CHINA — The town committee responsible for managing Thurston Park has hired a forester to thin out crowded areas in half of the park.
Harold Burnett, owner of Two Trees Forestry in Winthrop, will do some light logging east of Yorktown Road, according to Jeanette Smith, secretary of the Thurston Park Committee.
Anything west of the road, however, will be left in a natural state, she said.
The harvesting is expected to bring the committee about $8,000. The committee then plans to reinvest the money in the park for trail maintenance and building, Smith said.
The original trails were all built using grant money.
“We’d really like … the park to be somewhat self-sufficient,” she said.
The committee also has incurred costs from vandalism, she said. Occasionally a sign will be stolen, which can add up over time.
The decision to harvest comes after a long hiatus in cutting at the 400-acre property. In 2007, a forester surveyed the area and said the park’s timber didn’t need to be harvested any more for about 10 years, Smith said.
“The forest has been severely overcut historically,” said Judy Stone, who acts as the forestry liaison on the committee because of her background.
When the committee first formed, the members surveyed townspeople to find out what they wanted them to do with the property.
Stone said people most valued “a quiet place to take a walk with bigger trees.”
There was some interest in using the forest for motorized recreation as well, she said.
Burnett plans to “improve the stand” in late summer, taking out scraps and harvesting crowded areas to promote better tree growth, Smith said.