How to get there: Brownville Elementary School is located on at 774 Main Rd. in Brownville. There aren’t a lot of big buildings in that neck of the woods, but if you happen to miss it, stop at the gas station for directions. The trail is right by the school, marked by a large painted trail sign.
Information: The Brownville Elementary School Nature Trail is about 4/10 of a mile long and weaves through pine and birch trees to visit a vernal pool, an important habitat for many Maine creatures including fairy shrimp, tree frogs and salamanders. Along the trail, walkers can stop at interpretive signs or “learning stations” that identify some of the animals, plants and significant landmarks in the area. On the trail, visitors can learn about and see glacial erratics, human impact on natural habitats, vernal pool wildlife, a fairy house village, snag trees, animal tracks and nurse logs (fallen trees that provide a home for a variety of insects, animals and plants as it decays).
The trail is open to the public year-round. The signs and trail work was funded by grants from Sandy and Dave Perloff, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Plum Creek Foundation, and was made possible be a large group of teachers, parents and community volunteers, including staff at the Appalachian Mountain Club office in Greenville.
For information on Brownville Elementary School, visit web.me.com/lweston/Site_3/Welcome.html or call 965-8184.
Personal note: Thank you, Judy Thompson, teacher of the sixth grade at Brownville Elementary School, and the nine children who made me feel welcome as I tagged along on their “Nature Trail Celebration Day” outdoor frolic: Corbin Cyr, Spencer Black, Brooke Bolstridge, Devyn Right, James Sundvall, Andy Gallant, Jericho Prado, Savannah Boislard and Cory Ouellette. These children seem to know how fortunate they are to have a nature trail located right beside their school.