Return to Nutts Pond Trail, Manchester NH

Our crew: Thanks to our great crew!

Nearly a month ago, feeling dejected after our encounter with the police on the way home from a hike on the Nutts Pond Trail in Manchester, Janelle and I vowed to return.

(You can read about that encounter here: Monday round-up: Nutts Pond Trail and an encounter with the boys in blue)

After seeing a picture on the kiosk near the lake of last year’s clean up crew, Janelle asked if we could join next time. But why wait for spring? We decided we would come back as soon as possible, but this time we’d be armed with trash bags, rakes and gloves. This time, we’d drag along a dozen friends and try to make a difference.

So, on Saturday, a remarkable group of 16 people answered the call and we set out to at least make a dent on one of the city’s most dilapidated recreation areas. We met at noon in the parking lot, split into teams of two and attacked the parking lot, playing fields and trail with vigor. There was no question Janelle and I would be a team. After all, this was OUR return to the park that almost got us locked up!

The weather was fine and the mood was positive as the teams spread out. We worked the shore of the lake, the beat paths leading up to residential areas and the parking lot.

Some highlights: Wendy’s brave excursion over the frozen lake to retrieve a shopping cart, Janelle finding a six foot metal switching cable (we think) from the old train line that used to run behind the lake and Meena’s dogged pursuit of two huge muddy tires, half buried in the dirt..

But leave it to the kids to find the most unusual and creepiest trash of them all, a skeleton. None of us knew exactly what the animal was, perhaps a possum, but the whitewashed bones proved too much of a draw for the kids to ignore. And once given the permission to actually touch the bones (after making sure they all had heavy gloves on for protection) it was cool to see them not grossed out, but fascinated by the find. Each of them took home a pointy tooth from the animal’s jaw as a memento from the day. Try explaining THAT necklace at the playground!

In the end, we collected 12 bags of trash, three shopping carts, two tires, one skeleton and a bunch of miscellaneous mystery items. The pond was too frozen to do any trash diving there, so we’ll go back in May for round two and see if we can beat our record then.

For the full album of pics from the day, here’s the link: Nutts Pond Clean Up

Many thanks to Ellen, Brian, Bob, Peter, Tracy, Wendy, Jim, Jay, Jeff, Susan, Janelle, Aaron, Ashley, Kayla and Meena. Nice job everyone, you should be proud. Let’s do it again soon!

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