WILTON – To maintain a “30-foot ribbon” through the forest along a popular and busy section of the Norwalk River Valley Trail, a team went to work to remove dead trees that posed a safety hazard.
Knapp Tree Inc. on Thursday sent a team to a location along the trail that’s a short walk from the well-used Wolfpit Road trailhead along Route 7. It is “one of the most popular sections of the NRVT, averaging 6,000 users per year”. month,” said Andrea Gartner, executive director of the Norwalk River Valley Trail.
The Friends of the Norwalk River Valley Trail are responsible for maintaining the trail and the 10 feet of land on each side of it, Gartner said, calling it “a 30-foot ribbon, if you will.”
At this point near Gaylord Drive North was a “very large tree, split down to the trunk, and other dead ashes and elms” that were near Eversource poles and wires and a specific distance needed, she said.
“We have a strong ‘TrailTenders’ program … who run the trail regularly,” Gartner said. “Tree damage after storms is often easy to deal with with a chainsaw and some muscle power. Occasionally, but increasingly, there is a fallen tree that is beyond the capabilities of a volunteer. If that happens, we’ll call the pros.”
Alex Knapp of Knapp Tree has received approval from Eversource to cut down the most dangerous tree as quickly as possible at no cost to the NRVT, she said. Then Knapp Tree was tasked with removing any remaining trees that “posed a threat” on Thursday.
The cost of Thursday’s work is not covered by Eversource, according to Gartner, and despite a “spectacular discount” from Knapp, “still represents a heavy burden on the NRVT.”
Last week, the Wilton Garden Club awarded the NRVT $800 to clear trees on the Wilton Loop, which offsets the work but doesn’t cover all the work, she said.
The non-profit NRVT is building and maintaining a 30-mile, 10-foot wide multi-use trail from Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk through Wilton, Ridgefield and Redding to a finish at Rogers Park in Danbury.
For more information on the NRVT or to support its work, visit www.nrvt-trail.com.