To the editor:
My husband and I are stewards for the Damariscotta River Association’s Rutherford Island Preserve in South Bristol. It is one of the smallest and newest preserves.
Recently I decided to peruse the journal at the head of the trail. It encourages visitors to say something about the trail, where they are from, etc. While I know that not everyone takes the time to make an entry, I was amazed to see the scope and variety of those who do take the time. In the past two years of the trail’s existence, there have been entries from 17 states (Arizona, Maryland, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania, California, New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia, and Rhode Island) as well as from five foreign countries: England, France, Finland, Australia, and New Zealand. Of course, there are many entries from the local area and other Maine towns.
Even more significant, in my opinion, is what some people chose to say about this very small patch of nature, particularly in light of these troubled times in which we live. “Places like this to preserve for wildlife or access to the public are becoming rare.” “Heaven on Earth! If you bottle the air, I will pay you large sums of money for it.” “A paradise within a paradise!” “A morning walk, a shady bench, peace.” From Connecticut: “This is exactly the kind of trail we hoped we would find in the area, and we just stumbled across the trailhead by accident. Much thanks to all who made it possible, who built it, and who maintain it. This is truly an enchanted forest. We enjoyed it so much.” “Yay! What a great park! Thanks!” “We are from Martha’s Vineyard island, where we have some great trails to walk, but this is even better!” “Hands down, the nicest walk/hike through the Maine woods I have ever had. What a blessing to have this so close to our house. And great to have shared it with my niece.” “I loved this place so much. I brought my family today. Mom, dad, husband, and sister. Beautiful view of the river. Thank you for doing this for all to share and enjoy!”
I think all of us, living in this area, should be grateful indeed for the joy and peace that come from connecting with our beautiful environment. How wonderful it is to know that people from across the country/world appreciate it as well.