What's the plan to build the Squannacook River Rail Trail?

In a nutshell, the plan is to have the non-profit Squannacook Greenways build the rail trail. The proposal is to have the Department of Conservation and Recreation sign the MBTA lease, but then sign a memorandum of agreement with Squannacook Greenways, giving us complete responsible for building and maintaining the rail trail. It's a great example of a public/private partnership allowing this trail to be built in an extremely cost effective manner. And best of all, in May of 2012, Squannacook Greenways and DCR Commissioner Lambert reached a conditional verbal agreement to proceed with this project.


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Who is Squannacook Greenways?

Squannacook Greenways was formed in September 2011 with the following mission statement:

Squannacook Greenways is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and to build, maintain, and promote the Squannacook River Rail Trail as a source of recreation and safe non-motorized transportation. Squannacook Greenways will also work to integrate the Squannacook River Rail Trail with other facilities, such as trails and sidewalks, to encourage the use of human-powered transportation and improve access to our town’s natural areas.

The formation of this non-profit to build the Squannacook River Rail Trail was a plan endorsed by the official rail trail study committees in both Groton and Townsend.

Squannacook Greenways Board of Directors - 2011

Squannacook Greenways Board of Directors. Front row left to right: Joan Wotkowicz, Steve Meehan, Bruce Easom, Robert Hargraves. Rear: Alfred Gadway, Bill Rideout, Peter Cunningham, Pete Carson, Mark Cram. Not pictured: Ray Jackson, Rollin Willis

What will the trail be like?

We are modelling our trail on the stone dust Mass Central Rail Trail built by Wachusett Greenways. Look up www.wachusettgreenways.org, download the map, and give it a try. We think you'll agree that a non-profit can build a terrific stonedust rail trail.