Category Archives: Mascoma River Greenway Updates

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.

New Life!

Alder Catkins – photo by Sarah Riley

Have you spotted new life on the MRG this Spring?

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.

Mascoma River Greenway Survey Results

The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission (UVLSRPC) has finished compiling and analyzing the data for the Mascoma River Greenway. Survey results are hosted here at www.uvlsrpc.org/rail-trails. Many thanks to Colin Smith for his work on the dashboard. #railtotrail #MRG #railstotrails #railstotrailsconservancy #connectlebtowestleb 

MRG Survey results for data including rail trail data for the MRG.

Precious Cargo!

 

It’s been fun to see so many children on the MRG of late.  They come by strollers, tricycles, scooters, bikes with training wheels  .  .  . and child chariots.  Such precious cargo!

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Looking eastward under Hanover Street bridge toward the downtown Mall

Though it will be many months before the work is completed, it’s encouraging to see progress toward connecting the Mascoma River Greenway to the Northern Rail Trail via the tunnel. The Mall parking area, that once formed the roof of the tunnel, has been removed. (See the plan for how it will eventually look.) There is a plan for major work to be done on the Hanover Street bridge next summer, which is likely to delay tunnel use, but step by step we are moving forward.

 

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!

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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.

Friends of the MRG Reclaim the Trail

A small crew of volunteers set out on Saturday to rescue the MRG from encroaching weeds .  .  .  goldenrod, Japanese knotweed, jewelweed and other  hardy plants were taking over the trail.

BEFORE

Jewelweed spilling out over the trail

AFTER

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Trimmed and tamed.

Thanks to Bart Guetti for these photos and to all who turned out to help.

 

 

 

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!

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!