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Plaistow mapping out a plan to improve town forest


PLAISTOW — Local officials are looking for funds through the 2014 New Hampshire Trails Grant that could help the town clear trails and better map the paths in the Plaistow Town Forest.

Town Manager Sean Fitzgerald said the forest is an extraordinary conservation area for both the town and the region with a number of trails and pathways.

“This grant will help us get money to restore some of the trails and also correct a few issues with the forest,” said Fitzgerald. “There is some debris that has accumulated over the past 50 years, such as old auto parts and batteries, that are harmful to the environment.”

Fitzgerald praised the efforts local Boy Scout troops have made over the years to mark and clear trails and build some bridges over streams, but he said the grant money could be used to further improve some of those bridges to protect them from flooding.

“The goal is to help support walking trails, which is something we have long talked about,” Fitzgerald said.

If the town does receive grant money, some if it could be used to better mark the trails and to update the mapping of the forest.

Selectman John Sherman said he would like to see mapping that shows the existing trails and their topography.

“This is a great project and a great thing for the town of Plaistow,” Sherman said.

Fitzgerald said the town could hear if it is eligible for grant funding within the next six weeks.

“I think the town has a very competitive application, but it’s not a sure thing,” he said.

If the town is awarded state grant funds, Fitzgerald said he will be back before selectmen to discuss whether the board wants to accept the funds or augment the grants in any way to further move the town forest project along.

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