Trailblazing flags have begun to mark the future course at the River’s Edge Recreation Park in Brunswick.
Trail designer Austin Steo, with the Trail Conservancy, has set flags on 2 to 3 miles, said Carlo Alfano, a trail liaison and one of the project’s creators. If weather permits, some trails may be cleared and ready in a few weeks on the 59-acre city sports complex, where 4 to 5 miles of trails are being developed, he said.
Volunteers and the Mid Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts nonprofit are supporting the project with labor and financial donations. The site stretches along the 200 block of 13th Avenue, south of Brunswick Middle School.
Once the group has Brunswick City Council approval, trail clearing will involve branch and debris removal. The goal is not to cut down big trees, but some small trees will be cut and some land will be leveled, Alfano said.
Before finishing the trails, creators need more information about a proposed solar array field the council is considering putting on the property. The city is exploring a possible contract with Solar City for solar-generated electricity.
The contract has the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars annually on electricity costs over the next 20 years. It would give Solar City the right to set up the solar array field, capture renewable energy credits to sell to other utilities and relieve the city of some of its energy expense.
The site has room for both the solar array and the recreation park, the council said. A final decision about the solar array is expected this month.
“We don’t know how much they’re going to occupy,” Alfano said.
If possible, trails would go close to the array for an interesting bit of scenery, he said.
River’s Edge is being designed for use by hikers, pedestrians, and cyclists of all skill levels.
Alfano envisions it as a good resource also for Brunswick High School cross-country runners and for middle school science students exploring nature.