AYER — Maintaining the trails around town isn’t nearly as much fun as using them.
During a meeting this month, the Greenway Committee discussed the results of a survey, done among committee members and sent around by member George Bacon, asking how to improve meeting turnout.
After looking over the responses, the committee agreed to discuss ideas for incorporating more activities into its schedule.
“We haven’t done any hikes in awhile,” member Takashi Tada offered.
“It would be good to think about more social outings,” member Patrick Hughes said, but cautioned “if we aren’t reminded of the business end of things, they fall off the map.”
Hughes pointed out that some of the members who can’t make it to the meetings still help out by making donations.
Member Steven Smith said it looks like trail hikes and other outdoor events are popular. “If we are going to get serious about activities, we need a draft calendar with something for every month.”
“We do need to meet monthly just for planning, but the whole point of trail building was to get out there and use them,” Hughes said. “The winter walks we’ve done for trail planning have been really fun days.”
The committee decided to form a subcommittee to begin calendar event planning.
In other business, Hughes questioned some of the work being done on the trails using public funds.
He said one of the things the committee had planned to do with its funding was set up picnic tables and benches, but installing trail signs was using up more of the funds than anticipated.
Hughes said he wants to make sure the committee does what it promised at town meeting to get the Community Preservation Act funding.
Smith said the committee’s priority should be trail-building and maintenance, and that natural materials can be used to make benches.
Member Laurie Sabol cautioned that picnic tables can bring trash.
Picnic tables bring families out to use open space and could help generate interest, said member Beth Suedmeyer.
Suedmeyer addressed the progress of the informational trail kiosks, two of which are planned for Ayer trails. Suedmeyer is working on the content of the sign while Hughes works on their construction.
There was some debate over using the back of the kiosks to post additional information, as well as attempting to post a log for hikers to write observations and comments on the kiosks.
Hughes said the issue with either of those options is weather-proofing them, but added that they still have months to work on it.