HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke Conservation Commission along with Greenagers, a non-profit youth stewardship organization, helped improve the trail system in Gloutak Woods.
Gloutak Woods is 51.72 acres managed by the Holyoke Conservation Commission with a Conservation Restriction held by Kestrel Land Trust that was purchased by the City in 2019 using $157,000 in Community Preservation Act (CPA) Funds–the first open space project since local voters approved the CPA in 2016.
Six members of Greenagers, Inc., mostly Holyoke teens, members of the Appalachian Mountain Club New England Trail Crew and Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia, helped create new trails, construct a kiosk, conduct invasive species removal and build two new bridge crossings. The trails are open daily from dawn to dusk, parking is available on Rock Valley Road.
“The goal for the most part is to improve what is already there: reroute sections to better match the grade of the landscape and construct stream crossings. These improvements will enhance the visitor experience and result in reduced environmental impacts over the long term,” said Yoni Glogower, Holyoke Director of Conservation and Sustainability.
“We are thrilled to hire and work with Greenagers to improve the visitor experience at Gloutak,” says Glogower. “Their efforts are an investment in our open spaces and community both, training the next generation of land stewards.”
Daniel Rodriguez, a sophomore at Holyoke High School, says he has “learned how to respect nature, as well as how to motivate others through difficult times.”
“Being able to teach the kids what I know about nature is thrilling,” she said. “I have been able to reconnect with myself and learned new things. This is a great group that put in a lot of hard work and effort,” said Katelyn Leger, who led the Gloutak Greenagers crew.