Getting the Parks Ready to Open: What Grows Up, Does Come Down

Leaves of Brilliance and Pain
by Eric Bouchard, Assistant Ranger at Maidstone State Park

Every autumn thousands of tourists flock to Vermont to enjoy the breathtaking views Mother Nature has to offer. With the changing of the seasons come the most brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow. The awe-inspiring views are enough to attract individuals from hundreds even thousands of miles away.

However, what happens to that leaf litter after peaking and falling to the ground? After a snowy Vermont winter does it all simply disappear? I know two Maidstone State Park Rangers that would say “Heck NO!”

Beginning the season April 29, both Mark and Eric, strapped with 2 high powered leaf blowers, have spent nearly 80 hrs a piece clearing leaves from campsites, beaches, roadsides, culverts and all other park facilities, getting it ready for the Memorial Day weekend opening. Let’s just say that after a long days work leaf blowing and fighting off swarms of black-flies, a good meal, a few popped ibuprofen and a good night sleep is a welcomed reward. That being said, the parks opening preparations are coming together nicely and we look forward to another eventful and rewarding season.


  1. AnonymousMay 22, 2012

    I love Vermont State Parks, I have went to Half
    Moon State Park every year since I was a kid :) It is my paradise

  2. Wow Eric! You and Mark have been up and at 'em! We loved the past summer at Maidstone as volunteers and hopefully can come again sometime. Hope your winter was great! Barbara Mays

  3. AnonymousMay 22, 2012

    Another wonderful joyful reading from you Eric. Reminds all of us to not take the beautiful creations mother nature has to offer for granted. Definitely will visit again and maybe permanently. Thanks to you and your staff for all your hard work. It's evident you have passion for what you do.

  4. On my way "HOME" to Vermont after 5 years since last visit! Am very excited to visit the parks while I am there. Mt brother "Mark", mentioned in this a ranger here and because I know him as well as I do, I know this park has been maintained with pride and hard work! He is the best of the best, when it comes to such a caring and loving individual that he is! See you soon!

  5. AnonymousMay 23, 2012

    I feel that Eric from this park and others has a wonderful way of writing. I have really enjoyed his hidden talent of writing,I think Eric should be a writer as well as a great asst.park ranger. I hope he will run a park of his own. I would go to any park where he is working,a great person to know and a very hard worker. Thanks to all the beautiful parks in Vermont.


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