SMITHFIELD – Take a closer look behind a tree or under leaves along Smithfield’s trails and in its apple orchards for a chance to take home one of the crystal apples hidden by the Economic Development Commission in its “Apple Trails” program this fall.
Beginning this Friday, Oct. 15, 91 crystal apples, including 30 red, 30 yellow, 30 green and one clear one, will be hidden along four walking trails and in three apple orchards in Smithfield.
EDC member Linda Conti-Bovis said the apples are sturdy crystal and durable. She said the EDC teamed up with the Land Trust and Conservation Commission to feature Smithfield trails with fall foliage and apple orchards still producing apples for picking.
“We want to get people out there and hiking, especially with foliage. It’s a great time to go explore the trails and see the orchards,” she said.
Members of the EDC, Smithfield Land Trust and Conservation Commission will hide apples along the Mowry Conservation Area, Mercer Lookout, Wolf Hill Forest Preserve and Olivia’s Forest sporadically through October and November to ensure everyone has a chance to find one.
A map of all seven Smithfield trails is available at Town Hall, 64 Farnum Pike, and online at www.smithfieldri.com/seven-scenic-walks.
Apple orchards with hidden apples, which are the size of a lime, include Jaswell’s Farm, Appleland Orchard and Leach Farm and Orchard.
“It’s not just getting apples or hiking. You have a mission, too. It’s like a scavenger hunt,” she said.
Conti-Bovis said apple seekers will not need to dismantle anything or lift things to find apples.
“They might be two feet outside the trail so you can see it. It might be behind something or may be hidden in a tree. We’re hoping with foliage they may be slightly covered, maybe peeking through,” she said.
She said the idea came to her after talking with the EDC recently about her trips to Block Island Glass Float Project, where 550 glass orbs are hidden around the island for explorers to find.
Conti-Bovis, mother to Town Councilor Angelica Bovis, said EDC members loved the idea, pulling the project together on short notice. She said she hopes to employ Block Island’s orb creator, Eben Horton, to make apples in the future, but could not this year due to the short notice.
“We’re working really hard to get this done. It’s a little after apple season, but we thought it was fun enough to still have people out,” she said.
Conti-Bovis said the EDC is concentrated on economic development and felt the business aspect of the project is important. The Town Council is sponsoring the event this year, though Conti-Bovis said she hopes to fundraise or have business entry fees in future years.
Finders are keepers, but the EDC asks that people stick to the rules of only taking one apple per person per year and to register apples on the EDC Facebook page for tracking purposes.
“If you find another, leave it behind or re-hide it,” Conti-Bovis said.
She asked that any re-hidden apples are kept along the trails or orchard, and not placed on private property.
Crystal apples are numbered, and will be tracked online to ensure each apple is found. She added that each apple comes with a keepsake box that the commission will send to finders upon request.
Apples that are not found will be left for next year, she said.
Conti-Bovis said the EDC is working to create a “discovery map” of places of interest, including shopping, dining and more. She said the map is still in the works, and it will take more time to get businesses involved.
She said the EDC is getitng a lot of projects together, including Savoring Smithfield running Oct. 9-17, where Smithfield restaurants highlight healthy menu items.
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