Group Hopes to Build Trails at Beede Superfund Site | New Hampshire

PLAISTOW – The Beede Site Group intends to develop the Beede Waste Oil Superfund site into protected and passive recreation areas, including an accessible trail network that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The group is about to enter the design phase of the final redevelopment and are designing a final desired use of the site.

The Superfund site has been used as a regulated recycled oil facility for over 70 years. Oil mismanagement allowed soil and groundwater contamination. Clean-up work is in progress.

It has been a long process to clean up the site, but Mike Skinner, the group’s project coordinator, said plans for its end use are underway.

While the trails will take years to build, the site’s design is taking shape, including amenities such as trails, benches, and rock gardens for use by all visitors.

The group is currently seeking city support for the vision and will then work with the Environmental Protection Agency to update the final cleanup.

There will be no cost to Plaistow taxpayers as Beede Site Group would fund this in perpetuity.

Skinner believes this would be a five year project to complete.

He said the group’s goal is to start designing next year. Excavation could potentially begin in 2025, he said, and then construction of the facilities will follow.

The paths should be accessible for both pedestrians and wheelchair users. Signs will be placed along the trail discussing the history of the site and highlighting the area’s wildlife.

The group also plans to strategically place benches along the trails where visitors can observe the wildlife and various plants found in Beede.

There is flora and fauna and lady’s slipper plants as well as several species of trees and a large area of ​​grassland. Skinner said there was a larger viewing space for these focal points.

“The trail is designed with specific areas of the site in mind where someone can stop and enjoy what is in that specific area,” Skinner said.

The benches and wheelchair space would make the place comfortable for those who need breaks. He said it would also allow an older population to use the area with readily available benches.

He sees the flatness of the land as conducive to favorable hiking conditions.

“It’s a great place to hike because it’s not dangerous walking,” Skinner added.

Fences are planned to separate trail users from ongoing site work. A perimeter fence is erected along the site, but a timed gate would allow access to the trail from dusk until dawn.

With these new amenities the group is aiming for, the conservation of the land still remains a priority as it serves as a wildlife corridor for various animals.

The Beede Site Group has held open houses including one recently this month.

Skinner said the feedback from the community helped guide the group on how the site can be most beneficial for Plaistow in the future.

“We’ve been persuaded by our immediate neighbors that this project is something they’re interested in,” Skinner said. “The group wants to be able to move forward and make the ADA improvements, and it wants to be something that the community can use and enjoy as an extension of the city forest.”