Londonderry Trailways is working to complete a number of improvements to trails in the Town Forest, President Bob Saur told the Heritage Commission at its July 23 meeting.
Londonderry Volunteer of the Year Kent Allen, who was recognized for his efforts to clean up the Town Pound, has been laying the groundwork, removing invasive plants and clearing the way for future improvements and use of the trails.
“We’re working to make sure all the Bittersweet is gone by Old Home Day,” Saur said.
In addition to clearing the trails, Saur said new signage is being installing at the five trailheads, including signs that warn about poison ivy and Lyme disease.
“This is just the initial signage. We may swap them out over the years. The poison ivy may get mitigated as they spray the other invasive in there,” Saur said.
Trailways is also working with the Town to install signage for crosswalks, including one from the Morrison House near picnic tables on the Londonderry Historical Society property to the Town Forest, as well as a crosswalk at the dirt path on the Common to the Presbyterian Church across the street.
“A Scout hopefully will be putting in two additional kiosks in advance of Old Home Day – one behind the bandstand. The signage will include maps,” Saur said. “One Scout is going through the Eagle Board to put in two more kiosks sometime early in the fall. And there’s a potential need for bridges on the trails.”
Trailways plans to take care of the initial improvements over the coming months, with the more substantial improvement of laying down stone dust over the trails being a longer-term goal.
“The initial estimate we have for the stone dust is $7,000 in material, and that’s without the labor to spread it,” Saur said of improving under three-tenths of a mile in the Town Forest. “We found someone who said they’ll spread it with a Bobcat. I see this as a couple years down the road. It’s not something that will be done right away.”
Ann Chiampa of 28 Wedgewood Drive noted that laying down the stone dust would make the trail wheelchair accessible and easier to use for residents pushing strollers.
“We have usable trails that meet most of the requirements now,” Saur said. “Like with the Rail Trail, if we see it gets used more and more and the demand is there, we’ll consider doing more.”
In other business at last week’s meeting:
• The Heritage Commission recommended unanimously to the Planning Board Boy Scout Noah Carey’s proposed Eagle Scout project of replacing the railings, benches and flower boxes at the Grange Hall.
“The new railing will be something similar to what you see at the Robie House,” Carey told the Commission.
So far, Carey has earned approval from the Eagle Board and taken measurements at the Grange for his project.
He told the Commission his railings would be up to the Town’s safety code, and that he plans to hold two bake sale fundraisers during Old Home Day and Halloween at Mack’s Apples to earn money for his materials.
Carey also plans to ask local hardware supply stores to donate materials for his project.