The MRG tunnel has been paved and is looking good! A Grand Opening Celebration is being planned for July 8, 2021, but there will be access to the tunnel before that date. Stay tuned! We are well on our way to linking to the Northern Rail Trail and parts South.
The Lebanon, NH Arts and Culture Commission is looking for artists to design, fabricate, and install a public art installation and/or mural in the newly renovated Downtown Lebanon Pedestrian Tunnel. The Tunnel is located beneath Hanover Street and the Lebanon Mall, with entrances near Goss Logan Insurance (western entrance) and the Ledyard Charter School (eastern entrance). Artists are encouraged to select themes related to Lebanon’s history, geography, natural environment, and recreational activities. (Artists also may, but are not required to, use railroad spikes left over from the development of the Mascoma Greenway.) The tunnel is 350 feet long and the walls are generally 18 feet in height. Installations and murals can be on the walls within the tunnel, with the exception of the granite stones on the eastern end. Artwork should exist within the physical structure of the tunnel without necessarily taking up the whole tunnel. In order to submit an application artists MUST RSVP for the artist tour. Learn more and RSVP for the tour. And check out Rails to Trails info on public art for some background and inspiration.
The Mascoma River Greenway is a unique trail for the Upper Valley, and we want signage that celebrates that uniqueness. Hypertherm HOPE Foundation is already a financial donor to the MRG, and they stepped up their game by volunteering to cut these signs, using their patented Plasma cutting machinery, right here in Lebanon. These signs give a tip of the hat to the industrial history of the railroad corridor, while also giving thanks to the major donors that helped create our popular Greenway.
Sadly, some of these signs were vandalized the day after they were installed. Please, if you see something, say something. We appreciate the communities’ eyes and ears open for us.
These flowers are Alder catkins with elongated male catkins on the same plant as shorter female catkins. They often emerge before leaves appear and are mainly wind-pollinated, but also visited by bees.
“Until the first big snowstorm, I usually walked the length of the MRG every morning from 0430 to 0630. I usually have a headlamp on so that I can watch out for skunks, fallen tree limbs and crazy bicyclists who don’t use any headlamps even though it’s pitch black out. I also like the headlamp because you can then see what’s in the woods looking back at you. A week before I took the Owl shot, I was about to cross the wood bridge going downhill from Renihan Meadows area. It was pitch black out and I heard a rustling in the trees right above my head. I looked up with my headlamp and there was a Barred Owl looking back at me right over my head. It was sooo cool. Then about a week later, I was out on the Trail, halfway between the powerline cutout and the P&C access road. I just happened to look right up the ridge line and saw a Barred Owl. Next thing I know, the owl flies right down to the edge of the trail and perched himself on a limb only about ten feet from me, and just sat there. I couldn’t believe it. I took the shot.” – Dan Moriarty
It was a pleasure meeting this friendly couple on the Greenway today. She was riding her new trike, a gift from her husband a few days ago. They are recent transplants from Alaska and are enjoying easy access to the MRG. Jogging, biking, triking, skateboarding, rollerblading, dog-walking, traveling on cross-country skis or snowshoes . . . many ways to enjoy the MRG!
Work on the tunnel this Spring destroyed the MRG pollinator garden on the Goss Logan hillside. Only the hardiest of perennials survived. Red bee balm was one of the survivors . . . and it attracted this tiny hummingbird moth. These Dr. Seuss-like creatures have hummingbird energy, hovering and darting about. The proboscis and antennae are like those of butterflies. The furriness and striping are like bumble bees. The tail is like that of a lobster.
The caterpillar stage of the hummingbird moth looks much like a tomato hornworm. Hard to believe that this creature that looks so much like a hummingbird could emerge from such a caterpillar!
Working on the MRG pollinator gardens each day offers an opportunity to meet some of the MRG “regulars”. This is Chris who roller blades daily. She covers many miles as she skates back and forth, sometimes at least 10 miles. Since much of the MRG is in the shade of trees, it offers respite on these hot, muggy days. It’s a joy to see so many different people, in so many ways, enjoying this beautiful community resource.