Author Archives: uvlocalvores

Be Forewarned! Jan 22-Feb 9, 2018

The MRG, between High Street and APD, will be closed during DPW’s Stormwater Sewer (CSO) separation project.  Jan 22 – Feb 9.

Access to the MRG is still open for walking west from APD Hospital parking lot.  The solid red line from High St to APD is the closed section.

Map

Solid red line from High St to APD is the closed section.

For more information on the CSO project, please visit  https://lebanonnh.gov/436/CSO-Project-No-11

City Council Approves Funding to Connect MRG to Northern Rail Trail!

mrgtunnel

Downtown Tunnel

Today’s Valley News reports that the Lebanon City Council has approved funding for “replacement of the former rail tunnel under downtown” – wonderfully good news for our hopes of linking the Mascoma River Greenway to the Northern Rail Trail, as well as providing easy, safe access to the MRG from downtown!  Bravo! And so appropriate on the Solstice: Light at the end of the tunnel!

Update 1/18/2018: The Valley News report was not as nuanced as the City Council decision: The Council approved funding for a downtown connection of the Northern Rail Trail to the Mascoma River Greenway. Whether that connection is a repair of the tunnel or a different separate path through downtown depends on the outcome of engineering studies.

First Snow!

A report from Rainie Kelly –
MRGrainieSnow
By the time my husband and I reached the Mascoma River Greenway for an early-morning walk in yesterday’s snow, it was evident that many outdoor enthusiasts had preceded us. We headed west from the Slayton Hill Bridge following the tracks of walkers, cross-country skiers, a fat-tired bike, and four-legged critters who had come out of the woods to take advantage of the ease of travel on the MRG. We also enjoyed conversation with a couple who recently relocated to Lebanon where they have easy access to the trail, as well as all the arts organizations around Colburn Park. Like us, they are looking forward to the day when the Mascoma River Greenway will connect with the Northern Rail Trail, providing safe passage through downtown Lebanon. (Round trip mileage from Slayton Hill Overpass westward to bridge over Mascoma River near Timken: 1.5 miles)
MRGSnowRainie

Meeting new folks on the trail

 

  

RainieLarry

Larry and Rainie Kelly

Rail Trail Angst

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r

Many of you may know Frank Gould, Co-Chair (with Paul Coats) of the MRG project, friendly MRG promoter at the Leb Farmers Market, and someone working hard to solve the problem of access at both ends of our Mascoma River Greenway .  .  . trying to make connections

Connections Count

The river twists itself,

coiled like an upset snake

beneath the railtrail bridge.

I watch it slither away,

beyond the oaks and maples

which shadow grasslands,

after slipping east through

neighborhoods and woods.

 

I walk beyond the bridge

along the rail corridor

where trains at one time

carried freight, passengers

and American life into

the valleys of our village.

Today, the trains are gone.

Its corridor is transformed,

 

derailed, cleared and paved;

a greenway to give locals

access to their community,

to their health, to their self,

to their American life.

Today they find this path

for comfort and calm,

for daily, scenic exercise.

 

They stroll their new-born;

bicycle with their kids;

walk to a grocery store

and home with filled bags.

They’ve found their walk

or ski to movies, to eat out,

or to their jobs and back.

Rush-hour traffic absent.

 

They visit friends they meet,

talk about the friendly walk,

and wonder why the trail

closes at dysfunction junction?

Why shopping malls exist

only well beyond trail’s end?

How might we reach out, they

ask, to unfold our community?

                        Frank Gould   2017

How Far Did I Go?

For those of us without a tool to measure mileage on the MRG, here is an estimate of the mileage between points.

DudleyBridge<.36 >PriceChop<.75>MascomaBridge<.28 >1-89Bridge<.48 miles> SlaytonHill<.6 miles>Kiosk

 

If you start at the Price Chopper parking lot access on the Miracle Mile (RT. 4/Mechanic St.) and go left (West), it is .36 mile to the Dudley Bridge. If you loop back by way of the path along the river, you will have traveled a .76 mile loop back to the parking lot access road.

If you start at the Price Chopper access road and go right (East), it is .75 mile to the middle of the bridge over the Mascoma River (near Timken.)

Continuing eastward it is .28 mile to the middle of the bridge over Interstate 89.

Then .48 mile from the middle of the Interstate bridge to the middle of the Slayton Hill Overpass by Alice Peck Day Hospital.

It is then .6 mile to the kiosk at the intersection of Mascoma, Mechanic and High Streets.

At some point we will have a map of the MRG drawn to scale . . . but in the meantime, we have these estimates.

(Thanks to Paul Coats and Rainie Kelly for these estimates.)

 

 

MRG Commuter Couple

MRGCommuterCouple

Such a treat to meet this couple on the Mascoma River Greenway this morning.  Their home has easy access to the trail and they walk the MRG almost every day.  He can walk to work on the trail; it takes 15 minutes by car and 30 minutes walking by way of the MRG.  He says he prefers walking because the trail is so beautiful. She starts a new job in January and will also walk the MRG to work.  They are currently a 2-car family but are planning to get rid of one car since they find they don’t need two. They were both so enthusiastic about the trail!

This couple embodies what many of us hoped would actually happen – commuting by rail trail.  (We also met a fellow on a bike who had just done his shopping at Price Chopper ; he was heading home with his grocery bags hanging from the handlebars.  Love seeing the trail as a functional resource as well as recreational!)

Blocked MRG Bridge

IMG_0745

Looking eastward

Distracted by the beauty of the river last week, we neglected to get a photo of progress on this bridge over the Mascoma River, behind Timken. Vandals struck in the meantime, tearing down the barriers, throwing  barrier barrels down the bank, smashing the windows of one of the construction vehicles nearby, etc.  .  . .  a frustrating set-back for those eager for progress on this wonderful community resource.

IMG_0743

Shattered glass

The good news is that areas that had previously been muddy, have been graded and improved, and were dry in spite of the recent rain.

MRGgraded

Meetings are being planned to problem-solve the two ends of the MRG, (closure of the downtown tunnel connection to the Northern Rail Trail and failed plans for the Iron Horse Park in West Leb present challenges on both ends.) Also being planned: Kiosks, maps, signage, benches, tables, naming plaques, access points, land purchase, Glen Road options,  soft opening, grand opening!