Mariton: Storm Report

November 7, 2011

It was an interesting week.  The October Snow Storm hit Mariton hard.  Sunnyside Road residents were marooned for several hours by trees that had fallen across the road.  Eventually, the road was opened enough to get through, but we were out of power for eight days.  The surrounding communities were also without power, including cell towers.  So, communication was even difficult.

The trails on the south and east side of the preserve were affected the most.  The Main, Woods, Chimney Rock and Lookout Trails were blocked by limbs and trees every ten yards.  The yard was also full of down trees and limbs.  It took a couple hours just to get the driveway passable.

We were able to organize a couple of work days.  Tuesday was epic.  Six guys pulled into the parking lot, unloaded their saws, and asked me what to do.  I gave them trail maps and off they headed out in two teams.  Meanwhile, David Castaneda and I converted all the limbs in the yard into two huge piles of wood chips.  The crew was firing on all eight cylinders, and when we stopped for lunch they had cleared all the trails on the eastern half of the preserve.  After lunch they started up the Turnpike Trail.  Wednesday morning another crew appeared and we finished clearing the trails by noon.

I say it often (but not enough), the Natural Lands Trust Stewardship Staff is the best in existence.  With very little direction, two teams fanned out on the trails with chainsaws.  When they finished the trails were ready for the public.  I was able to re-open the trails only four days after major devastation – and before the village of Riegelsville had power restored.