Editor’s note: This “Taking to the Trails” column first appeared in The Londonderry Times newspaper.
My name is Bob Rimol and in 2019, I became the President of Londonderry Trailways. First, I would like to thank Bob Saur, our past president for all his hard work and accomplishments over the years. Bob continues to serve on our Board and remains as dedicated as ever to Trailways objectives and tasks.
In my new role as president, I have several goals to continue fulfilling our mission statement: “Our mission is to develop a network of safe bike/walk routes throughout Londonderry that connect neighborhoods, schools, businesses, recreational facilities and points of interest, in order to encourage recreation, exercise, reduce automobile use and create a greater sense of community.” These goals include:
- Continue with our main goal of completing the Londonderry Rail Trail.
- Begin to refocus our other efforts on both trail development and trail maintenance to other trails around town.
- Collaborate and partner with the Conservation Commission, Londonderry Athletic Field Association (LAFA), Scouts, schools, and other civic groups and individuals on the use and preservation of our town trails.
Let me provide you with a summary of our accomplishments of 2019 and where we will be going in 2020.
Rail Trail: Early in the year we secured 1.4 million dollars with a federal TAP Grant (Transportation Alternatives Program) for $800,000 and a Town warrant article for $600,000 for the development of Phases 5 (the Cohas segment) and Phase 6 (the Airport segment). We went on to successfully complete Phase 5 of the rail trail, adding exactly one mile of trail to the existing 3.5 miles. Construction was completed in October within our budgeted amount. Design and engineering for Phase 6 of the rail trail will begin in 2020, and our goal is to construct the Airport segment in 2022.
Town Trails: We are beginning to assess and prioritize other trail projects around town with a closer examination of the feasibility of their completion. Possible projects include a Loop Trail around the LAFA fields and recreational complex, the extension of the school path from the Kindergarten to Wilshire Road, and the repair and replacement of some bridges on the Adam’s Pond Trail.
Partnerships: We are now communicating more frequently with the Conservation Commission, particularly with the help of Mike Byerly, who now serves both boards. We hope to team up with them on certain activities including trail clean up days and trail maintenance around town. Last fall we completed a renovation and upgrade of the path from the Kings neighborhood to the tennis courts at the recreational complex. And later we collaborated with LAFA on cleaning up the path from the library to the LAFA fields by spreading road millings on the path for a better quality of trail. We also built a kiosk with the help of an Eagle Scout at the entrance to the Peat Bog Section of the rail trail. Moving forward, we anticipate working with other civic groups and individuals on projects to help us build and enhance our trail system.
It has been stated over and over again that trails for recreational use and active transportation are a priority in Londonderry in our Town’s Master Plan. I am very fortunate to have a great team of Board members that include Sandra Lagueux (Vice President), Kim Hamilton (Treasurer), Mike Byerly (Secretary), Bob Saur, John Daley and Paul Margolin. Our team is motivated and we have a great deal of fun fulfilling the mission of Londonderry Trailways. We would like to add a few Board members to our team. If you are interested, you may reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org