Published on April 28, 2023

Working Together Towards Better Accessibility at Broad Meadow Brook

People working on the All Persons Trail at Broad Meadow Brook

Recently, the Metro West trails team joined statewide Mass Audubon staff at Broad Meadow Brook in Worcester to upgrade their universally accessible All Persons Trail. Over time trails need some improvements to ensure an optimal experience for visitors of all abilities, and this was an opportunity to bring together folks from across the state to learn the art of trail maintenance while giving the trail such much needed TLC.

Broad Meadow Brook is home to one of the oldest All Persons Trails at Mass Audubon. Created around 12 years ago, it winds from the nature center past the butterfly garden, and down towards Frog Pond and Sprague Trail. Over the years, the trail has been packed down by being walked on by 15,000+ visitors annually and eroded by rain and other weather events.

People flattening the All Persons Trail at BMB

Using motorized wheelbarrows, staff took 72 trips down the path delivering a mix of crushed stone of varying sizes, optimized for trails. The team added the crushed stone and sculpted the trail as they went, making slight reductions in how steep the trail is, creating a more even grade on the 1500-foot trail. Along the way, three pull-offs were added, which serve as rest stops for trail visitors to enjoy the view or take a break. Better rainwater drainage paths and removal of berms (raised edges of the trail that retain water) also aid in the trail’s sustainability over time. 

This is the first major restoration segment planned for the All Persons Trail at Broad Meadow Brook. In the coming months, sensory features and benches will be added to heighten the experience and make it more accessible for visitors.