One of SCA Manchester's overarching pillars that is instilled in their members is teamwork. Without it, they cannot operate; with it, they can get things done. On March 17th, fifteen SCA Manchester high school members and the four leaders fully realized the teamwork that is needed to make an impact on and transform the huge rail trail project that is the Rockingham Recreational Trail in Manchester. Stretching for three miles from Manchester to Massabesic Lake, the abandoned railroad turned public recreational trail is plagued by hundreds upon hundreds of creosote soaked rail ties scattered on its margins. Because of this, the trail resembles more an unofficial alleyway rather than a proper scenic route to Massabesic Lake. Luckily for us, the ties are now safe to be disposed of.
The SCA Manchester members banded together and upon arrival glanced down the corridor at the hundreds of ties that needed to be moved that day. Some ties, reaching more than 12 foot long and well over several hundred pounds each, required whole work teams of 8 and 9 to be carried to the end of the trail. This kind of dangerous work requires careful consideration of tools, excellent communication, and, of course, team work. Altogether, the crew carefully stacked 168 rail ties.
As with any city trail project, the crew was greeted by community members and trail users expressing their gratitude of the service and hard work provided by the high school members. One special guest, Real Pinard, a retired city alderman and resident adjacent to the trail, shook the hands of the leaders of the program and told the crews some of the history of the old railroad when President Truman had visited the area.
Since it is such a large project, the crew has decided to spend another day at the trail on March 31st.