Category Archives: Other Good News

Vote for MRG!



Dan Fraser of Dan & Whit’s in Norwich Vt is running an election; customers are encouraged to vote with their dollars . . .  for local non-profits. It’s Dan’s way of knowing customer preferences and planning D&W’s future fund-raising activities: “Imagine if politicians spent all their hundreds, thousands and millions of campaign dollars on something that would help people, solve some issues and improve the quality of life for others. Would you vote and support that?” writes Dan. “Votes are $1.00 each. Cash is fine, or if you want to vote “big” and really tell us who you love – write a check made out to the organization.”

So, next time you’re at Dan & Whit’s, vote for Mascoma River Greenway!  Make your check out to Upper Valley Trail Alliance (our fiscal partner) with MRG on the memo line. (Right now, Mascoma River Greenway is the top vote getter!)

Dutille’s Display

DSCN8906Thanks to Dutille’s in downtown Lebanon for their display in support of the Mascoma River Greenway!

MRG Update

New MRG Kiosk at Intersection of High, Mascoma, and Mechanic

New MRG Kiosk at Intersection of High, Mascoma, and Mechanic

Dear Rail Trail Enthusiasts

A quick update:

1. Our Capital Campaign continues.

2. There is a new Kiosk donated and erected by the Rotary Club of Lebanon at the High Street intersection. It’s beautiful, thanks!

3. Our Marketing Team is preparing posters and banners for publicizing the MRG.

4. Marketing is also looking at special activities the community can participate in, suggestions welcomed.

5. Come by our table at the Lebanon Farmers Market on Thursdays, as usual. Join the conversation.

6. Friday, July 19 is another Trail Clearing day. Several local companies have offered time for the work, other companies and individuals are welcome to join.

Announcing: Paul Coats and I are establishing a Friends of Recreation and Parks group. The group will support the MRG when it is completed as well as promote other elements of our community’s health and fitness. If you would like to join this group let me, or Paul, know.

If there are any of the above Teams and activities you can become involved in you are welcome.  Contact Frank Gould at or Paul Coats at

Frank Gould, Co-chair Mascoma River Greenway.

The City’s ‘Wild Core’: Lebanon Residents Tour Nascent Mascoma Greenway Trail

Lebanon City Council member Nicole Cormen, center, begins leading a walk of the projected route of the future Mascoma River Greenway Trail in Lebanon, N.H. on Saturday, March 30, 2013.  Valley News - Libby March

Lebanon City Council member Nicole Cormen, center, begins leading a walk of the projected route of the future Mascoma River Greenway Trail in Lebanon, N.H. on Saturday, March 30, 2013. Valley News – Libby March

Lebanon — A former Boston & Maine railway corridor, unused since the 1950s, has been stolen by underbrush and deep pockets of mud. Thin tree trunks have sprung from between the railroad ties. In the quieter parts of Lebanon, nature, for now, has emerged victorious.

But it will soon be tamed.

Yesterday, city officials hosted a walk down gooey ground, over an interstate and across a plank bridge, on what will eventually become the Mascoma River Greenway Trail, a four-mile vein between Lebanon and West Lebanon meant for the active and car-averse.

Nearly 30 people, residents of Lebanon and elsewhere, joined forces in a parking lot across from Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital before heading over the Slayton Hill Road overpass and into a slice of nature often hidden behind chain supermarkets and manufacturers.

“You think of Lebanon as all built up, but it has a wild core,” said City Councilor Nicole Cormen, who led the tour.

The idea yesterday, said Frank Gould, who co-chairs the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition, was to give people an idea of the path they’ll taking when an “offerable trail” is in place in, he hopes, two years’ time.

That’s phase one. The basic, dirt trail will begin at the terminus of the Northern Rail Trail, by the Carter Community Building, and will end at West Lebanon’s Westboro Yard, a former railroad property between the Connecticut River and the intersection of Route 12A and South Main Street.

By the end of the fourth and final phase, officials said, the entire trail will be paved and in use by runners, cyclists, skateboarders and so on. During the winter, Gould said, plows could clean up one half of the trail, leaving the other for cross-country skiers. He estimated the entire project would be done in about 10 years, and will cost about $2.2 million.

Much of the work will be done in-kind, said Lebanon Recreation and Parks Director Paul Coats, using existing city equipment and staff. However, he’s planning a kick-off day for volunteers to clear some of the out-of-control plant life on June 1, which is National Trails Day.

Besides the city workers, much will be accomplished with volunteers and donations, Gould said. So far, about $80,000 has been raised during the campaign’s “silent phase,” he said.

The actual construction will last into 2014, according to Coats.  “When people have access to a resource like this,” Coats said, “they use it.”

Some, in a way, already have. For instance, Karen Guetti, of West Lebanon, has made a habit of taking her dog, Sammy, along the current pathway, an at-times treacherous trip next to, atop and across the old railway. At one point, the rails run over the Mascoma River, with only wooden planks serving as a bridge. At another, it passes over I-89, near Exit 19. Yesterday, cars honked their approval. Gould said the overpass would likely be covered with fencing during construction.

Guetti was there for the tour, as was Sammy, a black Lab-husky mix, who bounced alongside and ahead of the group, sniffing rocks and lapping up runoff from stubborn ice along the trail.

At several points, Cormen noted familiar Lebanon landmarks, some in the distance and some closer. Early on, with the group trekking along the railway at high elevation, she pointed to the Renihan Meadows condominium complex on Mascoma Street Extension; later, as the group hugged the river, she noted the backs of Price Chopper and Entertainment Cinemas up a steep but short hill.

“There are possible connections everywhere,” she said.

Other than the trip over what Cormen called the “bridge of death” — the fraying railroad ties that pass over the Mascoma River — the portion of the trail closer to Glen Road provided the best up-close view of the river. Rapids spilled over rocks, and group members pushed past fallen branches to get a better look.

After a beat, the group broke from the Mascoma, heading closer to Glen Road and the end of the walk. David Kano lingered, taking in the view through a horizontally angled iPhone.

“People get to know each other when they’re biking or running,” said Kano, of West Lebanon. “I’m very excited about it.”

Jon Wolper, Valley News Staff Writer

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Northern Rail Trail is RTC “Trail of the Month”

Here is a bit of news from our friends at the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail Grafton County.

Rails to Trails Conservancy is going to feature the Northern Rail Trail as the “Trail of the Month” on their web site and in their e-newsletter, for the month of March. Thank you Rails to Trails Conservancy!

Here’s a link to the RTC website to check it out.

andover rail stationAlso the Danbury Country Store across from the Danbury trailhead on High Street at NH Rte 4 has changed hands and will feature a sandwich shop when it reopens after renovations are completed. Well-loved Bristol restauranteur Audrey Pellegrino will run the shop. Yay! We love stopping there for refreshment while riding or walking that stretch of the rail trail. Congratulations Phelps clan.

MRG Update

Mascoma River Greenway Enthusiasts,

Spring is just around the corner. As proof, we move to daylight savings time this weekend. I hate to lose an hour’s sleep, but spring is welcome.

Progress on the development of the rail trail continues. The Leadership and Campaign Committees are meeting regularly to design our fundraising effort. We have completed the design of the Case Statement. Did you know that over 60% of Lebanon residents live within a mile of the rail trail? What an excellent opportunity for getting out and exercising. There will be other advantages, too. Shopping or going to the movies on the Miracle Mile, and biking, walking, or even skateboarding to Riverside Park on Glen Road. That’s what will be available when this trail is complete.

The Campaign Committee has started the initial phase of fundraising and would really love to have any of you reading this to join them in this effort. Talking points and training are provided so you will know what to expect and what to say as you visit nearby businesses and your neighbors to promote the Greenway. While the complete project requires significant funding it has been divided into phases to be paid for over time. The initial phase is designed to open a walkable/bikeable trail in about two years. So, a non-motorized recreation/transportation trail will be here soon. Come join in!

Paul Coats and I have visited with and presented to the Rotary of Lebanon and Riverside Rotary of West Lebanon. Members of both chapters expressed support for the project. It was great to hear their enthusiastic response and a willingness to become part of the process. Developing partners-in-action helps convince others to step in and attach their brand to the MRG.

There is also progress being made in the West Lebanon end of the MRG as a ped/bike path is included in the design of the Iron Horse Development currently being presented to the Lebanon Planning Board. This path would connect the MRG from Glen Road to Elm Street, West and then on into West Lebanon proper. Stay tuned to watch this happen.

Spring grunt work on the MRG will begin with the clearing of brush and trees on a stretch from near APD west to the bridge over I-89. We will also be visiting with MRG trail abutters, both residents and businesses, during the next few weeks to make sure our neighbors know of the Greenway project and the wonderful amenity it will be for their neighborhood and our city.

This update may not be much different from other recent emails, but, while winter slowed the physical progress, it has not slowed the committee work. Please keep yourself posted by visiting this website often. The web address above links to a review of the Northern Rail Trail with pictures and the story of it’s development. It’s really neat, check it out!!

Frank Gould, Co-chair Mascoma Greenway Coalition.