Advanced Search

NHS keeps forest clean and clear

The Nokesville Horse Society is one of the volunteer organizations that contribute manpower to help the Conway Robinson State Forest save money, maintain trails and stay safe for visitors.

Bryant Bays, an area forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, explained state forests are not taxpayer funded; they rely on timber harvests but no harvesting has occurred at that site since 1993.
“Volunteer groups such as the Nokesville Horse Society, Friends of Conway Robinson State Forest, PTAC [a trail group] and scouts help us develop and maintain a trail system. They recently helped us mark trails, which helps us develop maps,” Bays said. “They also help us keep the forest a safe place to go. There had been some illegal [activities in the past] and people feel a little safer when someone is there to check on things.”

Bays said the 444-acre forest has approximately five miles of trails, including a road on the eastern portion. “This is pretty extensive for a forest this size. We usually have organized volunteer days twice a year but the Nokesville Horse Society has small groups riding and maintaining trails while they’re riding, such as trimming trees or moving downed trees.… We definitely appreciate the help of volunteers because, without them, there would be no recreational features in this forest, except for the pavilion built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.”

Scott Helberg, president of the Nokesville Horse Society, said he believes his group has been working in Conway Robinson for more than six years. The volunteers are helping the state maintain the forest, keep the trails passable for hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders and keep the area safe for visitors. He said the Nokesville Horse Society coordinates with other groups to maintain the trails, which are primarily natural dirt surfaces with leaves. Some are “armored” or reinforced with gravel, stone dust or field stone to make them more solid or prevent them from becoming muddy. Members haul and lay trail material, as well as trim branches and clear fallen limbs along the trails.

Helberg said the Friends of Conway Robinson organized a work day last fall. Four Nokesville Horse Society members and several from the Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition and the Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts spent about four hours trimming branches and marking trails with paint on trees.

Read the full story in the print edition of the Observer.

Link to This Article

Copy and paste the code below on your site to link to the article.

<a href="">NHS keeps forest clean and clear</a>

Follow Us on Twitter!/bullrunnow
Welcome Guest! | Login