Category Archives: Mascoma River Greenway Updates

MRG Pocket Park Project

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This little park has been dubbed the “Pocket Park”; it is adjacent to the former railroad tunnel running under Hanover Street and the downtown mall in Lebanon and is behind Goss Logan Insurance on Mechanic Street. The spot is particularly beautiful because of its proximity to a waterfall on the Mascoma River as it rushes under Mechanic Street. An Eagle Scout project of Lebanon’s Jake Jasinski and his team of volunteers, it is currently the eastern end of the MRG.  Right now, the park serves as an outdoor space for those living in the neighborhood as well as a resting place for those making the round trip between West Lebanon and Lebanon.

There are big plans for this little park. With hopes that the tunnel will soon be reinforced and link the MRG to the Northern Rail Trail, the park is envisioned as a welcoming resting space or picnic spot for runners, walkers, bikers, etc. traveling east and west. It already has a small pollinator garden of daylilies. beebalm, echinacea, cranesbill geranium, daisies, lupine, and alyssum; daffodils and forget-me-nots have been planted under some of the trees. The next step is for three more beds, perhaps a small Japanese-style garden, Japanese maples, rhododendrons, and spirea, all with the hope of the park being ready for the official Opening Day of the MRG, July 21, 2018!

Gardener’s Supply is offering design consultation for the new plantings as well as employee volunteers to help with the process. Upper Valley Trails Alliance has volunteered to build the paths. We will need volunteers to help remove the sod from the planned beds and build up the soil with compost and manure.  Other volunteers will plant flowers. Staff of Lebanon’s Recreation and Parks will transport materials and plant trees and shrubs. The work schedule looks like this:

  • Five sessions for installation – beginning June 13, and every Wednesday thereafter at 9 am. (Except for the week of the 4th of July when we will meet on Monday)

Wednesday, June 13 -remove vegetation, edge beds;
Wednesday, June 20 – install top soil & compost, manure
Wednesday, June 28 – install trees; receive plants from donors
Monday, July 2 –  install plants; water

  Wednesday July 9 – mulch
If you can volunteer to help with any of these work days, we’d love to hear from you.  And if you have extras of any of the following plants in your garden, we would greatly appreciate donations.
PERENNIALS
hosta (giant and medium)
pulmonaria (lungwort)
tiarella (foam flower)
geranium machrorrizum
sweet woodruff (ground cover)
pachysandra (ground cover)
lamium (ground cover)
bleeding heart
European ginger
Ostrich ferns
May apple
Hellebores
Solomon’s seal
Brunera
To volunteer for work days or donate perennials
please Contact Cindy Heath: cheath58(at)gmail.com
or Pat McGovern: mcgovern.patricia(at)gmail.com

Be Forewarned! Jan 22-Feb 9, 2018

The MRG, between High Street and APD, will be closed during DPW’s Stormwater Sewer (CSO) separation project.  Jan 22 – Feb 9.

Access to the MRG is still open for walking west from APD Hospital parking lot.  The solid red line from High St to APD is the closed section.

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Solid red line from High St to APD is the closed section.

For more information on the CSO project, please visit  https://lebanonnh.gov/436/CSO-Project-No-11

Blocked MRG Bridge

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Looking eastward

Distracted by the beauty of the river last week, we neglected to get a photo of progress on this bridge over the Mascoma River, behind Timken. Vandals struck in the meantime, tearing down the barriers, throwing  barrier barrels down the bank, smashing the windows of one of the construction vehicles nearby, etc.  .  . .  a frustrating set-back for those eager for progress on this wonderful community resource.

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Shattered glass

The good news is that areas that had previously been muddy, have been graded and improved, and were dry in spite of the recent rain.

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Meetings are being planned to problem-solve the two ends of the MRG, (closure of the downtown tunnel connection to the Northern Rail Trail and failed plans for the Iron Horse Park in West Leb present challenges on both ends.) Also being planned: Kiosks, maps, signage, benches, tables, naming plaques, access points, land purchase, Glen Road options,  soft opening, grand opening!

Bridge over Mascoma River Progress Report

We set out to check on the progress of that blocked bridge over the Mascoma River.  We can tell you that the middle section is almost finished – the rails are up – but we can’t show you; we were so distracted by the beauty of the river, we forgot to take a photo of the bridge. Next time!

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Looking north from the MRG bridge over the Mascoma River –  distractingly beautiful!

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Southward view from the MRG bridge over the Mascoma River

 

And you meet the nicest people along the trail!

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MRGFriends

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Beautiful Birches

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Reminders from the Railroad’s Past

Next time we’ll bring a tree identification book – such varied leaves scattered across the trail!

MRG from APD to Bridge over Mascoma River

Eager to know the progress on the blocked bridge over the Mascoma River, we set off on a westerly walk starting near APD.  Great progress on the installation of safety railings! Much of the trail is set on a rise above the surrounding land and the drop-offs are potentially dangerous.

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Looking westward near APD and the underpass.

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Others have discovered the trail.

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Crabapples?

 

On one side of the trail is Longacres – on the other side is this small pond. We spotted two pileated woodpeckers and a Downy woodpecker as well as three ducks paddling and dabbling in the pond. Red-winged blackbirds flew in and out of the tall reeds.

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PileatedWoodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker – Googling, we find: “PILEATED (Woodpecker) – PIE-lee-ay-tid, PILL-ee-ay-tid (having a pileus or cap). Two alternate versions listed from the dictionary. If it bothers you when people say it differently than you do, lighten up.

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Bridge over Mascoma River – imagine being the one to install the railing – those with fear of heights need not apply.

There is planking across the bridge and some of the railing has been installed. The bridge is not yet open, but is definitely progressing.

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Biker heading back eastward.

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Heading back

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Back where we started near APD, enjoying the Autumn light.

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Loving that golden glow!

Slayton Hill Road Overpass Closure

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Scytheville Underpass (AKA Slayton Hill Road Overpass)

The Mascoma River Greenway Construction Project will be installing bicycle and pedestrian railing on the Slayton Hill Overpass, requiring street closure under the overpass on October 11 – 13th. 7am to 5pm daily.

(Historically, this area of Lebanon was known as Scytheville; there was once a scythe factory on Slayton Hill Road. This bridge was known as the Scytheville Underpass.)

 

Update from MRG Co-Chair Frank Gould

Congratulations Dave!!!

On August 25th at the Lebanon Farmers Market, the winning ticket was drawn for the bicycle raffle. David Boisvert was the winner. He was notified and picked up the bike at Omer and Bob’s the next day. Thank you to Omer and Bob’s for their support of the MRG with the bicycle donation.

And special thanks to each of you who bought tickets for the raffle, the enthusiasm was incredible. The Raffle raised $4787, minus printing expenses, for the Mascoma River Greenway!!!

On another note: there are tee-shirts and fleece available for those who wish to further support the MRG. Designed and produced by Top Stitch of Lebanon, there is an inventory available at the Recreation and Parks Office at City Hall, or they can be ordered directly from Top Stitch.

http://store.topstitchinc.com/Mascoma_River_Greenway

Other news for the construction of the Greenway:
Another special thanks to all those who have donated to the project, both those who donated time and effort, and those who made financial contributions. We have roughly $1,000,000 in the bank for the MRG. Final engineering and design estimates have increased construction costs to $1,840,000, so we are still short on cash. There will be a CIP request included in the City budget for next year to cover the increases. Of course, any further contributions from the community will be greatly appreciated.

We have completed our efforts to remove the spikes from the rails and ties on the section behind the Miracle Mile. Don’t try to run a train on that section.

The city is in the process of scheduling a rail company to remove the rails this fall. The ties will also be removed once the rails are out. That will allow the process of completing the section for bike/ped use to begin next spring with completion from High Street to the Dudley Bridge on the Miracle Mile in 2017.

The railing along the bridge which crosses I-89 has been completed. While the trail is not officially open there are people walking along it. The railing makes that space safer.

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Completed fencing on I-89 bridge

The tunnel which passes under the Lebanon Mall and parking lot is still under discussion, as is the whole “revisioning plan” for the Lebanon downtown area. That leaves questions about the completion of the MRG at both the Lebanon and West Lebanon end of the trail connecting to the Northern Rail Trail in Lebanon, and to Route 12A and West Lebanon downtown.

Thank you for your continued interest in the MRG. I hope to see you enjoying the trail in 2017

Frank Gould, Co-chair Mascoma River Greenway Coalition.

Return of the UVTA High School Trail Corps!

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It was hard work on a hot day – great to have this youthful energy applied to the MRG! The crew cleared brush and loaded spikes for removal, working from the rail bridge near Glen Road to behind Timken. Thanks to this wonderful team and to Upper Valley Trails Alliance.

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Want to know more about the UVTA Trail Corps?

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Thank You Upper Valley Trails Alliance High School Trail Corps

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How lucky we are to have the Upper Valley Trails Alliance High School Trail Corps back on the MRG this summer. They pried spikes, cleared brush, and tried to stay cool. (They were working on the area between the Timken Bridge and the Miracle Mile movie theaters.) Thanks to you all for your hard work!

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Railing on I-89 Bridge

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Step-by-step we move westward. An arced railing is being constructed on the MRG bridge over I-89 (similar to the railing on the pedestrian bridge on Hanover Street) and weekly Wednesday work crews continue to pull spikes in preparation for removal of rails and ties. We could use some energetic people to help with clearing the trail, pulling spikes, constructing bridges – send an email to go2teach@comcast.net to sign up for workday notices.