The Creation of the Lowell Community Nature Trail

In Lowell, VT, a student at the Lowell Graded School named AJ Sicotte had a growing interest in building a walking trail through the woods behind his school that would be open to the entire town. After beginning clearing the trail himself, AJ gained help from the community when Bob Hawk, the linkage coordinator for the Staying Connected Initiative (SCI) met with the Lowell School principal, Scott Boskind, and two teachers from the school’s science department, Judy Ide and Michael Brooks.

During this meeting, a plan was devised to lengthen the trail that AJ had previously cleared. Additionally, the trail would contain educational aspects in order to encourage interactive learning. The plan involved clearing the trail with the help of Bob Hawk and students from the Lowell School’s summer program, Camp Encore. As Hawk cleared the trail with a chain saw the students of the summer program, along with AJ Sicotte raked and laid out the trail location. Additionally, the students from Camp Encore spent time identifying trees along the trail. This information was presented on educational plaques that were created and placed along the length of the completed nature trail. A sign that accompanied the trail was donated by a local artist named Mr. Yellow and was placed at the trail head upon cedar posts that were donated by a member of the community named Mark Higley.

The trail is now an active walking trail behind the Lowell Graded School that is used by the community for walking, skiing, snowshoeing, and educational purposes.

Project Contact: 
Bob Hawk
Project Contact Email: 
Town: 
Lowell
Regional Planning Commision: 
Northeastern Vermont Development Association
Year Completed: 
2009
Project Lifespan: 
2008-2009
Keywords: 
Forest Land
Land Management
Outreach
Walks and Talks
Project Accomplishments: 

The greatest accomplishment of this project was providing an interactive learning tool that is used by the community for educational and recreational purposes. The trail may now be used by students from the Lowell Graded School to learn about tree identification and habitat types, while also fostering a connection to nature.

Project Partners: 

AJ Sicotte
Lowell Graded School
Bob Hawk
Mark Higley
Adrien Patenaude "Mr. Yellow"
Judy Ide
Jeff Parsons

Critical to Success: 
The project gained support from the community through the involvement of AJ Sicotte, a respected member of the community. Additionally, the support given from the Lowell Graded School, Bob Hawk, and donors from the community made building the trail itself successful.
Challenges: 
The Lowell School Nature Trail did not face any overbearing challenges due to the overwhelming community support and everyone’s willingness to help out and make the trail a successful public resource.
Project Pictures: 
Caption: 
Bob Hawk, Linkage Coordinator for the Staying Connected Initiative, congratulates A.J. Sicotte while Lowell community members applaud from left to right: Andre Tetreault, Mark Higley, Adrien “Mr. Yellow” Patenaude and Daniel Hodgeman. Photo courtesy of Sc
Ref Doc Desc: 
A dedication article written by Bob Hawk dedicating the Lowell Community Trail to the hard work of Lowell 8th Grader AJ Sicotte.
Associated Projects: