The past year was productive for Lean2Rescue, the volunteer organization that helps rebuild and refurbish Adirondack lean-tos and other back-country infrastructure. According to an e-mail sent to volunteers by Paul Delucia, one of Lean2Rescue’s organizers, the group worked on or assessed 16 lean-tos, 3 bridges (Calkins, Windfall Trail #1 and Windfall Trail #2), and the fire tower on Woodhull Mountain.
“All of this happened because of you – a very special group of people willing (and eager) to give up their free time to make the Adirondacks a better place for others,” DeLucia wrote to volunteers. “That speaks volumes about who you are.” He also pointed out the many collaborations with other organizations and groups, including DEC whose partnership he called “the keystone of our success.” DeLucia singled out the DEC Operations Crew at Cranberry Lake for special praise.
Other supporting organizations included The 46ers, who “continue to fund all activities in the high peaks, and continue to do so generously,” and ADK who provided access to Johns Brook Lodge and the Peggy O’Brian cabins. DeLucia also singled-out for praise the Hurricane and Northville-Placid Trail ADK chapters along with Hilary Moynihan, Lean-to Adoption Coordinator for the ADK. Other supporters included the towns of Wells and Lake Pleasant; the Open Space Institute and SUNY ESF, for use of the Masten House in Tahawus; the Boy Scouts of America (notably Kellen Arnold and Troop 750 from Phoenix, NY); and Moriah Shock Camp whose “young men worked in miserable weather with surprising enthusiasm.”
Lean-tos the group worked on in 2013 included: Biesemeyer, Bushnell 1 and 2, the Bushnell 2 replacement, Cold Brook, Gulf Brook, Henderson, Meyers, Mud Lake, Nelson Lake, Olmstead Pond, Orebed, Slant Rock (assessment only), Whiteface Mountain (assessment only), Wolf Jaws, and Woodhull Lake. 104 volunteers made 61 forays into the field covering 81 days in total, an average of more than one project per week.
The organization has a large list of projects for 2014, its tenth year. “We fill a very unique niche,” DeLucia wrote to volunteers. “We can never replace the DEC operations, or do the many of the things the more formal clubs accomplish. So we need these other entities to complete the picture. We all have our niches and together we improve the Adirondacks. Our low profile organizational structure allows us to stay focused in the field where there is so much need.”
Photo provided: The Mud Lake lean-to before Lean2Rescue began work.