Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 11-26-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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10 ENTERTAINMENT NOVEMBER 26-DECEMBER 3, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION Trot off your turkey Land Trust Council hosts Thanksgiving weekend walks Whether you're trying to burn off a whole pumpkin pie or you're looking for an alternative to the Black Friday shopping madness, grab your hiking boots and get outside for some fresh air this Thanksgiving weekend. Join one of seven guided walks on conserved green spaces, hosted by land trusts around the state, including in Cumberland, Glocester, and Scituate, as part of the Rhode Island Land Trust Council's Land Trust Days Encore event taking place Friday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 1. "There's a lot of research talking about the health benefits of being out- doors, in nature, and walking," said Rupert Friday, of the R.I. Land Trust Council. "After a large meal, which a lot of peo- ple have on (Thanksgiving), it's a good way to burn off some of those calories." The walks are a great way to spend time with family and friends, or if there's family turmoil happening at the holi- days, it's a good excuse to get out and take a break, he said. Locally, the Cumberland Land Trust is hosting a walk at Mercy Woods on Friday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m., while the Glocester Land Trust will lead a family-friendly walk at Steere Hill in Harmony also Friday, Nov. 29, at 10 a.m. On Saturday, Nov. 30, at 10 a.m., join the Scituate Land Trust for a walk at Westconnaug Meadows. "I think we're lucky that we have so many nice hik- ing trails," Debbie Mitchell, board mem- ber of the Cumberland Land Trust and president of the R.I. Land Trust Council, told The Valley Breeze. "We like to see people get out there and enjoy them." This is the third year the council has hosted orga- nized land trust walks on Thanksgiving weekend. Friday, who said walking before Thanksgiving dinner was a family tradition when he was growing up, said the outings have been really successful so far, appealing to people who are looking for something to do besides watching football or shopping. Despite some inclement weather last year, 75 people showed up to the walk in Cumberland, he said. With many land trust prop- erties free and open to the public year-round, folks are also encouraged to go on a "Do It Yourself" walk. The ExploreRI.org website fea- tures trail maps for dozens of land trust properties, and lets you search to find trails that best fit your interests and abili- ties. In Cumberland, the two- hour hike through Mercy Woods will be a leisurely one, between 2.5 to 3 miles depending on the group, said Mitchell, who lives in Cumberland. "We don't go too fast," she said, adding that people should wear proper shoes. Those who walk the trails will usually see a lot of stone walls and wildlife, including deer, fisher cats, and turkeys, she said. Last week Mitchell said Nov. 29 was looking like it would be a beautiful day: sunny and in the low 40s, which is per- fect hiking weather. The town of Cumberland acquired Mercy Woods in 2018 from the Sisters of Mercy, who had it for approx- imately 100 years, Mitchell said. The Cumberland Land Trust and Pawtucket Water Supply have conservation easements on the property, she said. There are about 5 miles of walking trails that loop in a circle. No registration is required, but Mitchell said people are encouraged to reach out so they can get an idea of how many people to expect. Let them know via the R.I. Land Trust Days Meetup group, on Facebook, or email Mitchell at debamitchell@yahoo.com . Walkers should meet at the intersection of Sumner Brown Road and Wrentham Road. Parking is available. Roy Najecki, a trustee of the Glocester Land Trust and a Glocester resident, said he encourages people to join the walk at Steere Hill. "It's here for you to enjoy," he said of the property. The two-hour hike, which is approximately 2.5 miles, will take walkers over a 19th- century stone dam, rocky ridges, past American beech trees, a 25-acre meadow and a 17th-century cemetery, up a hill, on an old farm road and back to the parking area, Najecki said. "The vista (from) the top of the hill is quite something to behold," he said. Steere Hill, which contains more than 400 acres of land and 5 miles of trails, is a very popular place for people to walk, according to Najecki. It used to be an apple orchard until 1962, he said, and walk- ers will see a few of the trees that still bear fruit in the fall. "If you've never been to Steere Hill, (come) see a part of Glocester you've never seen before," he said, adding that the property is open year-round for passive activity. There's no hunting allowed, and in the winter people can go snowshoeing. Another property to check out, he said, is Sprague Farm, in the western part of Glocester, which contains a lot of old farmhouse foun- dations, as well as miles of beautifully built stone walls and rare trees. The farm dates back to Colonial days. No registration is required. Meet at the parking area on Route 44, across from the Harmony Post Office. The walk will take place unless it's snowing or heavily raining that day, he said. For a full list of the walks and more information, visit www.RILandTrustDays.org . By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer melanie@valleybreeze.com FRIDAY MITCHELL NAJECKI Warm Hearts Warm Coats Day Friday PAWTUCKET – The Salvation Army will host the annual Warm Hearts Warm Coats Day this Friday, Nov. 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Salvation Army, 102 High St. Those who need a coat and other warm items are encouraged to come on the day of the event. Books Are Wings will distribute chil- dren's books at the event. Donations are welcome. There are many co- sponsors of this event, from the Neighborhood Alliance Pawtucket – NAP, the city of Pawtucket and many other businesses and community organizations and places of worship. To volunteer to help with this event, contact Arthur Plitt at kingarthurarthur@ gmail.com or 401-369-1918.

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