As many of you know, the City of Newton has also been working on a rail trail project very much like ours in Needham, which they call the Newton Upper Falls Greenway.
Map of Upper Falls Greenway. Click to enlarge
On Friday afternoon, October 25th, beginning at 1:00 pm at the Depot on Oak and Chestnut Streets, Newton will be holding a ceremonial ground-breaking kickoff event for its project, and they have invited all interested to attend. Anticipated speakers include Mayor Warren, Secretary of Transportation Davey, Representatives, Aldermen, and the Upper Falls Area Council.
Also at the event, there will be hot Green Tea on the Greenway and egg drop soup courtesy of Taam China, the local Kosher Chinese restaurant. Also for fun, Newton volunteer rail riders are planning to bring their self-propelled cars to offer final rides on this mile of track before it makes way for the new pedestrian and bicycle trail.
Inspiration for Needham
In some ways, it has been easier in Newton – simpler landscape so no fencing or wetlands concerns; almost twice the number of tracks along their segment, which will fund a stone dust surface; and the City will be covering other expenses. But the process is otherwise similar, and local volunteers have done an amazing job to stir up support to create this trail in an astonishingly short amount of time. As with Needham, enthusiastic support from officials, including Needham’s own Bob Rooney (Newton’s Chief Operating Officer) has helped enormously.
It will be great to have a local example for our project. Besides this kickoff event, we’ll hold one or more trail walks on the Newton path once it’s complete for inspiration.
Our congratulations go out to Newton, especially the primary organizers George Kirby, Jerry Reilly, Jim Lerner and many others who – like the BCRT Needham Faithful – have made this happen.