In 2009, members of the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition and the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail, along with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, the National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program, and the Lebanon Recreation & Parks Department worked to complete a short connector trail from Mascoma Street to the Northern Rail Trail. The trail leads from the sidewalk on Mascoma Street, near the Slayton Hill underpass and leads 60’ to connect with the Northern Rail Trail. From the Rail Trail, people can then walk, bike or ski safely to the High Street intersection on a separated pathway without having to battle with traffic.
This connector trail was initiated with funding from the National Park Service (NPS) and the Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC). They provided $1,975, but volunteers from the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition, the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail and donations from the City leveraged another $2,100 needed to match the NPS and RTC funds. The Upper Valley Trails Alliance shouldered a great deal of the work, coordinating with contractors, the City and Alice Peck Day Hospital to help get this trail on the ground. “The Mascoma River Greenway project is directly in line with our vision of creating an accessible trail network in the Upper valley that promotes recreation, health, andalternative transportation in all four seasons. We are happy to lend our support and expertise to these kinds of community trail projects,” said Russell Hirschler, Executive Director of the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.
“The National Park Service is proud to support such capable partners and eager to continue contributing to the Mascoma River Greenway,” says Lelia Mellen. The Mascoma River Greenway Coalition was able to apply for these Challenge Cost Share funds because they are an active partner with the NPS Rivers and Trails Program. Eligible projects include those that are working with NPS on conservation and recreation projects along National Recreation Trails and rail trails.
The Mascoma River Greenway is envisioned as a 4-mile bicycle and pedestrian non-motorized, separated pathway connecting Lebanon with West Lebanon. Where possible the greenway will follow the Northern Rail Trail, but there might be places along this four mile corridor where the greenway will deviate away from the rail corridor and closer to the Mascoma River. The greenway corridor is currently being studied by Bob White and Associates to give the City and the Coalition an Action Plan of where the best location might be for the Mascoma River Greenway.
For more information visit www.mascomagreenway.wordpress.com or contact the Lebanon Parks & Recreation Department, 603-448-5121.