Category Archives: Work Day

Thanks to a Great Volunteer Team: Upper Valley Rugby Club!

 

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Former Lebanon Recreation and Park Director, Cindy Heath, has been the main mover on the enhanced landscaping of the MRG pocket park by the tunnel in downtown Lebanon. She and a team from Upper Valley Rugby Club did great work in the park Wednesday evening.

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Here’s Cindy’s report on this energetic team of volunteers:

“Members of the Men’s and Women’s teams of the Upper Valley Rugby Club put forth an amazing effort on Tuesday night and moved the MRG Pocket Park closer to completion. President Brian Frampton and his club mates dug out sod, applied mulch to flower beds, and did some serious digging to install wood chips under the picnic tables. 

This is work that needs a strong back and stamina, and the club members were definitely up for the task. It’s amazing how much was accomplished in just two hours by this community service minded group! 

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Several members of the club will be back next week to put the finishing touches on a new flower bed in preparation for a final planting of perennials donated by Gardener’s Supply. All are welcome to participate in the final work session on Tuesday, August 7 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the park. Bring work gloves, a shovel, and wheelbarrow if you have one!”  Update: Tuesday’s work was postponed on account of rain.  Next work day is Tuesday, August 14 at 5:30.

Planting Day in the Pocket Park

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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The planting day team: Cindy, Paula, Henry, Linda, Jake, Jackson, Pat

 

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Before

 

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After

Amazing Simbex Volunteer Crew

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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!

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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

MRG Update and Call for Volunteers

MRG weed-whacking behind Goss Logan

MASCOMA RIVER GREENWAY: UPDATE

JUNE 2017

What an incredible experience it has been working to create the Mascoma River Greenway, a railtrail connecting downtown Lebanon and the Northern Railtrail to West Lebanon. We have come a long way, and, while there is still some distance to go, you supporters should know the latest MRG news.

The construction work was put out to bid this spring and the city has accepted the bid from Willey Earthmoving LLC, a local, Windsor, VT, company. The work should begin in a few weeks and continue until completed. We are pleased to be doing business locally and the bid came in less than expected.

As Willey prepares for constructing, the railroad has been removing the rails from the corridor. They are currently being stacked beside the trail for later pick-up. As the rails go away, the city will be removing the ties so the rail bed is cleared for Willey to move in with their equipment.

When this section is completed it will be paved from the High St. intersection moving west to behind the Miracle Mile, under the Dudley Bridge, and connecting to Glen Road.

This is an exciting next step! Thank you to all our local supporters – contributors, volunteers, and, simply, friends.

As mention above, there is still more to do. There is still the issue of connecting the Northern Railtrail to the MRG. Over the next months the city will be working to provide the best opportunity for that connection to happen. While I, personally, would like to see the tunnel preserved and used, there is an alternative using a trail bridge which would go under the Rte 120 bridge and into the pocket park. A neat concept, too.

There is also connecting the skate park in West Lebanon with the Power House Mall. A path already exists, but can be improved to make it bike/ped friendly. There will be some volunteer work on that section.

There is also volunteer maintenance we can accomplish now. The pocket park by the tunnel and the Mascoma River needs to be trimmed as well as the MRG bridge over the Mascoma at the same site.

After working on the park we can weed-whack some of the trail west of High Street intersection. I’m looking at Wednesday and Thursday, this week and next to get that done. That would be June 21 and 22 and June 28 and 29 beginning at 4pm. If you can come to help, let me know at Go2teach@comcast.net. If you can, bring what tools are needed — weed-whacker, loppers, gloves, other ideas. Hope some of you can make it. We will have some tools there.

Frank Gould, Co-chair Mascoma River Greenway Coalition

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.

September 11th – “Day of Caring”

Volunteers clearing trail

Volunteers clearing trail near Miracle Mile, moving eastward

How fitting that Granite United Way would choose 9/11 as a “Day of Caring”, commemorating a day of wanton destruction with a day of community building and caring. There were two teams of volunteers working on the MRG. One team worked with MRG co-chair, Frank Gould, clearing weeds and saplings from the trail behind Miracle Mile, preparing for track and rail removal . . . back breaking work! The other team worked with our other co-chair, Paul Coats, clearing ties, spikes and iron plates from the MRG west of Sacred Heart Cemetery. (Mascoma Street)

Cleared trail behind Miracle Mile, looking west

Cleared trail behind Miracle Mile, looking west

Scenic access to the Mascoma RIver behind the Miracle Mile

Scenic view of the Mascoma RIver behind the Miracle Mile