A project like this pocket park on the MRG makes one aware of the generosity of this community. So many beautiful plants were dug and donated from gardens around town and farther afield. Folks donated their time and energy, and it is gratifying to know that many local businesses grant volunteer time to employees during the work day. (The MRG has benefited greatly for a number of years by these volunteers.)
On Wednesday, donors and volunteers showed up at the pocket park with carloads of beautiful plants. Among the volunteers was Jake Jasinski and his Mom Linda. Jake was the Eagle Scout who had envisioned this pocket park and worked with others to build the picnic tables and benches.
The group laid out the plants in a pleasing design and then went to work digging, planting, watering. In a matter of a few hours the park was transformed.
Cindy Heath in the foreground, Jackson, Henry, and Linda in back, digging and planting.
Cindy is the organizer and energy behind this extension of last year’s pollinator garden into what will be a fully landscaped park. The many hostas, flowering shrubs and trees, and ground covers will also be a boon for pollinators.
Henry Homeyer, the Upper Valley’s “Gardening Guy”, donated his time and expertise to the project. Here he is planting a beautiful little Japanese maple.
The planting day team: Cindy, Paula, Henry, Linda, Jake, Jackson, Pat
Please plan on joining us for the GRAND OPENING of the Mascoma River Greenway! Festivities will begin at 9:00AM on Saturday, July 21, on the lawn of the Homestead at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital on Mascoma Street in Lebanon. There will be activities for bikers, hikers, nature lovers, history buffs and art enthusiasts.
In addition, Omer’s & Bob’s will provide a bike-safety check starting at 9:00. Please save the date and watch for further details about the official opening of the Greenway.
Intersection of Mascoma, Mechanic and High streets
This amazing crew of Simbex volunteers showed up at the “pocket park” this morning; they showed up with tools, with skills, with vibrant energy, and a great work ethic. Their main task was to mix compost and soil and mound it on the extended beds. They did that, and so much more. They moved and leveled a picnic table (really leveled – a marble found in the park did not roll when perched on the table.) They removed a broken bench. They picked up litter, even going down the riverbank to pull up a roll of chain link fencing. They cut out dead wood, pruned and weeded. They dug out old stumps. We are so grateful for their youthful energy, their generosity, and all they accomplished. Thanks also to John and Jackson of Leb Recreation and Parks for delivering that soil and compost. What seemed an overwhelming task now looks do-able . . . and really looking good!
Thanks to a lot of hard work by a few volunteers, the garden has been significantly extended in the MRG Pocket Park next to the downtown tunnel. The sod has been weeded out, the garden edged, and manure added to the soil. Next comes the compost and soil, some trees and shrubs, and, eventually, flowers, all in preparation for the official opening of the MRG on July 21st.
Lucinda was working solo in the park on this sunny Saturday morning, removing sod and breaking up the soil. Thanks Lucinda!
Today’s Valley News reports that the Lebanon City Council has approved funding for “replacement of the former rail tunnel under downtown” – wonderfully good news for our hopes of linking the Mascoma River Greenway to the Northern Rail Trail, as well as providing easy, safe access to the MRG from downtown! Bravo! And so appropriate on the Solstice: Light at the end of the tunnel!
Update 1/18/2018: The Valley News report was not as nuanced as the City Council decision: The Council approved funding for a downtown connection of the Northern Rail Trail to the Mascoma River Greenway. Whether that connection is a repair of the tunnel or a different separate path through downtown depends on the outcome of engineering studies.