Author Archives: uvlocalvores

Music on the MRG

“As we were pedaling through the tunnel, four clarinetists, John, Amy, Dan and Chris, were setting up their stands: we stayed to hear them play Haydn’s St. Anthony’s Chorale. It filled our day with joy to hear music under the mall!”  – Rainie and Larry Kelly

We often hear the hoots and hollers as children enjoy their echos in the tunnel – imagine the delightful reverberations of Hayden and these clarinets!

Monarch Caterpillar!

Ordinarily, when bugs are eating our plants, it is cause for concern . . . but in a pollinator garden, when it’s a monarch caterpillar, we rejoice! Note how much of the leaf has been eaten!

MRG pollinator garden at intersection of Mascoma/Mechanic/High streets

A Sunny Labor Day

So nice to see whole families out enjoying the MRG today!

Monarch!

Just one of the many rewards for creating a pollinator corridor along the MRG!

(MRG Garden at the intersection of Mechanic/Mascoma/High Streets)

25 Miles Celebrating 25 Years of the NRT!

Now that the tunnel is open, access from the MRG to the Northern Rail Trail is facilitated!

Northern Rail Trail 25th Celebration with photo of Mascoma River Greenway Umbrella Art Opens in new window

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!

For questions, or to help support the Northern Rail Trail celebration, contact Amy Chan at amyjoywright@hotmail.com.

a list of destinations and milage to between them along the Northern Rail Trail Opens in new window

Sponsors include Friends of the Northern Rail Trail, Hypertherm HOPE Foundation, and Rotary Club of Lebanon NH, USA.

Reverberations in the MRG Tunnel!

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!

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You can tell from the two children on the left in the photo above, that the sound was impressive! The group paraded to the tunnel’s end and then turned and headed back to Colburn Park for more high energy music and dance!

Test Your Botanical ID Skills

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?

Trees

  • Red Oak
  • Maples – we have a few! Norway, Sugar, Red, Striped, & Box Elder
  • Beech
  • Elm
  • Basswood
  • Birch – we have a few!
  • Cottonwood
  • Aspen
  • Black walnut
  • Green ash
  • White ash
  • White pine
  • Hemlock
  • Willow
  • Sumac
  • Apple
  • Black cherry
  • Black locust
  • American hornbeam

Shrubs & woody vines

  • Witch hazel
  • Dogwoods – more than one species out there!
  • Elderberry
  • Grape
  • Flowering raspberry
  • Meadowsweet
  • Sweet-fern
  • Red baneberry
  • Blue cohosh
  • Blueberries 
  • Virginia creeper
  • Poison ivy

Herbaceous plants

  • Goldenrod
  • Jewelweed
  • Clover
  • Milkweed
  • Bee balm
  • Fleabane
  • Hemp dogbane
  • Yarrow
  • St. Johnswort
  • Common Mullein
  • Evening primrose
  • Queen Anne’s lace
  • Windflower
  • Day lilies
  • Meadow rue
  • Climbing nightshade
  • Common heal-alls!

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!

Tunnel Grand Opening!


In spite of the day’s heat and humidity. a goodly crowd gathered to celebrate the Grand Opening of the MRG tunnel. Lebanon Recreation, Arts, and Parks Director, Paul Coats, served as Master of Ceremonies.



The biggest surprise of the event was the call of a bugle . . . and a crowd of Lebanon “Raiders” bursting through the banner stretched across the tunnel opening.



They were followed by a parade of young children from the Bike Rodeo riding their bikes. All seemed excited to be part of the explosive surprise!

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

For more photos of the tunnel event see https://www.travispaigephotography.com/Events/Lebanon-Tunnel/

Good Vibrations in the Tunnel . . . a Percussion Parade!

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!

More at https://lebanonoperahouse.org/events/akwaaba-ensemble/

The Tunnel is Now Open!

The Grand Opening Ceremony was postponed until July 15th . . . but the tunnel is now open . . . and there is no forecast of rain for the weekend! Hope you can get out and enjoy it! With lights!

– Thanks to Doreen Schweizer for this photo.