On these hot summer days, getting sufficient water to thirsty pollinator plants along the MRG can be a challenge, especially at Dysfunction Jct. where there is no easy parking. Bart Guetti, head of the Friends of Lebanon Recreation and Parks, and willing waterer, has been watering the new plants by way of bike with saddlebags. Thank you Bart. A perfect solution!
It was exciting to spot a hummingbird moth in the MRG parking lot pollinator garden (west of the overpass near Alice Peck Day Hospital.)
The first sighting of a hummingbird moth can be very confusing; Is it a bird? A butterfly? A moth? It buzzes, hovers, and flies from flower to flower like a hummingbird . Instead of a beak like a hummingbird, it has a long tongue-like proboscis that can reach the nectar deep inside flowers. The antennae, colors, and furryness make it look like a bumble bee . . . and the tail is like that of a lobster. It looks like a creature designed by Dr. Seuss! This one lingered longest on the liatris, which seems to be a favored perennial of many pollinators..
Thanks to APD and the Upper Valley Trails Association, we now have a wheelchair- accessible path from the APD/MRG parking lot, opposite the Alice Peck Day Homestead, down to the Mascoma River Greenway. The surface is hard-packed and will eventually be paved. Thanks to all who made it happen!
The Mascoma River Greenway is still a work in progress. The closing of the tunnel under Lebanon’s downtown mall has stymied our linking to the Northern Rail Trail; renovations of the tunnel and the mall are scheduled for summer 2020. The connection to White River Junction on the western end is still in search of a solution. There are other items on the drawing table:
A map of the MRG with parking and access points and distances between points is being created by Dartmouth’s Thayer School students who have demonstrated a particular skill in developing maps. Way-finding signage is also in progress.
Kiosks are being repaired and built – they will display the above map and other items of interest.
Benches are purchased and awaiting installation.
A pollinator corridor is being created. There are currently four gardens with more plantings planned. (More info)
The MRG is a well-used and much enjoyed resource and will continue to improve over time. In the meantime, it has been great to see runners, bikers, dog walkers, baby strollers, roller-bladers, birders, wildflower enthusiasts, skateboarders, skate-skiers, snow-shoers, cross-country skiers, and young children learning to ride bikes, all actively enjoying this wonderful resource.
Those who have parked in the parking lot donated to the MRG by Alice Peck Day Hospital will be glad to know the path to the MRG has been greatly improved and will soon be paved and wheelchair-accessible. Thank you Upper Valley Trails Alliance!
Have you noticed these signs and new plantings along the MRG?
Upper Valley residents are becoming aware of the risks associated with pollinator collapse and are responding by planting organic native perennial flowers, shrubs, and trees to provide food and habitat for pollinators and other creatures, as well as enhanced environment for humans.
There is a plan for a pollinator corridor along the MRG. With funding from the Robert F. Church Charitable Trust, we have begun to create what will be a string of pollinator gardens, fruit trees, and berry bushes for bees, butterflies, birds, and even hungry humans. Check out our new Pollinator Corridor Page at this site and start looking for pollinators along the Mascoma River Greenway. Some of our new gardens will not hit their stride for a year or two but look for the Milkweeds (Common and Butterfly), Purple Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susans, Liatris, Anise Hyssop, New England Asters, Yarrow, Bee Balm, Borage, Coreopsis, Goldenrod, and other flowering pollinator plants as they emerge. If you get a good photo of bees, butterflies, or hummingbirds enjoying the new plantings, please share to the Lebanon Photo Gallery!