Author Archives: uvlocalvores

New Life along the MRG

Thanks to Ellen Shaw for sending a few photos of wildflowers in bloom along the trail this week!

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Coltsfoot

Bloodroot

Bloodroot

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Trillium

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And, with all the rain, a powerful Mascoma River.

 

 




 

Tunnel Restoration Project Presentation

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Current plans for the renovation of the tunnel and the Lebanon Mall were presented this evening, with construction beginning Spring 2020. We are making our way toward connecting the MRG to the Northern Rail Trail. You can see illustrations of the redesign of the mall and what the interior of the tunnel will look like at https://lebanonnh.gov/DocumentCenter/View/9735/Community-Conversation-Presentation-5-02-2019  (You may find the most useful photos toward the end of the presentation.)

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(Note the skylight which will bring natural daylight into the tunnel.)

 

 




 

Walk, Bike, or Rollerblade the MRG

Wild About Lebanon/Upper Valley Land Trust: Walk, Bike, or Rollerblade the Mascoma River Greenway

May 11th, 2019
Trail Head across from Alice Peck Day
1:00 pm

Parking Lot across from Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital Entrance

 

Join us for an event with Wild About Lebanon and Mascoma River Greenway!

Meet us at the MRG parking lot across from Alice Peck Day Memorial then walk, roller blade, or bike to Glen Road and back. The trail is flat and paved, great for walking or biking! (3 miles, easy).

 

 




 

MRG Pollinator Planting Plan – Phase 1

There is a plan afoot to create a pollinator corridor along the MRG. We have funds from the Robert F. Church Charitable Trust to plant native organic flowering perennials, fruit trees and shrubs (apple trees, blueberry bushes, elderberries, hazelberts, etc) along the MRG to enhance habitat for pollinators and other creatures, including hungry humans. Today was a reconnaissance mission with a knowledgeable team from Upper Valley Apple Corps and MRG Pollinator Corridor co-chairs Sarah Riley and Pat McGovern. The focus was the western end of the MRG starting at the Price Chopper parking lot access. Three spots were identified as possible planting zones.

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Site 1 at the intersection of the paved MRG with the western end of the unpaved loop path that runs along the river. It is open to the sun and would be great place for an apple tree and blueberry bushes.

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Site 2 Along the unpaved loop path, a possible site for a number of elderberry bushes.

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Site 3 the picnic table site by the umbrella sculpture, a fruit or nut tree to provide shade for picnickers?

This spring we plan to plant native organic perennials along the MRG and plant trees and shrubs in the Fall . . . unless we can figure a plan for frequent waterings of the new trees throughout the summer

It was a wet day and we appreciated the hardiness of the Upper Valley Apple Corps crew, Cat, Kye, Zea, and Jesse, who were willing to show up and offer advice in spite of the weather. They were all impressed with the MRG, a natural treasure hidden behind the Miracle Mile plaza.

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Sarah Riley and Pat McGovern with Apple Corps crew members Zea, Cat, Kye,  and Jesse.

P.S.  Spotted along the way were lots of bloodroot in flower, coltsfoot, ramps (wild leeks) and dandelion greens. Canada geese were in and along the banks of the Mascoma River . .  .   and lots of litter!  We hope Saturday’s Clean-up Day will inspire some Lebanon residents to head to the MRG to check out the raging river, the bloodroot, and help clean up the litter!

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Bloodroot!

 

 




 

“Tell-Tales”: a Bit of Railroad History

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As you walk or bike along the MRG, keep an eye out for “tell-tales” as seen in the photo above. For many years, tell-tales were important structures found along railroad tracks.
Prior to the modern era of air and pneumatic brakes, a brakeman was required to scale the tops of freight cars, while the train was in motion, and manually set each car’s braking system. This practice was extremely dangerous, making the position of brakeman one of the most dangerous within the industry.  The purpose of the tell-tale was to warn the man, who was concentrating on the job at hand, that an impending obstacle, such as a bridge or tunnel, was imminent down the line. (If he were facing in the opposite direction from the danger, the rods hitting him on the back or the head  would give an instant warning to duck or scramble down the end ladder.)
Thanks to the invention of the airbrake, the practice and need for tell-tales ended. However, many of the structures can still be found along railroad tracks, a historical reminder of the early years of the industry and its dangers.
This warning system was not only useful for the brakemen, but for those boxcar riders who hitched free rides on top of trains:

by Tri-State Tom »” And for the youngins here, the origin of ‘Tell Tale’ in railroading is short for ‘dead men tell no tales’. They were a quick alert device for a car ‘rider’ atop a freight car in transit to DUCK or HIT THE DECK in advance of an overhead bridge or tunnel. “

 




 

Lebanon City Council Approves Purchase of MRG Parking Lot Land Near Slayton Hill Underpass

 

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The yellow dots define the land approved for purchase. It is on Mascoma Street, just west of APD and adjacent to the Slayton Hill underpass. (You can see a white car emerging from the underpass in this view.)

Wednesday night, the Lebanon City Council approved the purchase of land on Mascoma Street, adjacent to the MRG and the Slayton Hill underpass, to serve as additional access and parking space. We have been fortunate to have the current Mascoma Street parking lot donated by APD;  given the popularity of the MRG, a need for additional parking is anticipated and this new parking area will have easy ADA accessibility.
Thayer School Students (Sebastian Strong, Isalys Quinones, Eleanor Dowd, Sarah Atac, and David Ruiz) made an excellent presentation of their study of options for completing the western end of the trail to WRJ. They posed 3 possibilities with the favored route using the rail track across the Stone Arch Bridge (Glen Road) and into the Westboro Rail Yard with access to WRJ across Bridge Street and the Connecticut River. This will take negotiation with the Department of Transportation and and rail company, which has not been successful to date.  The students are willing to try to move this forward with the help of the City.

Presentation: Options to Extend MRG to WRJ

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Mascoma Greenway Map

AGENDA
LEBANON CITY COUNCIL

Council Chambers  –  Lebanon City Hall
MARCH 6, 2019 – Meeting begins at 7:00 pm
NEW BUSINESS:
PRESENTATION BY THAYER SCHOOL STUDENTS:
OPTIONS TO EXTEND THE MASCOMA RIVER GREENWAY TO WHITE RIVER JUNCTION
BACKGROUND
The original Mascoma River Greenway Action Plan envisions a non-motorized year-round bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting downtown Lebanon to downtown West Lebanon, and ultimately to the Lyman Bridge’s connection to Vermont. The July 2018 opening provides the first segment of this multi-use path from High Street to Glen Road. The combination of NH DOT’s unwillingness to allow access to the remaining 2000 feet of rail to Riverside Community Park, and the delay of the Iron Horse Commercial Park development has left us stranded at Glen Road.
Dick Mackay from the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail took the initiative of partnering with the Thayer School of Engineering with the hopes that fresh eyes on the project might produce alternatives for us to consider. Project Team 17 from the Thayer School of Engineering, Cook Engineering Design Center, hasbeen the team working with the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail to produce a feasibility report
for the MRG extension to the Lyman Bridge. The team members are: Sebastian Strong, Isalys Quinones, Eleanor Dowd, Sarah Atac, and David Ruiz.
ACTION
No action is required by the Council; informational presentation only.

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