As the weather warms and the days grow longer, many of us will feel the urge to ramble along some of the North Shore’s plentiful trails. Conservation group Essex County Greenbelt has made that prospect a little more inviting with the launch of a free mobile app aimed at making it easier to explore and enjoy its properties across the region.
Greenbelt owns or manages dozens properties in Essex County, from the tiny, seaside plot of grass on the Back Shore in Gloucester to the sprawling fields of John J. Donovan Reservation and Sagamore Hill Conservation Area in Hamilton – with plenty of wooded, marshy, and rocky choices in between.
“We’re really interested in doing a great job at making our properties as welcoming and accessible to people as we possibly can,” says Abby Hardy-Moss, director of conservation technology and planning for Greenbelt. “We wanted to get a free product out there to really improve the experience of going to our properties.”
The GreenbeltGo app, which was released in February, includes details about 49 properties, most owned by the organization, as well as trail information for major adjacent properties like Bradley Palmer State Park. The organization hopes to add more properties in the coming months.
“We’ve gotten really positive response so far,” Hardy-Moss says. “We just hope to continue to grow it.”
Greenbelt dates back to 1961, when the founders banded together to protect Bald Hill in Boxford from development. Today, its mission is to protect natural land and working farms across Essex County forever, helping to conserve healthy ecosystems, clean water, local food supplies, scenic landscapes and free, accessible places for all to benefit from nature. Since its founding, the organization has protected more than 18,500 acres of land.