Mascoma River Greenway Project Gets Go-Ahead

green light bicycleWith the formal acceptance of the Rail Trail Agreement by the City and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation last summer, the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition has been given the green light to continue development that will extend the current pedestrian/bicycle path from Lebanon to West Lebanon.

Once completed, the Mascoma River Greenway will be a four-mile pathway along the former Boston & Maine Railroad corridor that will connect Lebanon and West Lebanon residents to schools, neighborhoods, recreation, work, shopping, a medical center, transit stops and cultural activities. The MRG will eventually run from the current terminus of the Northern Rail Trail at Spencer Street in Lebanon to 12-A and Seminary Hill in West Lebanon.

Mascoma River Greenway
The current phase of the project, which should be completed in 2014, includes development and completion of the path through the downtown tunnel near Lebanon College, as well as the construction of the path over the four bridges between the intersection of Mascoma Street and Mechanic Street in Lebanon and Glen Road in West Lebanon.    “When Phase 1 is completed, we will have a functional trail with a dirt path that is navigable from the center of town to Glen Road by walkers, hikers, runners, mountain bikers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers,” said Paul Coats, director of the Lebanon Recreation & Parks Department.  Right now, the Coalition, which is comprised of city staff, City Council members, community leaders, business leaders and citizens, is coordinating a capital campaign to raise money to help fund the project as it continues. It is also looking to tap into another kind of capital: volunteered service hours from residents and businesses.

“Frankly, we can use a lot of extra help,” Coats said. “I’m sure there are people who would want to be part of this project, so they could tell their children and grandchildren that they helped with the construction of the path which they all use and enjoy.”  Volunteer work may include everything from helping to publicize the project and solicit donations to clearing brush from the path.

If you are interested in either making a monetary donation, or if you or your business is interested in creating a volunteer work crew for the project, contact Coats at 603-448-5121 or; or the Coalition’s Citizen Chairman, Frank Gould, at 603-448-1660.

For more information on the project, including ways to get involved and other ways to support the MRG, visit the website, or check out the MRG on Facebook.

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