Cleaning up graffiti bridge

  • Bryan Tann, 11, of Jaffrey, sands away graffiti painted onto a wooden bridge on the Monadnock Branch Rail Trail in Jaffrey and picks up trash with his brother Jayden Tann. Courtesy photo—

  • Bryan Tann, 11, of Jaffrey, sands away graffiti painted onto a wooden bridge on the Monadnock Branch Rail Trail in Jaffrey. Courtesy photo

  • Bryan Tann, 11, of Jaffrey, sands away graffiti painted onto a wooden bridge on the Monadnock Branch Rail Trail in Jaffrey and picks up trash with his brother Jayden Tann. Courtesy photo—

  • Bryan Tann, 11, of Jaffrey, sands away graffiti painted onto a wooden bridge on the Monadnock Branch Rail Trail in Jaffrey and picks up trash with his brother Jayden Tann. Courtesy photo—

  • Bryan Tann, 11, of Jaffrey, sands away graffiti painted onto a wooden bridge on the Monadnock Branch Rail Trail in Jaffrey and picks up trash with his brother Jayden Tann. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/9/2020 5:26:11 PM

Kim Tann, her boyfriend Jeremy Tarver, and her sons, Bryan, 11, and Jayden, 5, have been walking the Monadnock Branch Rail Trail in Jaffrey and Rindge all summer. It’s a scenic walk, but Tann said her older son, Bryan, was disturbed by trash on the trail and graffiti on one of the bridges.

So he decided to do something about it.

“The first thing, for Bryan especially, was the trash on the ground. It would be nice, and then one day, we’d see someone had thrown cigarette packs or candy wrappers or beer cans,” Tann, a Jaffrey resident, said.

Bryan and Jayden asked if they could bring along a bag to collect trash on their daily walks. Tann said she immediately threw her enthusiastic support behind the project, and it became a weekly addition to their hikes.

But there was another issue that continually bothered Bryan: A wooden bridge over a scenic waterway was being marred by yellow graffiti.

“He’s such a kind soul, and he hates things being wrong with the environment,” Tann said. “He’s still young, but he’s very passionate about ocean life and pollution, things like that. He wanted to clean it up.”

Tann said she wanted to support her son’s good-hearted intentions, but didn’t know where to start to get permission. She reached out to the Jaffrey Recreation Department, who in turn put her in contact with the Monadnock Sno-Moles, a snowmobiling club that helps to maintain the area trails, including the Monadnock Branch.

Tony Pilat, one of the Sno-Moles trail masters, said he’s always thrilled to get a new volunteer.

“I told them we’d be more than happy,” he said. “We’re always looking for volunteers. They’re out there more than us, if they see something, together we can take care of it and make it happy for everyone’s use.”

The bridge that had been vandalized had actually only recently been refurbished last year by volunteer Sno-Moles, as part of a grant project to rebuild several bridges within the trail system, Pilat said.

Bryan attempted to remove the graffiti by hand with sandpaper, but didn’t make much headway, Tann said. But Bryan was still determined, and his mentor through a local Big Brother program, Ted Mead, offered to let Bryan use his battery powered sander to get the job done.

Bryan was able to erase the graffiti, and as a reward, Pilat presented him with an official Sno-Moles t-shirt.

“He stepped up,” Pilat  said. “That’s always a good thing.”

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.




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