Now that the tunnel is open, access from the MRG to the Northern Rail Trail is facilitated!
In celebration of the Northern Rail Trail’s 25th Anniversary in 2021, Friends of the Northern Rail Trail (FNRT) invites the whole community to participate in a challenge to walk, run, or bike 25 miles (cumulative) on the Northern Rail Trail this summer!
Students in the Lebanon and Mascoma Valley School systems will receive their cards through the schools in early June. Others may pick up a card at Omer and Bob’s bicycle shop in downtown Lebanon or at the grand opening of the Lebanon Mall Tunnel on July 8th.
To participate, simply register online at bit.ly/fnrt-25. Once you have completed 25 miles, return your card to Omer and Bob’s to be entered in our raffle on August 26th. Prizes include gift certificates that support businesses located along our trail!
Akwaaba means Welcome; it is a twi word, spoken by the Akan tribe of Ghana. All were welcome as the Akwaaba Ensemble brought their good energy to the MRG. chanting and drumming their way though the tunnel. leading a parade of local drummers, dancers, and enthusiasts, the echoes resounding off the tunnel walls.
It was great to see so many joining in on the fun!
As you walk along the MRG, what do you notice? Learning the names of the life around us transforms the outdoors from a pastoral backdrop into a world of fascinating diversity, a parallel world of beings and relationships.
Mascoma River Greenway Plant Checklist
How many of these plants can you find along the MRG?
Maples – we have a few! Norway, Sugar, Red, Striped, & Box Elder
Birch – we have a few!
Shrubs & woody vines
Dogwoods – more than one species out there!
Queen Anne’s lace
Native plants are hosts to native species of caterpillars, which in turn feed the birds many of us love so much. The National Wildlife Federation has put together a tool that shows you the wildlife value of many of the plant species growing along the MRG. Check it out! https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/
If you have a camera phone, try using iNaturalist or another app to help identify the plants you do not already know. Want a challenge? Find the pollinators!
Thanks to Sarah RIley for creating this list of some of the plant life of the greenway . . . and then there is fungi, moss, lichen . . . etc!
Inside the tunnel was a display of some of the art work submitted for consideration for the tunnel walls. And there was active art in the making – chalk art. (These artists were totally engrossed as dozens and dozens of people walked by.)
Free bicycle helmets were distributed by the Lebanon Planning and Development Department’s Rebecca Owens, on behalf of the Pedestrian and Bicyclist Advisory Committee, and with assistance from FNRT and UVMBA volunteers. The helmets were donated by CHaD and, in addition to various safety stickers and guidance, were eagerly received by over 30 children between the ages of 2-14. The remainder will be used tor Lebanon Recreation programs. If you missed out, contact Rebecca.Owens@lebanonnh.gov about extras that may be available via CHaD or APD.
People viewed the various tables, had their bikes checked at the Omer and Bob’s tent, and were encouraged to walk through to view the Pocket Park at the far side.
Messages were sent from our New Hampshire and U.S. Senators and Representatives:
“We should all take a moment to recognize the efforts of everyone who worked to turn the vision behind this project into an exciting reality. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement and my best wishes for a great celebration.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
Lots of enthusiastic riders and walkers have been discovering the renewed link to downtown Lebanon and the Northern Rail Trail through the MRG tunnel. Saturday, August 14, 2021 will bring even more energy to this space as Lebanon Opera House and Nexus Music and Arts Festival invites you to participate in a FREE drumming workshop with the Akwaaba Ensemble in Colburn Park at 3 pm (a limited number of drums will be provided or bring your own) before they lead a processional through the revitalized rail trail tunnel and back into the park for a high-energy showcase of their West African drumming and dance. Sounds energizing . . . and imagine the acoustics of this percussive parade through the tunnel!