New Beaver Brook Footbridge
To pass over Beaver Brook near the train station, hikers once had to jump across a spillway in a narrow concrete dam. A slip could result in injury, especially for parents out for a walk in the woods with small children. Now, thanks to the efforts of SFOC President Kurt Buermann and a group of volunteers, a footbridge spans the brook for safe crossing.
Kurt procured the plans, the lumber, and the hardware. He cut the boards, preassembled the entire bridge in his back yard, and then took it apart again, numbering each piece in preparation for final assembly at the site on Saturday, December 8.
The Boy Scouts showed up early with doughnuts and coffee for the half-dozen volunteers. They erected trail signs and cleared the trail while the volunteers set to work erecting the bridge.
As the volunteers unloaded the planks from the pickup truck, a man approached from the opposite bank with his dog and a plank. By sheer coincidence, he had brought a board that very day to span the gap in the dam to make it safer to cross. He said he walked that way often with his dog, and felt unsafe jumping across the spillway in the dam, especially with ice and snow coming soon. He was so enthusiastic about the new bridge that he came back later and helped out with the construction.
As the day unfolded and the bridge went up, several more parties of hikers, some with small children, chanced along, underscoring the need for the bridge. All were thrilled to see the new bridge being built, and astonished that a group of volunteers would make such a big effort to improve a hiking trail.
Thanks to Keevin Geller of Barney & Carey Co. for providing the lumber at cost; to the Fields Pond Foundation for its grant of $500; and to Boy Scout troop 95 for contributing refreshments and labor.
By Paul Lauenstein