Granby Land Trust and Holcomb Farm invite you to have a seat

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Steve Perry enjoying a rest from hiking on the Holcomb Farm Tree Trail. Photo by Shirley Murtha

In the summer of 2020, Granby Land Trust president Rick Orluk asked Steve Perry if he would make a simple bench-type seat for the Dismal Brook Wildlife Preserve, set to open that October. Doing research on various designs, Orluk and Perry discovered a style that was designed specifically for use on trails, and especially for bird-watching. It is called the Leopold bench, after Aldo Leopold, considered by many to be the “father of wildlife ecology and the United States’ wilderness system.” Although the bench is mistakenly thought to have been designed by Leopold, it is more accurately named for him because of his importance to wilderness ecology as a conservationist, forester, educator, and writer.

Perry knew this bench would be relatively easy to make, requiring only four 2’x8’ boards, so he purchased the plans, downloaded them from the internet and began creating the comfortable resting structures you will find on Land Trust properties and the Holcomb Farm Tree Trail. Since the benches are constantly exposed to the weather, he uses pressure-treated lumber so they will last as long as possible.

A recent request for three more benches from the Tree Trail people coincided with Perry’s daughter Lindsey needing a project to fulfill her high school requirement for community service. Would she like to work with him on building the next bench? Yes! She turned out to be a very capable assistant.

The Leopold bench is quite comfortable with its slanted back rest. Some versions of it have a large enough gap between the seat and the back for a person to sit facing backwards, elbows propped on the back rest to conveniently hold binoculars or a camera.

Perry has now made a dozen benches. They are located on the Dismal Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, the Katan-Ensor Preserve, the Ann Pelka Preserve and in several spots along the Holcomb Farm Tree Trail. The Land Trust and Holcomb Farm invite you to take a hike and have a seat. For being made of just a few simple boards, you will find they are very comfortable!

Lindsey Perry assists with construction of a bench for the Tree Trail. Photo by Shelley Perry