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Committee members spend 3 mornings a week year-round (weather permitting) clearing paths, cutting branches, trimming brush, picking up debris, building steps, planting trees, wrapping trees to prevent beaver damage (an increasing problem), and building foot bridges over streams and marshes.
Note: To find out about beavers and their impact in our environment, please click: Beavers.
HRLPC members have marked the trails with standard trail markings ("blazes"). Their descriptions are accessible on each
trail's web site, as well as here: Blazes.
Another volunteer project has been the identification of trees. Watch for small white signs with green letters which name the type of tree you're looking at.
Occasionally you'll pass a bench built by HRLPC volunteers. These rustic benches afford pleasant views of the river and and nearby historic sites. Moreover, many of these benches have their own histories. Check the trail descriptions.
Anyone is welcome to join the Committee and volunteer their time and effort. Materials and tools are provided. Click here on how to contact the HRLPC.
The Hockanum River Linear Park Committee was created in 1970 as a joint group of volunteers merged to work together for the preservation of the river's 7-mile long green belt through the Town of Manchester. This band of environmentalists, from the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, the Manchester Jaycees, and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, all shared a devotion to the Hockanum River, its scenic beauty, its diverse recreational potentials, and its need to be cleaned up and protected from ever-spreading commercial development.
From that early date, the Committee -- organized as a subcommittee of the Town's Conservation Commission -- held regular monthly planning meetings, scheduled weekly riverside clean-up efforts, and gradually created a growing number of hiking trails along the waterway, with trailheads and parking at key locations. Green and white "Hockanum River Hiking Trail" signs indicate parking for these trails. (Return to the LPCM Home Page for information on the trails.)
Canoeing and kayaking grew in interest as the river was gradually cleared of debris and fallen trees. Then in 1977, the First Annual Hockanum River Canoe/Kayak race was held, and many more followed. (For information on these events, click on Canoeing and Kayaking Information.)
Our first Osprey Platform was erected in the Laurel Marsh in the spring of 1999, in an attempt to attract permanent nesting to this area. Unfortunately, this has been unsuccessful to date: Osprey have visited to feed, but have not nested.
The Committee's Memorial Tree Planting was started in November, 2000, in memory of 4 Hockanum Committee members, with the addition of 4 5-6 foot tall White Pines planted along the river. Since that date, White and Austrian Pines have been placed at several prominent riverside locations in remembrance of lost Committee members. For photographs and additional information on our Memorial Trees project, click on Special Projects: Memorial Trees.
The HRLPC has also continued an annual Evergreen Seedling Planting program since 1981, with many hundreds of White Pines, White Spruces and other conifers placed along the entire river in Manchester. At present there are a significant number of these seedlings reaching over 30 feet tall. The tallest pines are along the west side of the Union Pond Trail at Northwest Park, and along the Oakland Trail next to Intersate-84 at Exit-63. Others are along the Hackett Trail off New State Road, and next to the Laurel Marsh Trail near Hop Brook. New seedlings are added each spring.
The Committee has built and placed a total of 28 Wood Duck nesting boxes around the periphery of the Laurel Marsh, and these have mostly been successful based on fragments of shells and feathers found at the end of the annual nesting season.