Friends of Thompson Park work to trim the trails

Updated: Apr. 17, 2021 at 9:40 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) -The work started early Saturday for dozens of North Country residents working to clear parts of Thompson Park.

The effort is a part of a trail development project, sponsored by the Friends of Thompson Park

“The Friends of Thompson Park are trying to go back and sort of reconnect with the history of the design of the park, and although there are some existing trails, we would like to expand them,” said Brian Ashley, Vice-Chair of Friends of Thompson Park.

Ashley says the group is cutting back a lot of the invasive or harmful species that have become overgrown in the last few years.

“The Buckthorn, Honeysuckle, you know, this stuff grows up and once this gets established, there is nothing that grows underneath it. So it’s very difficult for anything to really get going,” said Ron Fillhert.

Fillhert is a trail enthusiast, who took the thirty minute drive from Sandy Creek to come help.

He says his wife just retired from teaching in the Watertown City School District, so they feel connected to the park.

“I really just enjoy being able to know that her former students are going to be able to come up and enjoy these trails,” said Fillhert.

Ashley says many of these volunteers have some of those same connections and understand what an asset the park really is.

“We like to think that everybody in the area is a friend of Thompson Park. They use it for everything from walking their dogs to just socializing. Of course we have concerts and other things here. So, it’s very gratifying to see people who are willing to put some sweat equity into the park today,” said Ashley.

But, Ashley says this won’t be the last time the group will get together in the park this year.

They hope to continue working throughout the spring and summer to continue improving trail access for the public.

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