Category Archives: Good News!

Goats NOT Herbicides!

Eco Goats

As we expand our MRG Pollinator Corridor to support healthy habitat for bees, butterflies, birds, and other creatures, it is especially exciting to learn of the Lebanon Recreation & Parks Department’s plans for controlling poison ivy: “Goats NOT Herbicides.”

The pilot project will begin Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at Riverside Community ParkCivic Memorial Park, Basin Field, and on the Mascoma River Greenway near the public art sculpture “Wheels”.

The goats and sheep will be fenced in around their browsing (eating) areas containing poison ivy, which will include shade and water for the animals. The animal’s caregivers will also be onsite.

For some “Goats 101” if you stop by to see them at one of these sites:

  • Respect the herders and listen to what they say; they are here to keep the animals safe and need your cooperation.
  • Please do not try to pet the animals; goats can eat and be exposed to poison ivy with no harm to them, but touching the goats exposed to poison ivy oils can affect humans.
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times.
  • Please remember good trail etiquette and slowdown in the work zone.
  • If you would like to stop and watch the animals, please stand off the trail to allow other users to pass safely.

Lebanon is not alone in experimenting with goats for poison ivy control.  This is the second year that Montpelier, VT has used goats to control poison ivy along the city’s recreational path. They’ve been used in Londonderry NH too. (Goats will eat invasive Japanese knotweed as well. )

We look forward to seeing how this pilot project goes in hopes that we can utilize this method in the future.

 

Thanks to Lebanon Recreation & Parks Director, Paul Coats, for pursuing this non-toxic method of poison ivy control!

Perfect Solution: WIlling Waterer and Bike with Saddlebags!

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!

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Wheelchair-Accessible Path to MRG

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!

Path from APD/MRG Parking

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!

Pollinator Corridor Plans

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!

I spy with my little eye three busy pollinators on the MRG milkweed!

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.

New Benches Being Installed on the MRG

 

The first of six benches purchased for the Mascoma River Greenway has been installed near the path leading down from the Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital campus. The bench is dedicated to the memory of Leo C. McKenna whose wife, Christine, is an enthusiastic supporter and user of the MRG. Watch for other benches to appear along the trail as soon as weather permits their installation by the Lebanon Recreation and Parks Department.