Many of you are surely wondering “Did I sense a positive shift in groundwater quality and hiker experience late last week?”.
You bet you did—David Logan pit privy has been replaced with an accessible moldering privy!
Field Assistant Rosalie Sharp has been hard at work putting together plans, ordering materials, and prefabricating the structure at the GMC barn. Last Monday, with the help of the Chittenden Dammers Snowmobile Club and a vigorous crew of GMC volunteers we made short work of moving the pre-cut materials up the New Boston Trail. Our field leadership team spent Thursday and Friday at the site putting the pieces together and just like that, the number of pits on the Long Trail falls from twelve to eleven!
Those of you who follow GMC privy updates like your favorite sports team will already be familiar, but why do we spend the time building these admittedly large outhouses?
At David Logan, we were digging a new pit every 2-3 years. The new moldering privy has two composting compartments which each take 5+ years to fill up. When the second crib is full, the material in the first will be fully composted and safe to dispose of on site. Then the cycle repeats…
Waste in a pit privy is in an anaerobic environment, by and large. This means it stinks and stays pathogenic for many years. Moldering privies smell better and turn waste into safe compost quickly!
As a new structure on Mt. Carmel State Forest, the new David Logan privy is ABA compliant! The idea of accessible structures in the backcountry often raises some eyebrows, so here are some things to consider:
- Accessibility is a spectrum. People of different abilities use the trail in different ways and in different seasons.
- A spacious privy and a few less stairs won’t change the rugged character of the Long Trail, and it might be just what you need at the end of a long day.
- David Logan shelter (1976), replaced Carmel Camp (1949) which replaced the old Carmel Camp (1921). That campsite has been around for ninety-nine years! With staying power like that, we might as well be forward-thinking. In the future, who will David Logan Shelter be accessible to? Why not make sure we have a privy ready for them when they get there?
We have two more privy builds coming up this season. One of them, Sucker Brook, is in a wilderness area with a healthy pack-in. Feeling strong? Get in touch with us, we will be looking for volunteers!