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My Turn: City conservation land can be enjoyed right now

While city officials weigh the future of 114 acres of conservation land off Gully Hill Road (Monitor front page, July 29), everyone else should realize it’s here to enjoy now, too. The expanse is closer than you think. It’s the stretch of land across the river from Exit 13 to Exit 14 on Interstate 93. I invite you to see it for yourself. Gully Hill Road is across from Everett Arena and runs between Bed Bath and Beyond and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Thanks to Eagle Scout Nick Zavorotny, there is a new kiosk at the end of Gully Hill Road marking the start of the future Merrimack River Greenway Trail. This was the site of the second annual Northeast Delta Dental Merrimack River Trail Triathlon, but you don’t have to wait for the third to enjoy the course. You can ride your bike on the two-track path along the cornfields or take a walk along the single track path that follows the river, thanks to Shannon Rhodes who cleared both trails for the triathlon, two days after the microburst!

The trail starts at the kiosk, runs briefly along the cornfield and then moves closer to the river. You won’t believe that you are in downtown Concord as you enjoy the tree shade and river view.

The land’s present and future use as a trail is not in question, thanks in part to City Councilor Jennifer Kretovic, who helped draft the feasibility study that examined the possibility of a multiuse riverwalk in downtown Concord. She continues to keep a watchful eye on the trail. This study is the foundation for the proposed Merrimack River Greenway Trail.

The Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail Inc. is leading the way to create 14 miles of paved multiuse river trail, from Pembroke to Boscawen. The first phase of this is a 1.2-mile stretch from Terrill Park, following along the east side of the river to Gully Hill Road.

You can follow our activities on our website, mrgt.org, or on Facebook, “1000 Friends of the MRGT.” If you want to meet us, we’ll have a table at Rollins Park for National Night Out on Aug. 6.

For more information, write to info@MRGT.org or go visit the kiosk.

(Stacey Brown of Concord is a Merrimack River Greenway Trail trustee.)

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