Students do trail work with the Royal River Conservation Trust

|Ollie Kramer, 12 years old|

I am a 7th grade student at Fiddlehead School and I live in New Gloucester. Due to Covid, my school looked for more outdoor learning opportunities this year. The 5th, 6th and 7th grade classes have been spending one day a week at Julie and Michael Fralich’s property near the Big Falls Preserve. While there, we have been doing activities to learn about the land such as journaling, hiking, art and building fairy houses. 

The first time we went to the land, our class was given the opportunity to do some trail work at the Big Falls Preserve. We met up with a few volunteers and Alan, from the Royal River Conservation Trust. While there, we began working on a new trail and built some bridges over small streams. I helped mark the trail by tying neon orange tape around trees. Then we cleared out the brush such as fallen branches and logs. My class and I really enjoyed this experience so we asked if we could volunteer again.

Fiddlehead students work on trail building at Big Falls preserve.

After some planning, we were invited to join volunteers on a date for trail work. We went in and finished the trail we were working on. We trimmed roots and low hanging tree branches. We then went and cleaned up existing trails by removing brush. I enjoyed helping the community while having fun at the same time. 

While we were there, the 7th grade students were assigned to make a project showing our time at Norumbega. A friend and I interviewed a handful of people about their connection to Norumbega and how they found outdoor learning/teaching different. We then typed up the questions and their answers.  I also worked on a topographic map of Norumbega. 

Topographic map of Norumbega by Ollie Kramer. Photo: Renee Kramer

I’m really glad I was able to spend time at the Big Falls Preserve and the Fralich’s property. I really enjoyed being able to help on the trails and making my topographic map. I’m grateful for my school, Mr. and Mrs. Fralich and The Royal River Conservation Trust. Thank you.

Ollie Kramer with his topo map of Norumbega. Photo: Renee Kramer