Stewardship Team Leader Jim Caffrey cuts pieces off of large broken branches in order to more easily remove them from the trails at Notchview Reservation in Windsor.
In a perfect combination of unfortunate events, last weekend’s snowstorm left branches across the 3,000 acre property laden with snow. Wednesday’s freezing rain and plunging temperatures encased the branches in ice, making many of them too heavy for the trees to withstand, which caused them to crack and fall onto the 25 miles of groomed ski trails.
A team of caretakers from the Trustees of Reservations and volunteers have been working to clear the trails, though according to Caffrey, there is still weeks' worth of cleanup left to go. In Caffrey's 34 years at Notchview, he says this storm rates among his top five in regards to damage done to the trees due to winter ice.
Volunteers interested in helping in the effort are welcome and encouraged to call ahead before arriving … and to bring a metal rake.
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Stephanie Zollshan has been a photojournalist for The Berkshire Eagle since 2011. She is a Boston University graduate whose work has been featured in publications around the world. Stephanie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.