Leominster Trail Stewards Receives Funding For New Trail

LEOMINSTER – Mayor Dean Mazzarella and Leominster Trail Stewards President Neal Wynne accepted a check on July 15 in the amount of $ 14,442 from Community Foundation of North Central Massachsuetts President Steve Adams for a collaborative trail project between the city and LTS.

Wynne said she worked with the city this spring to apply for a grant from the Environmental Preservation and Animal Welfare Foundation program “for essential funds to improve access to passive recreation on a plot of 50 acres of former Muriel Cutler estate off Hill Street “. A ribbon cut occurred at the 114 Hill Street trailhead when the check was handed over.

Members of Leominster Trail Stewards (LTS) cut a ribbon on July 15 at the proposed Hill Street Trailhead re-start and accepted a check in the amount of $ 14,442 from the Community Foundation of North Central Massachsuetts, which will help fund the trail project. (Left to Right): Community Foundation of North Central Massachsuetts President Steve Adams, LTS Trail Advisor Eric Bedding, Mayor Dean Mazzarella, City Conservation Officer Angela Schofield, LTS Trail Adopt Rich Gullick, Director of the Department of Leominster Recreation Judith Sumner, LTS Member Anne Seed, and LTS President Neal Wynne.

“This land, under the jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission, was acquired by the city with funds from the state self-help program which requires the property to be used for passive recreational purposes,” said Wynne.

Passive recreational uses approved by the Conservation Commission include hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, nature photography and hunting. Wynne said they would build new hiking and biking trails on the property and “improve visitor parking to meet self-help requirements.”

“Two new hiking and biking trails have been marked and cleared by volunteers linked to LTS,” said Wynne, adding that LTS would continue to hold volunteer work days on Saturday mornings until the trails are finished. completed. “LTS is providing the tools, equipment and expertise to make these workdays happen and any resident is welcome to join the effort.”

Contractors will be hired to build a new, year-round six-car gravel parking area near Hill Street and the finishing landscaping will be done by volunteers.

“Future projects for this property will include the restoration of the upper grassland to enhance the ecological value of the habitat for grassland birds, pollinators and other wildlife that live and travel in this area,” said Wynne.

Dick O’Brien, a member of the Montachusett Regional Trail Coalition Steering Committee, drafted the grant for the new trail project and will oversee the work being done there. Adams said the CFNCM’s Environmental Conservation and Animal Welfare program received 25 requests this year for a demonstrated need of $ 305,000 in total.

“The foundation was able to approve 12 of these grants totaling $ 73,000,” Adams said. “The LTS and City application was one of the approved applications.”

LTS is an all-volunteer trail stewardship group that has worked for over a decade to help the city maintain trails on the west side of town, in parks and recreation areas, and on conservation lands in all the city. Wynne said they are always on the lookout for new members “who have a shared passion for being outdoors and creating great hiking and biking experiences in our community.”

“The Hill Street Trail project is just one of many trail projects that LTS hopes to complete,” he said. “By working with city officials, we hope to complete a master trail plan for the city, seek approval for a few new trails, improve a few existing trails, and apply for more trail grants to meet the needs of our trail network. trails. “

For more information, follow Leominster Trail Stewards on Facebook.

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