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Survey Says...

Over four hundred Marshfield trails surveys have been filled out by residents and received by town officials. This information, as well as a map of trails and possible future connections, was discussed at a recent town meeting with representatives of BL Companies. BL was hired by our town to help us chart Marshfield’s existing trails, their condition, consider possible connections between trails, maybe create new trails and aid us in discerning usage, improvements and maintenance of our trail system.
Our geography is of a similar size to the Blue Hills Conservation area. Blue Hills is well mapped, marked and provides ample parking by trailheads. Hiking end to end and back covers 18 miles and only crosses three streets. My friend and I like to do that woodsy marathon-like endeavor around this time of year as a kind of annual pilgrimage. It feels like an act of devotion to a sacred place. I feel similarly with most any long physically challenging journey that requires my full attention, especially if it is in a predominantly natural environment. With those pilgrimages, physicality and spirituality seem to mutually cultivate each other. The physical exertion raises the spirit and the spirit motivates the physical. Those endeavors have a carry-over effect to other aspects of life. Getting out in the woods appears to be a necessary ingredient in order to evolve as a human.
Like our trails in Marshfield, the Blues’ trails attract a range of people and interests. Walk and talkers, naturalists, runners, bicyclers, horse riders, dog walkers, et al appear to have high gratitude and low impact usage. It is as though the outdoor natural environment beckons us with its’ calling to nurture us as well as to use it well. Most users, by nature, refrain from abusing and even want to give back. It is especially common to witness groups from such organizations as DCR, AMC, Friends of Blue Hills, meet-ups and other groups involved in volunteer trail work. I’ve made it a habit of picking up random trail trash ever since I introduced my children to the love of our outdoors. However, in Marshfield, our trails do not, as yet, seem to attract the types of groups that lead to the r-e-s-p-e-c-t of our geography that I witness in other more well organized and utilized trail systems.
Intelligent design relative to our gorgeous geography gets groups to catch our coast, wind through our woods, revel in our rivers and hail to our hills. Marshfield’s range of natural attractions, when well connected, can create more caudal commuting, re-creating opportunities and even cleaner citizen craniums and community. I’ve witnessed the behaviors of disrespect transform to respect often enough to believe that if we bring beings to the beauty of our natural land in a new way, they will have an experience more in accord with their true nature and will then shift limiting beliefs. Newly nurtured and natural noggins necessarily act nice.
I thoroughly enjoy a relatively uninterrupted run and fun through the Blues, Greens or Whites. However, Marshfield has the unique opportunity to have a comprehensive, connected community through recreational trails. Capitalizing on community brings better business. Let’s make community our business.