Rail Trail Clean-Up Day, Oct 15

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Sep 292016
 

Town-wide Cleanup: On Saturday, October 15, 10:00 – 12:00: there will be a day focused on picking up trash all over Town, organized by Park & Rec and the Department of Parks and Forestry. This is a good time to get a bunch of people out on the trail to clear brush, leaves, trash and generally patrol to make sure the path is clear. This is what trail stewardship looks like – not hard work, but it needs to be done regularly: probably twice a year when the Town holds its cleanup days.

We are hoping to have three or four crews, each with up to five people, with each crew taking a portion of the trail. We are looking to get volunteers from this group to lead each crew. Please let me know if you are willing to lead or simply participate in the clean-up.

If you are willing to participate in the cleanup, please click here to sign up!

 

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Scenes from the Needham Trail Opening Celebration

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May 062016
 
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Dec 5th Needham Trail Opening Event Postponed!

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Nov 022015
 

IMG_0973 copy2With the second half of the trail construction project underway in Needham, volunteers had been planning to hold a trail opening event along the 1.7 mile path on Saturday, December 5th.

Unfortunately, the trail won’t be close enough to completion by the 5th so the event has been postponed. Instead a Grand Opening in the Spring is envisioned.

A completed trail is still expected by the end of the year, weather permitting. But the additional time will allow for amenities to be added, like signage and kiosks.

Stay tuned here and elsewhere for more information as it becomes available.

Stop by the BCRT Booth at the Needham Street Fair, Saturday June 5th!

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Jun 052015
 

11402617_1095563803791415_736096108800994529_oNeedham’s annual Street Fair will be held on Saturday, June 5th, from 10:00 to 3:00. Following our custom for the past five years, BCRT will have  booth at the fair – usually in the middle of the town common.

Come by and learn about the fabulous progress over the past month or two, and learn when we’ll have a completed trail (it won’t be long). You can also learn what more there is to do, and the focus of current fund-raising, which will support a range of amenities along the trail. Perhaps we’ll have a flower-laden three-wheeler along the trail, like the one Susan Kirk will be bringing to the fair.

Your financial support is always welcome. This year we are raffling off a Large Garden Planter filled with flowers/plants donated by Hillcrest Gardens (approximate retail value: $135.00).

Stop by and say hello, provide some (more) support for the project and take a shot at the planter!

Needham Garden Tour Tickets Now Available

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May 132015
 

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Our friends at the Needham Women’s Club, generous supporters of the rail trail, are hosting their annual Garden Tour on Sunday, June 14.  They have selected the Bay Colony Rail Trail as a primary recipient of funds raised this year.

Please consider purchasing tickets to this lovely spring event. Every ticket purchased raises more funds for the Trail and its future. Early Access Tickets are $30 and include a special presentation at the Needham Historical Society with light refreshments and early access to the Garden Tour homes.

For tickets and more information, please contact The Needham Women’s Club.

Rail Trail Plan in Place for 2015!

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Dec 272014
 

The Needham portion of the Bay Colony Rail Trail continues to move forward with energy and commitment, thanks to the leadership of Town Manager Kate Fitzpatrick, and a very professional and focused Town team.

There is now little doubt: this trail is going to happen in 2015!

Although the Town’s Rail Trail Advisory Committee has not yet been formed, the Town team continues to work collaboratively with representatives of BCRT in putting together a workable plan. Here is the current status of the Needham project:

In January, the Town will issue RFPs for the removal of the rails and ties, and the construction of the path. The plan is to award the rail/tie removal contract by February 9th, with the construction portion awarded soon thereafter.

The construction portion of the contract will focus on the section of the trail from High Rock and the Town Forest to Fisher St. The shorter distance is a conservative estimate of what can be achieved with available funding, in light of the Town’s preliminary cost model for the project, which is more expensive than our original plans.

The actual distance will depend on the bids received, but the Town is confident that current funding will at least enable construction to Fisher St., and the RFP will be written to allow for extension.

The Town and BCRTA will each seek other sources of funding if the bids come in high. So we are confident that we will get the trail we all envisioned in 2015.

Followup From Public Meeting with Town Officials

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Oct 172014
 

On Wed, October 15th, Town officials joined the regular meeting of Needham residents interested in learning more about the rail trail project in Needham. Town engineer Tony Delgaizo presented his departments preliminary designs, based on several weeks of topographical survey work. The update designs are available in seven PDF files below.

The Town’s design calls for removal of the rails and ties, followed by building up the surface with 6″-8” reclaimed material (ground up recycled asphalt from road paving projects), a layer of Filter fabric, topped with 2-4″ of Stone dust. The Town will also address Erosion control by the use of wattles.

The plans also called for safety fencing along stretches where there is a steep drop-off. These wood fences will be 42″ high, and have two horizontal rails. In some places, the Town’s design will steer the trail a few feet to one side or the other to better accommodate conditions.

There was also discussion on the BCRTA’s plan to provide support for abutters who are concerned about exposure to the trail. BCRTA has reached out to 52 abutters along the proposed trail, with particular focus on twenty that have more obvious visibility, including the Walker School. BCRTA raised funds specifically for this purpose, and will finalize a plan in the next week for specific abutter concerns.

The next scheduled event related to the Rail Trail is Tuesday, October 28 at 7:00 at Town Hall, when the plan will be presented to the Board of Selectmen at their regular public meeting.

The Trail Moves Closer to Reality

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Oct 102014
 

There are exciting developments on the Needham portion of the Bay Colony Rail Trail project. The Town has gotten fully involved in the project and, working with representatives from the community, has agreed to take over development of the trail. This is excellent news since the Town has the expertise and equipment to be applied to the job, and obviously will deliver the trail to the standards they require.

This arrangement was virtually required in order to make use of the $70,000 allocated by the State through Denise Garlick’s efforts, since those funds have to be received by a municipality.

The funds we have raised for the effort are still needed, so we’re working with the Town to make sure our sponsoring of the project and our funding is used as planned and promised, so we can ensure development of the trail we all have envisioned.

Our planned start date for the project is now Spring 2015, with an anticipated completion by late Summer 2015.

Draft Plans Available

This week the Town engineering department published draft plans for the path. These plans are available to the public for review, and there will be a meeting at 7:00 pm on Wed., October 15th at the Public Services Administration Building on 500 Dedham Avenue, when Town and Rail trail officials will be on hand to discuss the plans and project plan.

The plans are divided into seven PDF files, and can be accessed at the links below:

BCRT Needham: Spring 2014 Update

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Jun 122014
 

The rail trail project in Needham continues to gather momentum. Though there are some hurdles still to cross, the intended project start date is September this year. Realistically, we’re hoping to have the train in place by this time next year.

The Town is currently taking the lead on the project, and has made great strides toward pulling things together, including meeting with the State on the conditions required to accept the $70,000 funding, meeting with Iron Horse Preservation Society (the outfit that can pull up the rails and ties), and beginning to mobilize Town resources to focus on the project.

From the perspective of BCRT, we will soon be reaching back out to the engineering firm for a proposal to help with the project planning and administrative work required.

Please Support Needham High School Student

NHS Junior, Patrick Caron, has put together a Kickstarter campaign for the rail trail. This was a heroic effort: Patrick initiated the effort, did the filming, solicited support from BCRTA, and navigated the Kickstarter process. We’re hoping that Patrick’s initiative will close the final $15,000 needed to achieve our target for these first phases. If you are willing to help, donations on Kickstarter begin at $1, though $40 will get you this year’s edition of the BCRT t-short, which is a harvest gold. The Kickstarter campaign is here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/352360370/bay-colony-rail-trail-a-great-walking-path-for-eve.

Our fundraising target remains the same: $235,000 will enable us to get a trail in town with a stone dust surface, as well as appropriate privacy screening and safety accommodations. The Kickstarter campaign is designed to close the final fundraising gap, so please consider donating as soon as possible, and certainly before June 30!

Details of our fundraising target are shown below.

Phasing and Costs of the Trail in Needham