Ana Urbina has grown up within an easy walk of the Bow School Forest. The woods and recreational trails abutting her family property have served as a playground for her and her family, neighbors and friends. “My dad and a friend of his mountain-biked out here just the other day to look at my project area,” she said, as she stood amidst a portion of low lying trail filled with rocks. “They are going to help me with some of the heavy work.”
Urbina, about to enter her senior year at Bow High School, has proposed a slight bypass along the Bear Trail in order to “smooth the way” for the use of the trail by hikers, runners, and others. Ana is working with volunteers, including Bow Open Spaces trail masters Hilary and Jeff Warner to plan the bypass, which would divert traffic slightly to the west, avoiding an area that is rocky and often wet.
The work is part of Urbina’s “Senior Project,” an element of the Bow High School curriculum that allows students to contribute to their community through a research project and volunteerism.
As part of her research, Urbina will prepare a report on Nature Deficit Disorder. Some experts say outdoor recreation helps children who have spent large amount of time indoors – many by choice, as the use of electronic technology substitutes for fun in the outdoors. Urbina hopes that trail improvement will play a role in encouraging youth to enjoy our outdoor spaces.
Bow Open Spaces has been a part of several such projects over the years, including the recent development of the White Pine Trail by student Laura Bello, BHS Class of 2011.
If you have an idea for such a project, drop us a note!