Lebanon is graced with the beautiful, winding Mascoma River . . . but there are very few places where one can actually appreciate that beauty. The MRG is one of those places. Above is a view from the western end (behind the movie theaters) looking east.
Have you seen the western end now that it has been paved? Smooth sailing for bikes, skate boards, roller blades, baby strollers and many other modes of non-motorized transport.
Western end (behind movie theaters) looking west
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!
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!
Looking north from the MRG bridge over the Mascoma River – distractingly beautiful!
Southward view from the MRG bridge over the Mascoma River
And you meet the nicest people along the trail!
Reminders from the Railroad’s Past
Next time we’ll bring a tree identification book – such varied leaves scattered across the trail!
Intersection of Mascoma, Mechanic and High streets
Wow! Most of the eastern end of the MRG has a base paving, up to the blocked bridge over the Mascoma River. (There is a gap at one point where sewer line work will occur – Lebanon Public Works will then pave that section and the whole stretch will get a top coat.) A smooth paved surface will allow for all non-motorized uses including wheelchairs, baby strollers, skateboards, and in-line skating.
Near the underpass by APD looking eastward
Near underpass by APD looking westward
We will report on Friday on the status of that blocked bridge over the 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.
Looking westward near APD and the underpass.
Others have discovered the trail.
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.
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.
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.
Biker heading back eastward.
Back where we started near APD, enjoying the Autumn light.
Loving that golden glow!