4-H, Don Eagle and Maybe a Record Red Pine at Brighton State Park by Eric Bouchard, Ranger

On Saturday June 1st, members of the Orleans County Border Livestock Plus 4-H Club made their way to Brighton State Park, for a morning filled with volunteering, hiking, raking, litter patrol and history. Beginning at the interpretive trail, 8 youths and 4 adults made their way up and around the trail loops grooming them, while at the same time learning about the natural and cultural history of the park and its lands. 

The park’s interpretive trail booklet helped in educating them about the trail’s biodiversity; however, Rangers Eric and Vela spoke to them about some of the interesting aspects of the park.

Brighton's Native American History

The rangers began by explaining how Don Eagle (for whom the park museum is named) gave the land to the state.  They also explained that Native Americans still utilize the park in the fall for annual get-togethers. They also entertained the group by telling them that it has been said that the land is haunted. Residents and campers alike mention that they will often hear the beat of tribal drums if they camp near the lake.

Record Red Pine Tree?
This spring, foresters walking the trails looking for obstructions stumbled upon what might be a state record Red Pine Tree. The rangers told the group that the foresters will need to come back to do some measurements to make a determination.  Vermont State Parks are home to many interesting flower and tree species.  

Everyone was amazed at what a gem this park is. They had no idea what was here. A great deal was accomplished and we found out later that the kids were still talking about the haunted woods on the ride home. They said that they would be back soon for sure, to camp and to take advantage of all this wonderful park has to offer, naturally, in recreation and educational opportunities. We want to thank them for all of their hard work: it is greatly appreciated!

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