REM Award Honorees (2010 – 2011) — Gene Roy and Bob Morrissette (Kennebec Messalonskee Trails)

KMTrails is proud to honor both Gene Roy and Bob Morrissette as its Volunteers of the Year. They both serve as “Superintendents of the Trail” in their respective towns: Gene in Oakland and Bob in Benton.

Gene Roy is a retired school science teacher. Many are the young adults from Winslow Schools who remember his classes, always lively and engaging. But he lives in Oakland. When the Oakland Messalonskee Stream Trail was opened in 2006, Gene was the trail’s first enthusiastic runner. He is now joined by others who run, hike, and sometimes bike the trail.

But Gene is different. He sets out (and empties) a trash bin at head of trail. That results in the almost complete absence of litter. He moves fallen logs to shore up the down-slope edge of the trail. That reduces erosion of the trail surface. He gets kids from Messalonskee High School to help with other maintenance. He is there to answer questions from trail users. In short, he’s the man . . . the Superintendent of the Trail in Oakland.

Bob Morrissette is a retired auto salesman with a family business on College Avenue in Waterville. When the Rotary Centennial Trail was proposed at a Benton Town Meeting, he opposed the idea. Then he ignored the trail for five years, until one day when his daughter took him for a walk there, and he immediately he fell in love with the trail, its beauty, its simplicity, and its calm. He started walking daily, increasing his walk from half a mile to three miles.

Bob started volunteering, removing downed logs, cutting brush, mowing the clover on the sides of the trail, and encouraging his son to groom the snow for winter enjoyment, all with his own equipment. People who use the trail came to enjoy meeting Bob, and so he transformed trail use into a social event. As if all this were not enough, he lost 60 pounds, is now fitter than ever, and has started building trails of his own in Benton.

Kennebec Messalonskee Trails salutes Gene Roy and Bob Morrisette!

For more information about Kennebec Messalonskee Trails, please visit its website.

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