Summer got a late start, and the Pine Hill Partnership is working to catch up.
As volunteers try to finish the park’s newest trail, work days have been scheduled for July 16, 23 and 30. Recreation Superintendent Kim Peters said the persistent spring rains canceled one workday and rendered several spots too wet to work in. Organizer Shelly Lutz said she has a crew of about 30 from a youth organization but that hands would make even lighter work. Tasks include removing organic material from the trail, moving rocks and building retaining walls.
“If I got another 10 volunteers on top of that, I’d love it,” Lutz said. “Even if people don’t feel coming up and volunteering and doing manual labor, some hike the trail and thank these people coming from out of state.”
Lutz said material used to repair trails wasn’t drying out.
“Everything’s dry now,” she said. “The park is in really great shape. The mosquitoes are starting to die off. I’m not saying they’re gone, but compared to a month ago, they’re starting to calm down.”
The wet spring spelled trouble for other city parks, as well.
“We struggled getting Rotary open this year for our lacrosse program, and we struggled with Cioffredi at Northeast,” Peters said. “Those were struggles.”
Meadow Street Park was able to take on displaced programming for a while, she said, but then was needed for the adult softball program. Programs at Cioffredi were shifted to Alumni Field, and Peters said she is thinking about relocating them permanently because of persistent problems with Cioffredi.
“We should be fine with Rotary,” she said. “That field seems to be much better.”
Lutz said the new trail is almost done, but they have not settled on a name yet.
“There are a couple of names that are in the hat — Milk Run, Milky Swirl, Rocky Ridge, Holy Roller,” she said. “The reason for the milk stuff is, we found a couple of milk crates when we were laying the track out. ... Another one is Au Lait, French for ‘milk.’”