Out & About: Nonprofits Target Invasive Species in ‘Rip and Ride’ Event (Canceled Due to Weather)

  • Mountain bikers ride trails in the West Windsor Town Forest. (Courtesy Upper Valley Land Trust)

Valley News Calendar Editor
Monday, July 31, 2017

UPDATE, posted Friday, Aug. 4:

Organizers have canceled this event planned for Saturday, Aug. 5, due to forecasted thunderstorms. 

“We hope to reschedule another event there later in the year,” Alison Marchione, a land steward with the Upper Valley Land Trust, said in a post on the listserve.

West Windsor — When it comes to battling invasive species, there’s no shortage of opportunities.

But two Upper Valley nonprofit organizations are taking a novel approach.

Called “Rip and Ride,” an event coming up this Saturday is targeted at recruiting mountain bikers to help clear the West Windsor Town Forest of honeysuckle, buckthorn and barberry.

Alison Marchione, of the Upper Valley Land Trust, said part of the aim is to “really engage the mountain bike community… in helping with some of our trail restoration.”

Rip and Ride isn’t limited to bikers. There will be a hiking option as well.

“It’s a fun event that’s good for people who want to get out on the mountain and have fun,” Marchione said, adding “it’s also helpful for us.”

Members of UVLT and Ascutney Outdoors will lead each group of hikers and bikers. At the end of the event, which runs from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., there will be a cookout.

“Honeysuckle we’ll definitely be targeting because it’s easier to pull out and doesn’t have any thorns,” Marchione said. The other two plants do, which can complicate the removal process.

The amount of invasive species removed will depend on how many people turn out for the event “and how much ground we can cover,” Marchione said. “It would be really great to try get some of the stuff that’s pullable” along the trails and close to the trailhead.

The West Windsor Town Forest is owned by the town and is managed by Ascutney Outdoors. UVLT holds a conservation easement on the property.

“If the weather is good it’s a great place to hike and ride,” Marchione said.

Editor’s note: To learn more about the event and to register, contact Marchione at alison.marchione@uvlt.org or 603-643-6626. Participants are asked to bring water and a pair of work gloves. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.