As fall season temperatures set in, and green leaves transformed into brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange, two Mount Prospect Academy students volunteered their time.
The students — guided by Mike Adamkowski, executive director of Mount Prospect Academy's Adventure Based Trauma Informed Treatment program — helped replace a washed-out culvert that was blocking access to the Oliverian Pond Boat launch.
The road and boat launch have re-opened since this work was finished in early October.
"We actually had a group paddle on the pond on Wednesday the 10th, and judging by the forecast for next week that was our last paddle of the year," Adamkowski said.
MPA students spend a lot of their summer on the water, Adamkowski added.
"For a lot of our guys, tandem canoeing means learning a new skill, and getting them more comfortable and safe with the water."
When students are in a canoe they have to work with someone else, both with steering the canoe and making sure that the boat remains stable.
"If they both look over the same side for a fish, they could quickly end up in the water," he said.
A heavy storm washed out the culvert in fall 2017, making the road leading to Oliverian Pond Boat launch impassible.
"We use this boat launch a lot during the spring, and it's great to have our students volunteering their time to support reopening this area to everyone in the community," Adamkowski said.
MPA paid for Iron Mountain Excavating to have a front-loader on site to remove the old culvert and dig a channel for the new culvert drainage.
The MPA students helped install the new culvert and patch the road to make it passable again. New Hampshire Fish & Game supported the project by supplying the culvert pipe and securing permission for the work from the Town of Benton Board of Selectmen.
The cooperation between MPA, New Hampshire Fish & Game, and the Town of Benton provides a fine example for students of how people can work together to achieve a shared goal that benefits the community, MPA Director of Human Resources and Employee Development Ladd Raine said.
"MPA strives to teach its students how they can be good community members and give back to the resources that they so often use," Raine added. “Oliverian Pond is an easily accessible site that offers a tranquil, therapeutic environment for our students. We're very happy to have this area open again for the community and our students."