By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – For the past several years a group of interested volunteers from Marlborough, Northborough, Southborough and Westborough have worked together to create a 30-mile recreational trail link between their communities. A conceptual plan created for the “Boroughs Community Trail Loop” was presented to the Marlborough City Council via a communication from Mayor Arthur Vigeant at the council’s Nov. 17th meeting for consideration.
“This plan and its success are largely owed to a group of dedicated volunteers across our region as well as the persistence of Conservation Officer Priscilla Ryder,” the mayor stated in his communication. “When completed this trail will be heavily promoted across all communities and will hopefully attract a number of competitive marathoners looking to test their abilities in our own backyard.”
Councilors referred the project to the Open Space Committee, chaired by City Councilor-at-Large Mark Oram.
The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) acquired a “District Local Technical Assistance” grant in 2012 from regional planning agencies to determine the feasibility of creating the trail, according to Ryder. The Boroughs Trail Feasibility Study was formed with the vision: “To create a regional trail that encourages the exploration, enjoyment and protection of the Borough’s natural resources. The Boroughs Loop Trail will show case the region’s natural beauty, provide ecological and economic health for the region, and promote a positive outdoor experience for all.”
Ryder also asked Vigeant for help and support in the future as the group works with legislators and state agencies in seeking grant funding and for easements, permission to connect trails across roadways, railroads and through parkland.
Members of the group working on the project include: Kathy Joubert, Northborough Town Planner; Bob Mihalek, chair, Northborough Trails Committee; Dan Guilford, chair, Southborough Trails Committee, Jim Robbins, Westborough Town Planner; Dan Stimson, assistant director of stewardship Sudbury Valley Trustees; and Ryder.