Walkers Enjoy New Nature Trail

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By Nancy Rineman

Atlantic News, Thursday, August 14, 2003

OPENING A PATH TO NATURE - Conservation Commission Chairman Ellen Goethel, Warren White, and Bonnie Thimble join Eagle Scout Austin Bashline in the official opening of Warren's Trail last week. [Atlantic News Photo by Nancy Rineman]

HAMPTON - The Eagle Scout project of Austin Bashline came full circle Friday evening, as a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opened "Warren's Trail" at the entrance to White's Lane.

Surrounded by a number of supporters on the Barbour Road entrance to the trail, Bashline, who graduated from Winnacunnet High School in June, recalled the events which led to the realization of his mission. His scouting career didn't begin until his freshman year when he joined Troop 176. Bashline described that troop as a "great group of people."

The Warren's Trail project was just one of a number of possibilities Bashline considered for his Eagle project, but when the decision was finalized, his enthusiasm was just beginning.

"I was gung-ho," Bashline recalled, saying he was going to go back and clean up the entire trail until it was "spotless." The clean-up was not just the stones and boulders and trash he expected, but a number of unanticipated items, such as old cars, and even a chicken coop.

It wasn't all an effort in land clearing, however. In fact, visitors to the Lane Library in Hampton will be able to pick up a 32-page pamphlet entitled "A Guide for a Walk in Nature Using White's Lane Nature Trail in Hampton, NH." In it, residents will receive directions to the trail as well as a guide to the trees and other vegetation to be found, all identified along the trail by Bashline and his fellow scouts. Information may also be obtained on the library's web site by doing a search for White's Lane.

In addition, Bashline and other members of Troop 176 are responsible for the construction, placement, and maintenance of some two dozen bird houses and three owl boxes now found on Warren's Trail, in an effort to attract more wildlife to the area.

The area also has the advantage of being located right next to Hampton's Victory Garden. Bashline publicly thanked Bonnie Thimble, who oversees the bouquet of colors of the Victory Garden that belongs to all of the town's gardening enthusiasts.

Friday evening's ribbon cutting event had added historical meaning for Hampton. White's Lane was named in honor of the former Hampton resident who lost his life in World War II. Bashline spoke of the seriousness of war then and today, and the selflessness of men and women in the armed forces.

"Keep them in your thoughts and prayers," Bashline said.

Added significance in the naming of the trail, "Warren's Trail," comes in the form of another Warren White, who, while no relation to the White's Lane namesake, is another Veteran who has made an impact on Bashline as a leader of Troop 176.

"It's been my pleasure to honor Austin through his Eagle project," White said at Friday's ceremony, acknowledging also the support, both mental and moral, of Bashline's parents, Kate and Gary.

In addition to his parents, other family members and Troop 176, the Gordon College-bound Bashline also praised the efforts of the Hampton Conservation Commission and the Hampton Public Works Department and a number of other individuals, businesses and organizations in helping him achieve his goal.

The area of land adjacent to White's Lane was purchased by the town of Hampton through the efforts of the Conservation Commission in the 1990s. At that time, according to Bashline's guide to the area, a parcel of land known as the Perkins property became available. The Conservation Commission purchased the abandoned chicken farm for conservation land. In 1998 the adjacent property along White's Lane became available, and was also purchased, according to the guide, as "an opportunity to bring all of these properties together" to conserve for the future a good portion of open space.

[See also, Eagle Scout Project Applauded,

and Scout Flies High For Eagle Project,

and also, Memorial Street Signs: Robert K. White,

and, Hampton Plaques Project Completed]

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