers, the towns of Moriah and Westport for their cooperation, and the local media, including Denpubs, for helping publicize opportunities for people to get involved in community projects,” Katharine Preston, CATS board chair, said. “The broad support for trails and other improvement projects is a sure sign of increasing optimism in the valley.”

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