North Quabbin Trails Association launches fundraiser

  • Matty Sheldon is pictured creating the North Quabbin Trails Association’s first self-supporting arched bridge through the wetlands. Contributed PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 4/23/2020 1:23:25 PM
Modified: 4/23/2020 1:23:16 PM

ORANGE — You know where it’s easy to maintain 6 feet between you and someone else? The great outdoors.

This might explain why, since the COVID-19 pandemic enveloped the world, Bobby Curley, president of the North Quabbin Trails Association (NQTA), has seen more people than usual on his hikes and encountered people he’s never seen before. It’s this seemingly newfound appreciation for nature that Curley hopes will inspire people to make a donation to the NQTA or purchase a fundraiser T-shirt.

“We want the public to be a part of this,” he said.

Curley is trying to generate $10,000 for maintenance costs and to buy trail insurance, which is required under the Walking Trails Policy, the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s response to the increased usage of trails at wildlife management areas. Curley said he already has liability insurance for the NQTA’s board of directors to cover litigation, but trails insurance would cover anybody to uses the grassroots organization’s 250-mile Q+M Experience — an interconnected system of trails, eight basins and 42 overnight shelters. The system was formed in 2012 and was completed this summer with the connection of the Feldmans’ Cutthroat Brook Gnome Trail to the Harvard Forest Trail in Petersham.

Curley formed the NQTA in 2012 to sustain outdoor trail development, maintenance and improvements.

“It’s really taken root since then,” he said.

Anyone interested in purchasing T-shirts — which read “Social Distancing MA 2020” or “Social Distancing NH 2020,” and start at $18 in men’s, women’s and youth sizes — can visit Curley said he had received two dozen orders within about three days. Anyone willing to donate to NQTA should visit

The NQTA office is in Room 305 of the Orange Innovation Center at 131 West Main St. Monthly gatherings are held there on the second Monday of each month. More information is available at

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