Category Archives: Good News!

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.

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.

Grand Opening of the Tunnel!

Thursday, July 8: 4:30 – 6:30 pm at the Lebanon Tunnel (under the Mall and Village Pizza)

Celebration includes:

“The River” radio station live broadcast

Public Art proposals

Sidewalk Chalk

Scavenger Hunt

Bike Rodeo (Omer Bobs bike checks, helmet giveaway, bike registrations, safety obstacle course, e-bike loan signups)

4pm Guided bike ride for kids along MRG

5pm Hear all about the big project

5:15pm Mayor remarks

5:20pm Ribbon cutting

6:00 Group dog walk*

*if you would like to join the dog walk, please email recreation@lebanonnh.gov

~ Dogs should be comfortable on leash around other dogs and distractions.

~ Dogs should not be fearful/reactive/anxious on leash in new environments or around heavy distractions.

Most events will start at the eastern end of the tunnel, behind Village Pizza.

Farmers’ Market also on Colburn Park 4-7pm

Front Porch Concert at 7pm: Cold Chocolate

www.LebanonNH.gov/tunnel

Tunnel (in blue) runs from the MRG Pocket Park behind Goss Logan Insurance to the parking lot behind Village Pizza on the downtown Lebanon Mall.

Thanks to Hypertherm – New Signage!

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.

Paul Coats, Lebanon Recreation, Arts, and Parks


							

Barred Owl!

“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

For more of Dan’s 2020 wildlife sightings on the MRG see https://mascomagreenway.com/mrg-wildlife/

Latest Work Day – Report from the Field

On October 26, the Lebanon Parks and Recreation Department organized a workday on the Mascoma River Greenway. Volunteers from the Valley Bible Church in White River Junction joined trail enthusiasts from Lebanon to help install five more benches along the MRG, bringing the total number to six. In addition, volunteers pulled weeds which were encroaching on the trail, applied preservative to the wooden railings and helped to anchor the umbrella sculpture which sits near the Mascoma River. Going forward, there is a hope that the City can recruit individuals and organizations to take responsibility to maintain a short section of the trail on a year-round basis.  – Rainie Kelly

Thanks to all who vounteered! Good to know the shifting Umbrella sculpture is now anchored in place!

New Bench Installed


The folks in Lebanon Recreation & Parks wear many hats, and today, some were wearing their bench-installation hats. Thanks to Doug McGrath and Krissy Flythe, we now have a bench installed on the western end of the MRG, near the umbrella sculpture, and almost ready for use. Rest and enjoy the beautiful view of the river!

Climate Strike Action – Planting the Fruits of Tomorrow Today!

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How lucky we were to have a beautiful day and so many Upper Valley Apple Corps folks and friends of Mascoma River Greenway responding to the call for volunteers.

The work was hard – gravel, rocks, boulders, hard-pack . . . all kinds of tools were needed

Different teams took on the varied parts of the project. Clearing brush, digging, struggling with boulders.

Imagine encountering this challenge and succeeding!

Rocky soil was sifted, apple trees and elderberry bushes set in place, in-filled, and topped off with cardboard mulch and compost.

Removing tape from reused boxes.


Water for plants.


Elderberries planted.


More compost! More water! More wood chips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two organic Haralson apple trees and elderberry bushes were finally in place. Phase one accomplished!

A hearty crew set off the western end at the Price Chopper access.

Water, compost, and mulch trucked in – thanks Bart Guetti!

Eric, Barry, and Kathy planting a Red Osier DogwoodEric, Barry, and Kathy plant dogwood.


Kye, Bodhi, Barbara, and Eric planting the wetland rose bush.

Josie and Thomas planting aronia (black chokeberry)

Mulch brigade!

IMG_0429 (1) (1)

An organic Golden Russet apple tree and three organic high-bush blueberries planted near the umbrella sculpture, and high-bush cranberry, aronia, button bush, wetland rose, and red osier dogwoods planted in the moist area at the base of the Price Chopper access. Mission accomplished. Thank you Upper Valley Apple Corps and friends of Mascoma River Greenway And thanks to the Robert F. Church Charitable Trust for funding this MRG Pollinator Corridor project.

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!