Earlier this winter, UVLT was contacted by a Norwich resident who enjoys Nordic skiing and teaches youth skiers. Her question was: “Could the popular trails at UVLT’s Brookmead Conservation Area be groomed for use by skiers?” In the ensuing weeks, UVLT has been working with Brie Swenson, of Norwich’s Recreation Department, to figure out how to make that happen.
Since UVLT purchased the 350-acre Brookmead Conservation Area in 2015, we’ve managed the trails and land at minimal annual cost, with the generous help of volunteers and by raising small grants for specific activities such as the food pantry garden. Until this winter, a neighbor of the property plowed the parking lot. Last year he groomed cross country ski trails using his own equipment. However, this neighbor has since moved.
So the answer to the inquiry about winter use of Brookmead’s trails involves both plowing and grooming. Brie Swenson has calculated that it could cost approximately $3,000 to hire a contractor to keep the trails maintained and the parking area plowed and sanded this winter. This project is part of a multi-parcel plan, the funds we are raising will be for plowing the Brookmead parking lot and the trails at Brookmead. UVLT has agreed to coordinate this work if the funds are raised. So Brie and other winter trail enthusiasts are putting the word out to quickly raise funds before the next good snowfall.
Folks who use the trails or who would like to help make the trails accessible to the public through the winter can make a contribution to the Brookmead Stewardship Fund online here by using the designation “Brookmead Stewardship Fund.” Or, you can send a check to the Upper Valley Land Trust and mail to our office at 19 Buck Road in Hanover, NH with “Brookmead” in the memo line, or call our office to make a donation over the phone specified for Brookmead at (603)643-6626 during business hours.
Especially during the pandemic it’s important for everyone to have safe places to get outside and recreate. We know that Brookmead Conservation Area is an important community resource for the people of Norwich and the surrounding area. We’re glad for this collaboration to make Brookmead ski-able this winter!
Ungroomed, back country ski trails at Brookmead.