“Dear Tom,

Attached is the final report on the work done by the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in New Boston, along with some great photos of the bridge you helped us with.

Many thanks to you and Currier Lumber for your support and excellent advice!”

Kim DiPietro
Student Conservation Association

SCA New Hampshire AmeriCorps Final Hitch Report:

The Student Conservation Association in Partnership with New Boston Conservation Commission

Crew Leaders: Andy Vaughn & Linnea Lopez

 

Introduction:

From October 2nd to October 12th, 2018 a crew of seven SCA NH Americorps members worked around New Boston, NH to complete the construction of three bridges and resetting two bridges.

The Crew:

Christine Orr, Jackson Tourigny, Bree Guy, Jesse Gerhart, Devina Gonzalez, Andy Vaughn and Linnea Lopez

Our crew was led by Andy Vaughn of Seattle, Washington and Linnea Lopez from Roseburg, Oregon. Andy Vaughn, a Washington native, started his work in conservation as a teenager in the Ecology Youth Corps. After four years in the Marines, Andy attended college at Columbia Basin College graduating with an Associates of Science degree. After College, Andy worked for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a fisheries technician and then a fish biologist before joining the Student Conservation Association. After the SCA, Andy plans on finishing his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science/Wildlife Biology to work for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in Wolf Conservation. Linnea has a B.S. in field biology from Southern Oregon University. This is her second SCA Americorps term, with her first in the Hudson Valley Corps as an environmental educator. She enjoys hiking, reading, and swimming. After the SCA, Linnea hopes to work for a federal land management agency.

Accomplishments:

The crew worked with the New Boston Conservation Commission to construct and/or improve five water crossings. In Lydia Dodge Forest, we completed an equestrian bridge set on three I-beam stringers, spanning 12 foot 3 inches. We were extremely excited about being able to work on this project and help improve safety for equestrian trail users. At another location, that will be the site of a new trail, we moved an existing bridge to replace rotten pallets. We reset the bridge on hemlock sills to improve its longevity. At Bailey Pond we reset an existing bridge, built a decked bog bridge, and moved the trail to a drier location. This work will help open up a two mile loop to hikers and bikers. Finally, we created a temporary crossing below a beaver dam. We dropped and flattened a tree to allow access to a one mile loop.

Project Summary:

• 2.3 Miles of Trail Improved: 1 Dimensional Lumber Equestrian Bridge Replaced, 2 Native Timber Puncheons Constructed, 2 Pre-Built Dimensional Lumber Bridges Reset, 100’ Blazing Along Trail, 250’ New Trail Construction and 1500’ of Trail Corridor Opened

•.3 Acres Improved: 13,038 sq. ft. of Structures Removed and 100 sq. ft. of Trails Closed

• Total Number of Crew Member Service Hours: 481.5

• Total Number of SCA Conservation Coordinator Technical Support Hours:13

• Total Number of Service Hours: 494.5

Crew Highlights:

As we were constructing the equestrian bridge one of our members found a horseshoe in the mud at the site. The horseshoe turned out to be from the horse that fell through the previous bridge. The horse and rider were lucky to be uninjured. The lucky shoe now graces the new bridge.

The dinner given for us was a big highlight of the hitch. We enjoyed being treated to home cooked food and getting to meet Kim and Ed’s horses and dogs.

Project Challenges:

We did not initially know that the crossing at the beaver dam site needed to be out of the water. We were unable to raise the log up as much as we liked. This may have been avoidable if we had made an original plan to keep the tree out of the water. This site was challenging to work in as the span from bank to bank was 48 feet and the water was up to three feet deep in places.

Thank you:

Thank you for having us work in New Boston. The clear plans where very nice to have for the equestrian bridge. Thank you to Kim and Barbara for being so welcoming and easy to contact. It was a pleasure to work for such enthusiastic and present partners. Thanks again!

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