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Wil Libby building a trail at Mount Apatite for electric bike riding

Wil Libby building a trail at Mount Apatite for electric bike riding

Wil Libby, proper, of Livermore talks with Ben Condit of Auburn in regards to the new mountain bike path at Mount Apatite in Auburn on Thursday. Libby and a path crew of youngsters constructed the brand new 1.3 mile path, referred to as Carrie On, over the previous summer time. Libby and volunteers will assemble a wooden bridge Monday, the ultimate piece for the path to be full. Daryn Slover/Solar Journal Buy this Photo

AUBURN — In additional methods than one, the pandemic has been a blessing in disguise for the path system at Mount Apatite.

Extra folks than ever have been taking to the outside for contemporary air and train, and in Auburn, skilled trail-builder Wil Libby has been in a position to commit himself to path upkeep and stewardship at Mount Apatite Park.

Libby, now 42, grew up on the path community there — a self-described “BMX child” who went on to construct trails professionally in locations just like the Katahdin Woods and Waters Nationwide Monument and on the Appalachian Path.

In regular occasions, Libby runs a nonprofit group referred to as Evergreen Out of doors Schooling, which conducts wilderness outings for veterans and folks with particular wants. He additionally works for OBP Trailworks, based mostly in Turner, which has carried out path initiatives throughout the nation. However, due to COVID-19, Libby’s outings have been particularly restricted.

“Mount Apatite, being a spot I grew up and used for an excellent chunk of my life, I assumed I’m simply going to do some volunteer work, tweak the paths a bit bit and see what I can do,” he mentioned.

Mount Apatite Park is a 300-acre leisure space within the western a part of town, that includes an in depth path system. Libby mentioned he’s by no means seen the paths so busy, and that individuals will usually cease to ask what he’s as much as, which he makes use of as an opportunity to show them about erosion and different points.

After spending the early a part of the summer time bettering the favored mountain biking path Signature, Wil Libby put his efforts into constructing Carrie On, a path in Mount Apatite Park in Auburn named in reminiscence of Carrie Boudreau, an avid mountain biker from Raymond who handed away from most cancers in April on the age of 53. Daryn Slover/Solar Journal Buy this Photo

What started as an opportunity to “kill a while” within the spring become a summer-long mentoring program for highschool college students, which he’s hoping will foster a brand new technology of path stewards within the area. The chance got here by the central Maine chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Affiliation

Sabrina Greatest, director of Auburn’s Recreation Division, mentioned Libby has accomplished “a tremendous job” all through the summer time, rebuilding trails and mentoring new path stewards.

Libby and the scholars constructed a brand new leg of path, the place they realized about sustainable trail-building and the way it can affect the area people and economic system. He mentioned the suggestions from riders to date has been “phenomenal.”

He mentioned the pandemic has additionally highlighted “the significance of getting outdoors in secure inexperienced areas on your personal psychological well being.” He’s run throughout a number of folks at Mount Apatite who instructed him they’d by no means hiked there earlier than, and had been amazed by the “path community so near residence.”

Libby has used the inflow of latest hikers to host small strolling excursions, utilizing the Buddies of Mount Apatite social media web page to supply perception on easy methods to make the path system higher.

“I believe it’s about easy methods to put some TLC on these trails, and assist the common volunteer improve their talent set so we will all be good path stewards, and care for this property collectively,” he mentioned.

Libby grew up in Turner and lives in Livermore. He’s additionally accomplished work at Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth, the Camden Snow Bowl and different areas throughout New England. He helped the Auburn-Lewiston YMCA construct a wheelchair-accessible path alongside Bobbin Mill Brook.

Going ahead, he plans to work with metropolis employees in Auburn to arrange a “strong volunteer group,” in order that extra organized work can happen within the spring. However, he mentioned, he plans to be out on the paths all through the autumn, and he snowshoes throughout the winter.

“We will make a very targeted activity checklist heading into subsequent spring, and get the paths up and even higher,” he mentioned. “If we comply with that mannequin for a number of years, we’ll have a world-class vacation spot proper right here in Auburn.”

Know somebody with a deep nicely of limitless public spirit? Somebody who offers of their time to make their neighborhood a greater place? Then nominate them for Kudos. Ship their title and the place the place they do their good deeds to reporter Andrew Rice at [email protected] and we’ll do the remaining.

Wil Libby guided efforts by path crews and volunteers to construct the Carrie On path, a brand new 1.3 mile mountain biking path at Mount Apatite in Auburn on Aug. 3. Daryn Slover/Solar Journal file picture

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