West River Trail Work Day Scheduled Sunday July 14

West River Trail Work Day Scheduled Sunday July 14

west river trail jason cooperSunshine and long summer days – perfect for heading out into nature. Wild mountain laurel and rambling roses in full bloom, sounds of the West River, sparkling sunshine – all can be found on the beautiful West River Trail.

Are you a fan of West River Trail? Would you like to join the next workday party? Here are the details:

Sunday, July 14, 10 AM. Meet at the trailhead at the Marina end. Bring work gloves, wear boots. Removing remaining visible debris from the “dump area” on the east side of the trail, on the property we are acquiring. Some drainage work is also needed in a few wet spots.

Thanks for helping us spread the word.

If you can’t make it to the workday, and would like to make a contribution, go to the CONTRIBUTE page and click on MAKE A DONATION. Many thanks!

Video of the West River Trail

Video of the West River Trail

wrt 2At the recent annual meeting we watched the 7 ½ minute video of the West River Trail, presented by its creator, Tim Lawrence. This upbeat, fun journey on the trail with Tim and his Siberian Husky, shows viewers where to park at the various trail accesses and what type of conditions to expect. This video can also be found on our FWRT Facebook page and You Tube.
Thanks, Tim!

Here is the link to the video: http://youtu.be/02t9LlbzB78

Report of the Friends of the West River Trail Annual Meeting

Report of the Friends of the West River Trail Annual Meeting

The Friends of the West River Trail Annual Meeting on February 12 at the Depot was a treat!
Having never been to the renovated South Londonderry Depot, I was curious to see it. I also wanted to meet more of our fellow Friends of the West River Trail from further north. Lester, Alex, Jason and I, from the Lower Section, traveled together. Upon arrival, we found a cozily lit open room with new, exposed post and beam construction. There was a display of Railroad memorabilia, a FWRT display, a table full of delectable looking h’or-doeuvres, and friendly faces. After a little socializing, a brief informal meeting was called to order by Fred Haartman, the president. Sherry Crossman reported on interesting updates from the upper section, the lower section gang added our news, and a quick election of officers ensued. At 6 PM, more people arrived for nibbling and schmoozing. At the tolling of the old train bell, our attention was directed to hear about the beautiful old RR bell and meet William Peele, who along with his wife Agnes, generously donated the bell to the FWRT Depot for safe keeping. We then took seats and watched the 7 ½ minute video of the West River Trail, presented by its creator, Tim Lawrence. This upbeat, fun journey on the trail with Tim and his Siberian Husky, shows viewers where to park at the various trail accesses and what type of conditions to expect. This video can be found on our FWRT Facebook page and You Tube. We will get it on the website ASAP!
The Annual Meeting event was fun, informative, and affirming for all. FWRT and friends are a good group of folks with a great mission and an ever improving product—the Trail! We hope to get the upper section folks down here this spring for a picnic and hike on the lower section.
NEWS from the Upper Section: a long planned pedestrian bridge over the river near the Winhall Campground will SOON be a reality! It will be built across the old RR bridge abutments within the next year or so!
Submitted by Kathleen White, Lower section steering committee

The West River Trail Run

The West River Trail Run

Mother-daughter runners on the lower section last summer. (Photo by Dede Cummings)

Mother-daughter runners on the lower section last summer. (Photo by Dede Cummings)

The West River Trail Run will be June 1st, 2013.

The Collaborative will be hosting a discussion/information meeting at the South Londonderry Depot, Wednesday, March 6th at 6-7pm.

We will be discussing the route and details of the run. If you cannot make the meeting, we will send out minutes afterwards. We hope to keep you informed and involved whether participating in the run, volunteering at a water spot or donating. If there is a specific component you would like to be involved with, please email me personally.

Chrissy Blaylock
cjcollab@gmail.com

AN INVITATION TO AN OPEN HOUSE

AN INVITATION TO AN OPEN HOUSE

AN INVITATION TO AN OPEN HOUSE
Doings at the Depot!
The public is invited to attend an Open House and social hour, with refreshments provided, hosted by the Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT), to be held on Tuesday, February 12, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, in the South Londonderry Depot on Route 100.

At the Open House, visitors will be updated on the current projects involving both the West River Trail (South Londonderry to Brattleboro when completed) and the Depot itself. Recent significant advances in trail development in the Brattleboro area by the Southern Section of the Friends will be recognized.

During the social hour, the latest prize of memorabilia at the Depot will be formally introduced: a locomotive bell generously donated by William and Agnes Peele. It is believed that the bell came from one of the last regularly operated steam locomotives on the Santa Fe Railroad.

Tim Lawrence will also be on hand to present a narrated video depicting his recent experience hiking on a rail trail, one of a series he is producing, and will also, as a rail historian, update us on the status of his “Forgotten Railroads” project. Timothy W. Lawrence is Founder and Videographer, I.M.R. Films, created in 2003. Since that time, he has worked on numerous projects from online advertising for Coca-Cola and Comcast to corporate videos for companies such as Skyhorse Publishing, Living WRAP and more. He resides locally, in Windham, VT.

The Open House will be preceded at 5:30 PM by a short business meeting of the FWRT Board, which visitors are welcome to attend if they choose.

Please plan to join your friends and the Friends of the West River Trail for an enjoyable and informative evening.

Beware Skunks on the Trail

Beware Skunks on the Trail

We received this alert from a trail user on the Brattleboro (Marina) end of the West River Trail:
“Thought you might like to know there is a family of skunks around the kiosk and parking area leading to the West River Trail. We were attacked by an ailing skunk (probably rabid), which sprayed one of our cars and trunk. Very hard to get invited anywhere these days.! These skunks might be rabid, as they move very slowly, and appear to be unhealthy. We called state authorities, and they promised to look into it. Be careful!”

Winter Newsletter 2013

Winter Newsletter 2013

 

WINTER NEWSLETTER 2013

Friends of the West River Trail

HOW DID IT GET TO BE FEBRUARY ALREADY?
We hope your holidays were happy and that your new year is going well so far!
Reports say that since the snows fell, both the upper and lower sections of the trail has been very nice for skiing and snowshoeing, (depending on the freezes and thaws, of course). I hope some of you have had a chance to get out there and enjoy this beautiful trail during the winter season!

AN INVITATION TO AN OPEN HOUSE
Doings at the Depot!
The public is invited to attend an Open House and social hour, with refreshments provided, hosted by the Friends of the West River Trail (FWRT), to be held on Tuesday, February 12, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM, in the South Londonderry Depot on Route 100.
At the Open House, visitors will be updated on the current projects involving both the West River Trail (South Londonderry to Brattleboro when completed) and the Depot itself. Recent significant advances in trail development in the Brattleboro area by the Southern Section of the Friends will be recognized.
During the social hour, the latest prize of memorabilia at the Depot will be formally introduced: a locomotive bell generously donated by William and Agnes Peele. It is believed that the bell came from one of the last regularly operated steam locomotives on the Santa Fe Railroad.
Tim Lawrence will also be on hand to present a narrated video depicting his recent experience hiking on a rail trail, one of a series he is producing, and will also, as a rail historian, update us on the status of his “Forgotten Railroads” project. Timothy W. Lawrence is Founder and Videographer, I.M.R. Films, created in 2003. Since that time, he has worked on numerous projects from online advertising for Coca-Cola and Comcast to corporate videos for companies such as Skyhorse Publishing, Living WRAP and more. He resides locally, in Windham, VT.
The Open House will be preceded at 5:30 PM by a short business meeting of the FWRT Board, which visitors are welcome to attend if they choose.
Please plan to join your friends and the Friends of the West River Trail for an enjoyable and informative evening.

BIG NEWS!
We have met our phase 1 fundraising goal! The Thomas Thompson Trust agreed to grant us $10,000 once we raised $35,000 from the community — which we have done!!! Hurray! Many, many individuals, grant-making organizations and businesses helped make this happen. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

SO, WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
Some of you may have noticed that fine crushed stone was spread on the trail late fall, starting just past the I-91 bridge and continuing for the next mile north. The material was donated by Mike Cersosimo, and the spreading and rolling was nicely done by Jason Evans. If you were able to walk or ride on that section of trail before the snow fell, you would have noticed that it’s a nice improvement to a section that was fairly bumpy due to exposed tree roots and holes. In the spring, we will see how the new surface withstood the winter and will welcome feedback on it. If the feedback is positive, we will explore whether other areas of trail could benefit from the same treatment.

We have two beautiful kiosks in place! They were built and installed by Morse and Mindell builders. One is at the Marina trailhead and the other at the Rice Farm Rd trailhead. Many thanks for this donation from Jonathan Morse, Stephen Mindell and their crew. Thanks also to Home Depot in Keene, NH for selling us the supplies at a discount.

We received a grant from the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps! We’ll be getting a crew of youth for 4 weeks this summer. They will focus on building the new section of trail from Rice Farm Rd to the quarry on Quarry Rd, and on installing bridges.

SAFETY ON THE TRAIL
The Brattleboro Police Department Bicycle Patrol has been patrolling the lower section of the trail two to three times weekly (when it is clear enough of snow) to look for any safety or maintenance issues. We encourage all trail users to notify us of any safety or maintenance issues you encounter, by emailing at lowersection@westrivertrail.org.

PHOTO GALLERY
Check out the Gallery on the FWRT website for great photos from the trail. You’ll also see how you can send in your photos to be included in the Gallery. If the trail has been your muse and you have writings or artwork inspired by your experiences, we would love to post them on the website. Please send them in! We also welcome your blogs or comments!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
Spring Workdays on the lower section: when the ground is workable and the weather is amenable, we’ll be starting these up again. Watch for an email with dates or check the website.

Volunteer Workday Coordinator: We need a volunteer or two to help Jason Cooper plan, and lead work groups on the lower section. If you are interested, please email us at: lowersection@westrivertrail.org

Website updating: We need someone with website skills to help us keep the website updated. Do you have skills you could offer? Contact us at lowersection@westrivertrail.org

Posting information on our new kiosks: We need a volunteer to fill our kiosks, by posting signs, maps, announcements, photos, information of interest.

Enjoy the winter, and we look forward to seeing you on the trail!

Best,
Kathleen, for the Friends of the West River Trail

Friends of the West River Trail – Lower Section, 138 Elliot Street, Suite 3, Brattleboro VT 05301
http://www.westrivertrail.org

Explore Patagonia (without leaving Vermont)

Explore Patagonia (without leaving Vermont)

Explore Patagonia

(without leaving Vermont)

explore-patagonia

Join Paul and Welthy Myers for

“Patagonia, Adventure at the End of the World”

a slide tour of one of the most remote and

ruggedly beautiful places on Earth.

Image

Wednesday, January 30, 7 PM

South Londonderry Depot

No admittance charge. Donations appreciated.

Light refreshments provided.

Sponsored by: Londonderry Arts & Historical Society and

Friends of the West River Trail

WRT Lower Section News Update

So, what’s new with the West River Trail lower section?  

Work Days are being scheduled!!! 

Recent visitors to trail.

To volunteer to work on the trail, keep your eyes open for dates on our website:   http://www.westrivertrail.org.  Our plan is to begin working on the trail surface with donated surepack, start putting in kiosks, begin bridge work, and remove more trash and debris along the trail.

A lot has been going on behind the scenes, that is not visible as you play on the trail.  Here are some examples…

  • Our dedicated fundraising committee put together an appeal recently, which you may have received.  We hope you can make a donation if you haven’t yet!
  • We have been communicating with VTrans about trail use while the I-91 bridge is being rebuilt during 2014-2015, and trail improvement up to and under the bridges once the work is completed. .
  • We have been working with the Brattleboro listers to get the WRT on the tax map and have requested a tax waiver as a non-profit public use property owner.
  • We have been meeting property owners whose land abuts the WRT from the Nature Conservancy parking lot on Rice Farm Rd to the quarry to discuss the existence of  the West River Trail and future work on that section of trail.
  • Chris Thomas of Pleasant Valley Yardworks has been keeping the trail along the west side of Rice Farm Rd mowed.
  • Rachel Zamore has been volunteering her time to do a title search to uncover ownership of the West River Railroad bed from the quarry, where our deed ends, 10 miles to the north.
  • A feasibility study was completed for a pedestrian bridge from the WRT to the West River Park.  Tom Brown volunteered his time and expertise to do this for us.
  • Tom Brown also voluntarily completed a feasibility study for a rail with trail from the train station in downtown Brattleboro along the Connecticut River to the West River.
  • Mike Cersosimo agreed to donate 2 loads of surepak (18 tons!) for trail surface improvement.  Thank you Mike!
  • Dennis Smith will donate his backhoe and his time to help move the surepak to the trail, and has offered a place to unload it until it can be spread.
  • We have chosen a design for kiosks at the Rice Farm Rd and Marina ends of the trail.
  • Home Depot in Keene, NH has offered a 20% discount on materials for building kiosks and picnic tables.
  • A new appraisal was done on the 20 acre parcel of land along the river, 1 mile north of the I-91 bridge, that we are looking to acquire.
  • Eli Gould did a drawing for the bridge needed at mile 5, where the trail crosses a brook entering the river along Rice Farm Rd.  We hope to get the abutments in place (granite stones) before winter.
  • New trail maps have been printed, distributed to various businesses and organizations around Brattleboro, and are available for download off the website!  Thank you Jeff Nugent for creating the maps!
  • We’re updating and improving the website.  It will soon have capability for viewers to add comments and photos!

Notice:  If you are walking the trail with your dog, please clean up after it.  More trail users equals more dogs equals more waste on the trail.  Please be considerate of all trail users.  Thank you!

We welcome donations of money, materials, time and talent!  We are pushing to meet our fundraising goal of $35,000 in order to receive the Thompson Trust grant.  It is now easy to contribute on our website http://www.westrivertrail.org.  Please let us know if you have time and talent to give, for trail work, participation on a trail improvement task force, website updating, newsletter writing, title searching, fund and friendraising… other ideas, let us know!  There are many ways to contribute.  We look forward to seeing you on the trail!

Editor, Kathleen White