Improvements Continue at WTEC

January 31, 2022
Nancy Krause, Conservation Corps Program Coordinator
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

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Improvements Continue at WTEC

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What a difference a year can make! The Welch Trail Education Center (WTEC) is blossoming into a seasonal home for our Conservation Corps members and a budding environmental center. With the COVID-19 vaccine came the help of volunteers that made all the difference. Last year, it was only my father, husband, and two sons pitching in. This year, it was them plus four-weekday volunteers and several weekend volunteers.

All windows are repaired and refinished in the kitchen. More windows were refinished in the main hall, plus more being done this winter. Two sets of newly made double doors, complete with panic bar locks, were installed in the main hall. Volunteer Robert Ward took home all the screens from one cabin to repair and refinish over the coming winter.

Bong Kim and his cheerful hiking friends came many weekends and replaced damaged siding on two of the buildings. I followed right behind with other volunteers and painted all the new boards. Except for some remaining touch-ups, three buildings were painted this summer. Mr. Kim’s dedication to the WTEC continues through the changing seasons as we have planned a variety of improvements that he will continue to work on, weather permitting.

The weekday volunteers— Gordon Pellegrini, Joe Henderson, Marlys Litchfield, and Ray Gridley—enabled me to keep everything running smoothly all season. No job was too big or too small. We plodded away every week tackling a variety of jobs. I was very sad when first Ray moved, and then Marlys. Working with the volunteers had become so much more than a way to get more done; it was the connection with each of them that made the rewards so much sweeter.

Some other improvements for the year: new roofs on the main hall, boathouse, bathhouse; new roofs scheduled for two lakeside cabins. Asbestos boards are cleared from the bathhouse and cabin 209 bathroom. A new dishwasher was installed, and the oven was repaired. Twenty-three gallons of stain were used, all of which were donated by Benjamin Moore. Architectural plans are being finalized for the new classroom building that is planned for 2022.

The 2021 AmeriCorps season may have ended and the WTEC is closed for the winter, but the wheels of progress continue thanks to our volunteers! If you would like to join this merry band, please contact vol[email protected].