Volunteers and donations help with new ATV shelter construction in Fort Kent
FORT KENT – Valley ATV Riders, with assistance from the Town of Fort Kent Heritage Trail Committee, have completed construction on the new Ledges Station Siding Adirondack Shelter. The shelter is located in Fort Kent on the Heritage Trail, near the St. John Plantation town line.
The club obtained the original cabin from the Maine Department of Conservation, which saves cedar logs when employees clear sites, said Valley ATV Riders President Danny Nicolas. With the assistance of Vern Labbe of the MDOC, the club acquired the original three walls at for free.
After a conversation with Labbe during which organizers conceived the project in July 2011, members of the Valley ATV Riders picked up the materials from the MDOC site in Ashland in November/December 2011 and moved it to the proposed site in Fort Kent. Club sponsors used excess money from the organization to purchase additional material for the structure, such as roofing supplies. MDOC reimbursed the club for those expenses, said Nicolas.
Each wall is 16 feet in length, with shelving located on each wall, and a picnic table tied to a support post in the middle of the structure. This past spring, as soon as the weather allowed, volunteers spent five Saturdays constructing the shelter.
Members and volunteers donated a total of approximately 120 to 130 man-hours to the project, Nicolas said. In addition to the donated labor, Mike Daigle of St. Francis donated logs and the Maine Forest Service donated some logs that project carpenters used to construct four benches, shelving, and part of the steps leading into the shelter. Jean LeBlanc, who owns a saw mill in Violette Settlement, helped to mill the logs Daigle donated. Club president Nicolas poured the cement pads used in construction at his home before moving them to the site.
Project organizers designed the shelter to be as self-sufficient as possible. The metal roof should shed snow and the club will check on-site garbage cans periodically.
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