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Spring Cleanup Day at Mt. Major is Great Success!

 

Dave Anderson, Director of Education and Volunteer Services for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, has provided the following description of Mt. Major Spring Cleanup Day that took place on Sunday, May 4, 2014:

 

Thank-you Prospect Mountain High School students and staff!

 

Despite some sketchy weather with intermittent showers and cold wind interspersed with sunshine, we made great progress removing graffiti from Mt. Major on May 4.  I would estimate we got 80% of the most offensive and newest "tags" including most of the "4MS/ASK" and "LOAF" mural that appeared last November.  The PMHS students and teachers were excellent - great "can do" attitude and elbow grease and enthusiasm made the day a success.

 

Ten student volunteers from Prospect Mountain High School in Alton joined Forest Society staff and volunteers from the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition to clean graffiti off the exposed rock of Mt. Major on May 4. The rugged group took on the challenge despite intermittent rain showers and a chilly wind, spending their weekend day taking care of the mountain.

 

Here's the group that provided all the help

 

 

Thanks to BRCC for the snacks and trailside tent / shelter.  Thanks to DRED - NHDFL and NH State Parks for the logistical support and materials.  It would be nice to make this Spring Clean-Up at Mt. Major an annual Earth Day tradition!

Teens Help Scrub Graffiti from Mt. Major

Teacher Joe Derrick (center), students Gabe Varney (left) and Katie Sepulveda from Prospect Mountain High School in Alton scrub graffiti from Mt. Major on a volunteer clean-up day May 4.  Gabe Varney said "The view of the lake shouldn't be downplayed by graffiti".

 

Derrick, who leads the school's Outing Club, said the event was a welcome chance for the students to serve the community and to send a message. "This will show that people care about this mountain, and then maybe other people won't want to put graffiti on it," he said.

The previous day, Saturday May 3, the Belknap Range Trail Tenders (BRaTTs) worked on the uppermost sections of hiking trail on Mt. Major along the blue-yellow combined trail. The BRaTTs crew, led by Hal Graham and others, hosted a spring trail work day at Mt. Major and focused their effort on building new stone cairns and also beginning scree walls to keep hikers on a single treadway. Along with the PMHS students' graffiti removal, the combined stewardship efforts represent a great start to the season at busy Mt. Major.

 

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"Everybody Hikes Mt. Major" Campaign Closing in on Goal!

 

The "Everybody Hikes Mt. Major" Campaign to purchase and protect four key properties in the Belknap Range is in the final stretch, thanks to generous supporters who have contributed 89 percent of the $1.8 million needed to bring the campaign to a successful finale. We must now raise the final $200,000 to protect a New Hampshire treasure and to ensure continued public access to the extensive trails system in the Belknap Range.

 

More than 1,250 individual donors have stepped up to help since the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, the Society for the Protection of NH Forests and Belknap Range Conservation Coalition launched the campaign last summer. Two towns, Alton and Gilford, have committed funds. Five grant committees and family foundations have also pledged their support.

 

Grants for the campaign have come from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the S.L. Gimbel Foundation, the N.H. State Conservation (“moose plate”) Committee, the Open Space Institute, the Penates Foundation, and an anonymous family foundation. The tremendous support from individual donors is in large part thanks to the dedicated volunteers from the Belknap Range Conservation Coalition who shared the project with hikers and collected donations at the Mt. Major trailhead during the hiking season.

It's also thanks to the popularity of the weatherproof map of the Belknap Range trails that donors of $50 or more receive as a "thank you" gift. Thank you to mapmaker Weldon Bosworth and volunteers from the BRCC and the Belknap Range Trail Tenders for providing this great gift!

More information about the project, including how to donate, can be found at forestsociety.org or lrct.org.

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