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

Update: September Meeting and Fundraising

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Sep 032013

Good morning All, and Happy September!

On this day many gears are reluctantly grinding into place, and this is yet another agenda item to bring to your attention. The BCRT Needham meetings start up this month, specifically next Tuesday, September 10th, at 7:15, at the usual room in the Public Service Administration Building on 500 Dedham Ave.

The primary topic will be our fundraising efforts, which kicked off over the summer, and which will hopefully get into a new gear this fall. Focus will be on spreading the word, and continuing the great grassroots funding – we already have 45 donors (many of whom are on this list), and a total of $11,475! This is just a fantastic start, thanks to all of you. Details on our Tracking Progress page. This fall, with this great show of local support, it will be a time when we reach out to local businesses and merchants to ask them to participate in this effort.

The goal is to demonstrate our ability to partner with the town in covering the costs for this wonderful resource. The town remains fully committed and engaged: the Recreational Path is on the Selectmen’s goals for 2014, and there are active conversations between the town and the MBTA about the lease. The expectation is that the lease will be on the agenda for the special Town Meeting in early November, and our ability to raise funds will remove a key concern.

We are also looking to extend the study that was done last spring, so that we can get FST’s professional perspective on the alternatives for extending the trail between High Rock Street and Chestnut Street. As you may recall, the MBTA determined that it wanted to retain the tracks for that section, although that is still subject of the discussions with the town. There are some interesting alternatives to consider, which FST will study and summarize.

I hope on the 10th we can also discuss the promotional video that was proposed a couple months back by Svetlana Vakhutinsky, and put together a plan to get that underway.

Hope to see you all on the 10th! Incidentally, the next meeting will be on October 29th, same place and time of day.