Friday, December 21, 2012

Yes, you can help the Rail Trail effort!

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your past interest and support of the the Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC).  We are working hard to turn the Southern New England Trunkline Trail (SNETT) abandoned railroad tracks into a multiuse, universally accessible trail for walking, biking, hiking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and other outdoor recreational activities.   We hope you have had a chance to use the trail in 2012.

Southern New England Trunkline Trail: SNETT
SNETT sign at Grove St entrance

Did you know that the FBRTC offers an annual membership donation?  Your tax-deductible membership fee of $25 or more ($15 for students or those on a limited income) gives us important operating expense funds to allow us to apply for grants at the federal, state and local levels.  As a member, your level of involvement with the FBRTC is up to you.  You can join us for our various activities during the year, or you can simply let your membership be your involvement. I am writing to ask for your continued support in 2013.  Please take a few minutes to renew online or print the attached form and send a membership donation.

You can renew your support online at 

Membership includes, voting privileges, advanced notice of trail events, meetings, and agendas, updates on important trail news and developments, and 10% off on parts and accessories at Crossing Cycles in Franklin.

Wondering what the FBRTC did in 2012?  Here is a quick summary of how your support has made a difference.
  • Early in the 2012, we revised our mission statement and officially changed our name to the "Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee" to reflect the growing membership base, and the locality of towns involved in the effort.
    In the spring, a team of committee members and groups from Bellingham (Boy Scouts) cleaned up a section of the trail in Bellingham.
  • In May, the committee received notice from DCR that it was approved for a grant of $10,801.  Over the course of the summer, the committee worked with DCR to identify how the grant would be used.  Gates are in the process of being erected at trail entrances in Bellingham and Franklin.
  • Also in May, the committee held it's second annual 5K run (1 mile walk) fundraiser event.  Over 100 people entered the race, and the committee raised over $3,000.
  • The committee had a table at the Franklin "Harvest Festival" on September 30th.  It was another great opportunity to increase community awareness of our efforts.
  • On October 13th, we conducted a guided "trail walk" with DCR's Ron Clough.  Almost 50 people attended.
  • The towns of Bellingham and Franklin continue to be supporting of our efforts.
  • A boy scout troop in Bellingham is planning to build a kiosk at the trail entrance on Center St.
  • The town of Bellingham has marked the trail crossing at Lake St and Center St.
  • A parking lot is being planned for Center St. in Bellingham.
  • The Ben Franklin Charter Public School 5th grade held a "Community Service Day" at the trail in the fall. They planted flowers, and cleaned around the kiosk at the trail-head at Grove St in Franklin. They were also given an interpretive tour of the trail by Ron Clough from Massachusetts DCR (Department of Conservation and Recreation).
  • Developed a map of the SNETT in Franklin and Bellingham to guide users on parking areas and other points of interest.
  • Became and active partner with the Towns of Bellingham and Franklin in participating in a grants received by the Town of Bellingham from the NPS (National Parks Service) for "Rivers,Trails and Conservation Assistance".  This grant allows all towns and interested groups along the trail to work together to create a master plan for the trail's development.
On any given day, many people are utilizing and enjoying the trail, walking or biking, and connecting with nature.  The committee continues to increase it's outreach and to build awareness using social media.  Our Facebook page:  The page contains over 100 "likes".  We use our Facebook page and web site ( to inform the people of the community of our activities.

The SNETT is a tremendous asset for our community.  Please consider making a membership donation today and become a vital piece in making change happen.

FBRTC Mission: The Franklin & Bellingham Rail Trail Committee (FBRTC) is a volunteer advocacy group dedicated to the development, maintenance, and financial support of the Southern New England Trunkline Trail as a multi-use, universally accessible recreational path.

FBRTC is a subsidiary of the Grand Trunk Trail Blazers, a recognized 501(c)(3), working in partnership with federal, state and local governments, members of the FBRTC are committed to exploring all private, state and federal funding avenues to implement all necessary design plans.

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