New walking trail forged in West Newbury

Six crew members from the Student Conservation Association, Massachusetts, helped carve a new hiking trail in West Newbury.
Six crew members from the Student Conservation Association, Massachusetts, helped carve a new hiking trail in West Newbury.

A WALK IN THE WOODS: A new hiking trail has been completed off South Street in West Newbury.

Six crew members from the Student Conservation Association, Massachusetts, assisted Essex County Greenbelt Association staff in completing the trail on four contiguous parcels of conserved land, totaling 30 acres.

The trail is about a mile long and includes three sections of boardwalk through wetlands, each between 100 and 140 feet long.


The Student Conservation crew, consisting of three men and three women all in their early 20s, cleared the entire trail and built the boardwalks starting on July 29 and finishing Aug 2.

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“The South Street Woodlots Trail is spectacular, as it weaves through dense wetlands and winds underneath towering oaks and pines. Deer, wild turkey, pileated woodpeckers and other wildlife abound in the rich habitat found there,” said Dave Rimmer, Greenbelt’s director of land stewardship and coordinator of the project. “It would probably take 30 to 45 minutes to hike the entire trail. By the end of August, a small parking area will be completed along South Street.”

The Student Conservation Association, Massachusetts, is a partnership among the Student Conservation Association , AmeriCorps, Massachusetts Service Alliance, and Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

From April through August, members serve as part of a crew on conservation lands across the state. The program aims to teach youth about the environment and to complete high-priority conservation projects.

“Greenbelt is very grateful to the SCA Massachusetts program and to the young men and women who each devoted 40 hours over the week to clear and build this new trail resource for the public to enjoy,” said Ed Becker, Greenbelt’s executive director.


“The South Street Woodlots Trail is a great addition to Greenbelt’s trail system in West Newbury, which includes similar trails within the nearby Indian Hill Farm and Ordway Reservation,” Becker said. “Open free to the public for a stroll, dog-walk or hike, the trails provide a terrific way for people to enjoy the outdoors.”

Since 1961, Greenbelt has been working with local individuals, families, farmers, and communities to protect the farmland, wildlife habitat, and scenic vistas of Essex County. Greenbelt has protected more than 15,000 acres of local land and has had a direct role in 75 percent of all land conserved in the last decade.

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BRICKS AND MORTAR: The Institution for Savings has pledged $500,000 toward the construction of a new public library in Salisbury.

“When we opened our Salisbury office in 2006, we pledged to become a true partner with the town of Salisbury and to positively affect the lives of every person, business, and organization in this great community,” said Michael Jones, president and CEO of the bank.


“I can think of few better ways to do that than to help fund this much-needed new library — a place that can be used by virtually every Salisbury resident. We are thrilled to be able to help.”

The new structure, which will replace the existing 3,000-square foot building on Salisbury Green, will be an energy-efficient, 17,000-square-foot, two-story building.

The total cost of the project is about $7. 5 million. Earlier this year, residents of Salisbury approved a $3.2 million override to pay for a portion of the cost. A state grant will cover some of the cost, leaving approximately $1.5 million to be raised privately.

“We are so very grateful to the bank for recognizing the importance of this new public library for the residents of Salisbury, and for truly leading the way by making a major contribution to our fund-raising campaign,” said Dianne M. Masiello, chairwoman of the library’s fund-raising committee.

WHO’S WHAT WHERE: James Pratt (above) has joined The Provident Bank in Amesbury as vice president and small-business lending officer. Pratt is responsible for developing and growing the bank’s Small Business Administration loan presence in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He has many years of experience in small-business lending with other area banks. He is a resident of Concord, N.H. . . . Tristan Shanley (below) has joined The Provident Bank in Amesbury as business development officer. She is responsible for marketing and sales efforts for development of current and potential customers. Shanley has returned to the area where she grew up after working in the hospitality industry for eight years. She’s a resident of Rye, N.H.

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