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Ron Davis: Dedicated Trail Vounteer

Ron Davis dumping gravel on the trail at the McIntosh Lot Preserve on Bailey Island

For many of us, working at a desk eight hours a day, working outside is a joy and an antidote to looking at a computer screen. For Ron Davis, a retired Navy engineer and current piano tuner, building and maintaining Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) trails is a delightful way to enjoy nature and meet “wonderful people.”

A skilled user of the rake, the grub hoe, and the chainsaw, Ron at first thought most of his work as a trail steward would be spent alone, enjoying nature a la Walden. Ron was pleasantly surprised to learn about the other benefits of HHLT trail work: “work parties” offer the chance to get to know and participate with other volunteers and the satisfaction of enabling others to enjoy Harpswell’s beauty.

“Since the early 2000s, Ron has been one of our most active trail builders, helping to build most of our current trails. His steady, consistent commitment and unceasing energy have been essential to our stewardship work,” said Executive Director Reed Coles. “Not only does he go out on his own to do the work that needs to be done, but he also supervises groups of adults and Bowdoin students during work days.”

Ron Davis hauling wood at Skolfield Shores Preserve in 2016. The bridge he helped build in the early 2000s had to be dismantled due to safety. So again he hauled the same wood, this time to be re-purposed elsewhere.

Ron served on the Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2016, and as chair of the Stewardship Committee from 2012-2016. He began his second stint on the Board in 2017.

Of all the many work days he has participated in and led, he says that perhaps the most memorable was when he showed up to volunteer to work alongside the Maine Conservation Corps on the trail at Skolfield Shores Preserve. He was assigned the task of helping to carry logs and lumber to construct the bridge across the ravine. “The totality of the job scope was impressive and it was interesting that the Maine Conservation Corps lived and cooked on site,” Davis said.

If you like to walk the trails or watch for wildlife along the shores of Casco Bay, why not join one of HHLT’s next work parties? (Click here to sign up for our volunteer opportunities email list). You too might get hooked on trail work. And if you happen to come across Ron working to make the trails you love safe and enjoyable, say hello and thank him for making Harpswell such a gem on the coast of Maine.

November 2017