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11th Annual Spicket River cleanup Sat Sept 22nd

11th Annual Spicket River cleanup Saturday Sept 22nd, 2012 8am – 1pm

Come help clean the Spicket River in Lawrence and Methuen

Volunteers will assemble at 8 a.m. at Manchester Street Park, 75 Manchester St., Lawrence: where tools, trash bags and gloves provided.

A free lunch will be provided after the event ends at 1 p.m. at Manchester Street Park.


METHUEN – This will mark the Eleventh year that Groundwork has held their annual Spicket River Cleanup in Lawrence and the Second year that Methuen has participated in the event. Last year ten Methuen residents including members of the Methuen Rail Trail Alliance, the Methuen Trails Committee and folks from Methuen’s Memorial Music Hall converged on the section of the river in downtown Methuen. Riverwalk Park on Osgood St. and the Broadway area behind the Music Hall were targetted and over 700 pounds of debris was removed by hand from the river, including televisions, barrels and tires. This year with a larger turnout, we can also target other sections of the river.

Join us Saturday September 22nd at the Manchester St Park in Lawrence…just past the end of the Methuen Rail Trail; where we will meet up, count heads, distribute trash bags and gloves, then we can head back to the river and make a difference. Afterward Groundwork provides a free lunch for all the volunteers – and you better get their early because Lawrence turns out hundreds of volunteers to work on the Spicket River Cleanup.

For more information, contact
Methuen – Joyce Godsey Methuen Trails Committee 978-918-6031 /


Construction Update

Despite intermittent weather and freezing and refreezing of the ground, the day has come when the last of the rail road ties has been pulled up intact and bundled. The bundles of ties will soon be trucked down to a licensed facility to be burnt as fuel.

Looking north from the Lawrence line, one can see that the trail will be straight and clear. And to the East it has great visibility over the Spicket River and the city of Lawrence.

The next step is to deck the footbridge over the Spicket River and begin paving the rail trail section that runs through the conservation area up to the NH State Line. This will start first thing next week. Compared to the tedious job of pulling and bundling ties, laying down recycled asphalt will be a breeze.

Joe Hattrup from Iron Horse Preservation paid a call on Brad Bruschur from Groundwork Lawrence to give his estimate for continuing IHP’s work along the the M&L Branch inside Lawrence.
Here, the railroad siding splits off from the main line at the Manchester St. Bridge and continues down a grade to join with the end of the Spicket River Greenway at the railroad bridge over the Spicket behind the Polartec Factory Parking lot.

This part of the line hasn’t been used in a very long time and is covered with small trees and trash. Groundwork has started the paperwork process to allow Iron Horse to continue the
‘no cost’ construction job to connect these two projects in a seamless recreational area. The sooner that paperwork goes through the sooner the brush and ties will get cleared and the asphalt can go down.

On the North side of the Methuen Rail Trail project, Salem NH and NH DOT have finalized their paperwork problems allowing them to engage Iron Horse Preservation to continue their non profit construction across the state line and into Salem NH 1.8 miles from the border (Cluff Crossing Rd and Shaws Supermarket) and again further north connecting Salem’s Main St (Rt 97) to Old Depot Rd (MacKinnon’s area) about 1 mile. The undeveloped sections of the Salem Bike Bed Corridor are serviced by sidewalks and pedestrian traffic controls, which will allow easy if not seamless access by the pedestrian or cyclist to all sections of Rt 28 and points north (Windham NH et al.)

Hopefully by years end Iron Horse Preservation will have done great work connecting these three communities along the Spicket River and paralleling Rt 28 allowing for many many people to enjoy biking and walking safely.

Joyce Godsey
Methuen Rail Trail Alliance


Iron Horse Preservation does Bradford

Here are Kyle and the Boys doing their thing in Bradford.
Once the Ties are removed they are bundled and shipped to Pittsburg to be used for fuel. Then the surface is cleaned and graded and a new surface is laid in. Bradford has chosen a recycled asphalt surface which should set up nicely.


Fresh paint

The kids in Methuen have been oh so busy. We have fresh tagging under the Rt 213 overpass. Admittedly the art work is quite impressive and obviously represents an investment of time and energy. However when the trail is completed this particular type of artwork will look out of place; in the meantime it is worth the walk to go check it out.
On the other hand someone scrawled traditional graffiti on the wooden trestle. This is a much bigger crime against nature. Hopefully much of the paint will not survive the winter, making removal easier in the spring. Small amounts of graffiti can be ignored for the time being but this will appear in every picture shot at this location.


Fresh trash behind Village Mall

Apparently someone at the Village Mall decided it was easier to toss their bags of leaves over the hill onto the trail. These are from the last 2 months or so; they were not there before that. Tim Vermette has been getting out there quite regularly to clean and this kind of thing is disheartening.

ed. The owners of the Village Mall are looking into the clean-up crew who did this.

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