Friday, December 16, 2016

HS Sports: Camden Hills Regional High School Cross Country Trail Improvement Project News

Rockport, Maine - A volunteer group, the Windjammer Trailblazers has formed to coordinate efforts to build a safer cross-country (XC) running and Nordic ski trail on Camden Hills Regional High School property.

According to CHRHS athletic director Steve Alex, the course currently used by the high school and middle school cross-country teams and the Nordic ski team extends across land that does not belong to the school and cannot be properly maintained.  “We are very excited to create a first-class course that equals the standards of our other athletic facilities here at CHRHS,” said Alex.

Comprised of more than 30 volunteers, the Trailblazers have marked a two-loop, 5K course that utilizes most of the grass portions of the current course, and includes a new trail that stretches about three quarters of a mile through the woods. They will be clearing trees, moving stones, and installing five culverts along the old stone walls marking the high school’s northern and eastern property lines.
The goal is to have most of the trail cleared and ready for the base material by next June, when the high school plans to resurface the track. The ground-up asphalt from the track can be used as a base on the trail. This will save the school both the cost of hauling away more than 200 cubic yards of material and the cost of purchasing an equal amount of crushed gravel. Once the base is complete, the finished surface will consist of either stone dust or wood chips, depending on the amount of funds available.

Stone dust is preferable because it offers the safest, most stable, long-lasting running surface but is more expensive than other trail finishing surfaces. If all goes well, the new trail will be ready for the start of the 2017 XC season in late August.

The high school XC team has raised some funds through its car washes and the Race for the Trail 5K it has held for the past two years on Homecoming weekend. Additionally, several funding commitments have already been made, including an anonymous donor who has agreed to provide a landscaper to do much of the excavation work, and in-kind site planning services from Will Gartley of Gartley & Dorsky Engineering & Surveying in Rockport.

The budget will ultimately depend on how much volunteer labor and donated materials and services the Trailblazers can secure. The group hopes to raise $10,000 to purchase the crushed gravel, stone dust and the five culverts needed for the new trail.

The group has set up a Facebook page to post updates and to coordinate volunteers: www.facebook.com/windjammertrailblazers

Donations can dropped off at the high school or checks made payable to CHRHS Trailblazers and sent to the high school at 25 Keelson Drive, Rockport. To volunteer or to discuss corporate sponsorships or in-kind donations of equipment or services, contact Shawn Stockman at sstockman01@hotmail.com.

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